Unlike every other slam this year we won’t have the big four, only the big three. Rafa Nadal’s pull out because of his continuous knee issues has definitely lessened the field, but will it give us a new slam winner?
The draw has left an interesting scenario, because in normal years I would put Djokovic as favourite to win because he does not have to play a tough semi-final match. Yet this year I don’t see Djoks making it to the semis, I feel he will be knocked out in the quarters by Del Potro. Djokovic is tired he has played a lot of tennis recently. Even with his superhuman powers of recovery, I feel the Olympics, then Toronto, the Cincinnati in a row will have gassed him out. His only saving grace is that his half of the draw is relatively easy apart from Del Potro and if Delpo has an injury (which is quite possible) he may not be able to beat a tired Djokovic over five sets. Still, for some reason I feel someone other than Djokovic will occupy the final place from the bottom half of the draw. Of course I forget that Djokovic has massive will power and this may get him past lesser players but it's going to be tough for him.
In the top half it is of course between the two Wimbledon winners, Federer with his 7th Wimby title and 17th overall, and Murray with his first big title, the Olympics (obviously not as big as a slam but nearly as big, beating Fed in a 5 set final at Wimbledon is huge for Andy). I cannot see anyone else getting through to the semis in the top half of the draw. So then it will be down to who wants it most in the semi-final match between Federer and Murray, and although in past years this would definitely hamper the winners chances of winning in the final, I feel the winner of the US Open will come from that semi. It will be either Federer or Murray.
Overall I think Murray has played the least and I think this might be a deliberate tactic; he will be fresher than both Djokovic and Federer. He knew he had to play perhaps both of them, whereas it was a 50/50 for Fed or Djoks who would get Murray. The Olympic win over Fed will give Murray a massive boost and I think this is it; this is the time for him to step up to the plate and win one of these slams.
So it will be Murray to play Del Potro in the US Open final. I haven’t done badly at these predictions over the year but this one is definitely the hardest, maybe because of the Olympics putting a spanner in the works, it has stirred things up a bit. Not too much to make it likely for a left field winner but enough to make predicting semis and finals harder. Let’s hope it’s a great Championships.