After an interesting tournament in the 2020 Summer Olympics, in Tokyo, Japan, with Alexander Zverev defeating Karen Khachanov of the Russian Olympic Committee to win the gold medal in Men’s Singles and become Germany’s first male gold medalist, we can finally turn our attention back to the ATP tour and Novak Djokovic’s quest to match Rod Laver’s feat and complete the Calendar Year Grand Slam.
The fourth and final Grand Slam event of the year, the 2021 US Open is scheduled to start on August 30. This will be the 141st edition of the tournament, and it will take place at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York City. Dominic Thiem is the men’s singles defending champion, having defeated Alexander Zverev in last year’s tournament.
Five-time US Open champion Roger Federer will miss out on the tournament for the second straight year. Last sunday, he announced on his Instagram account that he will have to undergo a third knee surgery, which will take him off the court for a few months. Therefore, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will be seeking a 21st major singles title, the most of any male player in history. The three players are currently tied at 20 titles.
According to analysts and sportsbooks on www.us-bookies.com, Novak Djokovic is the favorite to win the 2021 US Open with -135 odds. The following players, however, are also in contention for a title in the last Grand Slam tournament of the ATP season.
Novak Djokovic has had an amazing year so far, despite disappointing performances at the 2020 Summer Olympics. After winning his 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, he equaled Federer’s Open Era record of 310 weeks at world No. 1, and surpassed the mark in the following week, extending the record in his own right.
He went on to defeat Rafael Nadal at the 2021 French Open, and claimed his 20th Grand Slam title following a victory over Matteo Barrettini at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships. In Tokyo, he sought to improve on his bronze medal result from Beijing 2008. However, he lost in the semifinals to Zverev, and then to Pablo Carreño Busta in the bronze medal match.
The No. 1 seed in this year’s tournament draw, Djokovic arrives in New York as the overwhelming favorite to win the championship.
Daniil Medvedev’s season so far has been one of the best in his career. He led Team Russia to the ATP Cup’s title to start the year, and then reached his second Grand Slam final at the Australian Open.
He won his first title of the season at the Open 13 in Marseille, and in doing so, he ascended to world No. 2 in the ATP Rankings. Medvedev became the first player outside of the Big Four – Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray – to occupy a position in the Top 2 since Lleyton Hewitt in July 2005.
He enters the 2021 US Open as the No. 2 seed, and as the second favorite to win the title. In New York, Medvedev will be seeking the first Grand Slam title in his career.
The US Open reigning champion, Dominic Thiem has been struggling throughout the 2021 season. He was defeated by Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round at the Australian Open, and at the French Open, Thiem lost in the first round to Pablo Andujar.
In June, during the 2021 Mallorca Championships, Thiem suffered a wrist injury that forced him to retire from that tournament, and also withdraw from the 2021 Wimbledon Championships.
After over two months on the sidelines, Thiem will also defend titles at Indian Wells and Vienna, and a good run until the end of the season will be crucial in his attempt to qualify for the ATP Finals.
Despite extending his records to twelve titles at the Barcelona Open, and ten titles at the Italian Open, Rafael Nadal has been underperforming in Grand Slam events this year. At the Australian Open, he lost in the quarterfinals to Stefanos Tsitsipas, after being two sets up.
At the French Open, when he could’ve become the first man to win 21 majors, Nadal was upset by eventual champion Djokovic in the semifinals, in only his third-ever loss at the tournament.
Nadal’s participation at the 2021 US Open is still in question, as he picked up a foot injury at the French Open that forced him to withdraw from Wimbledon, the Olympics, the 2021 Citi Open, the National Bank Open, and the Cincinnati Masters.
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