This will be a more traditional preview than my Women’s draw analysis that centered on the calendar slams’ biggest obstacles.
Quarter 1 – Novak and Rafa’s World
Novak Djokovic has 6 hard court Grand Slam titles, but 5 have come in Melbourne. Nole is 1-4 in US Open finals. This year could help Novak reverse some of his poor luck in the final match in NYC. Novak’s biggest threat before the quarterfinal is the diminutive David Goffin. Although, a few big hitters also lurk in his quarter. Rafael Nadal should meet Novak in the quarterfinal round if he can surrvive some tests from young guns in the first two rounds. Nadal defeated Nole in the 2010 and 2013 US Open championship matches while Nole took the 2011 title over Rafa. I think Novak comes out of this quarter, but a quarter with Rafa would be full of tension.
Quarter 2 – Kei and Marin Dream of 2014
Kei Nishikori played well enough in Montreal, but Andy Murray clobbered him in the semifinal round. Marin Cilic seems like an unlikely repeat champion, but his draw is not the worst he could have received. This quarter will likely place either Kei or someone unexpected in the semifinal round. I think either Grigor Dimitrov or Kei Nishikori will take advantage of this soft draw and reach the semifinal round. I will bold and contend that Dimitrov, despite a weak 2015, will find a way to win 5 matches to reach the semifinal round. This quarter is almost inexplicably soft.
Quarter 3 – Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka’s Chance for a 3rd Slam
Andy Murray won the 2012 US Open, but was dropped in the 2013 and 2014 quarterfinal round. Stan Wawrinka reached the 2013 US Open semifinal by beating Murray in the quarters. He also reached the 2014 quarterfinal round. The reported heavier conditions in New York should benefit both of the top seeds in this quarter. A lot of people are tabbing Murray to not only win this quarter but to be Nole’s toughest competition. I think Stan actually has a great chance to beat Murray if they reach the quarterfinal round for a showdown. A few powerful and/or in-form players such as Nick Kyrgios, Jack Sock, and Kevin Anderson lurk. Still, I think Stan Warinka d. Andy Murray to reach the semifinal round due to overpowering the Scot.
Quarter 4 – Roger’s Latest Last Best Chance?
It is one of the funniest things to consider how often people keep saying this is the last time the current world #2 can contend to win a Grand Slam. Roger Federer may not be the favorite at 34-years of age, but Roger is #2 in the world and has won 5 titles in 2015. Roger is at worst the 3rd most likely to win this title. Roger’s draw includes Tomas Berdych who eliminated Roger in the 2012 US Open quarterfinal round. Had Berdych maintained his early 2015 form, I’d call him the favorite to reach the semifinal round. However, Berdych has been plagued by poor showings since Roland Garros. Roger has a workable draw to reach another US Open semifinal. From there he may need a little help from the draw, but Roger is a contender.
Novak Djokovic d. Grigor Dimitrov
Roger Federer d. Stan Wawrinka
Novak Djokovic d. Roger Federer