It comes as no surprise that bookmakers have installed Novak Djokovic as an overwhelming favourite to win the 2019 US Open title yet again but can his opponents exploit any chinks in his armour following his early exit at the Cincinnati Masters?
Djokovic, who has won four of the previous five Grand Slam titles, is a firm favourite at 6/5 (888Sport) to defend his title at Flushing Meadows. He enters the competition having played only in Cincinnati where he was a favourite to go the distance after Rafael Nadal had pulled out and Roger Federer was beaten early but went down in the semi-final.
Against a solid showing by Medvedev, Djokovic had lost the semi-final after having led by a set at one time. However, Djokovic downplayed that defeat, saying he could take a lot of positives out of his showing in that tournament.
“I lost to a player that was playing amazing, so I`ll take that and I`ll move forward to New York and have a good practice week.”
“Then, of course, get myself ready for the Open. I love playing in those conditions there on centre court. I`m going to fight for a title as everyone else does, and I like my chances. I feel good and I look forward to it.”
Interestingly, Djokovic has had a few surprising losses already this year, starting with one in Doha and Miami to Roberto Bautista-Agut, Phil Kohlschreiber in Indian Wells, Medvedev in Monte-Carlo and Dominic Thiem at the French Open but juxtapose that with his showing at the Grand Slams this season and it’s easy to see why he is such an overwhelming choice to clinch another title at the US Open.
Djokovic won the Australian Open including a bulldozing of Nadal in the final in straight sets, and then went on to clinch the Wimbledon title but after being down two match-points in the title-decider against Federer. The two finals are a pointer to both, his aptitude and his attitude; an ability to crush opponents when given an inch and one to fight back even when the chips are drastically down.
Nadal is second on that list but can hardly be called a close competitor with offers of 4/1 (bet365) for his win. In fact his last non-French Open major title win had come at the US Open in 2017 but in the nine years since the 2010 edition of this competition, he has won just two non-French Open majors.
And third on the favourites charts is Federer but he is even further behind Nadal, with the Swiss maestro and five-time winner down at 15/2 (Blacktype) to clinch another title here. While Federer has won the US Open those many times, his last victory here came in 2008 – he won all those five in a row – and since then he has made it to the final just twice. Once in 2009 when Juan Martin del Potro defeated him and the other occasion was a defeat at the hands of Djokovic in 2015.
Medvedev, as a result of his three successive finals on hard court surfaces – he won at Cincinnati after being a runner-up to Nick Kyrgios and Nadal at Washington and Montreal – is the fourth favourite for the US Open title. At 16/1, he is an attractive option but it remains to be seen how he regroups from having played so much tennis in recent times.
Others who could be worth considering at the moment are Stefanos Tsitsipas and Dominic Thiem (both 28/1 at 888Sport), Stan Wawrinka, Alexander Zverev and Nick Krygios (40/1) and Kei Nishikori (50/1 at William Hill).
Get the latest 2019 US Open predictions, tips & odds here.