Andy Swales analyses the form of the key contenders for the US Open singles championship, which starts in New York on Monday ...
"Djokovic’s success at SW19 in July means The Big Three have claimed the last seven Grand Slam titles between them, while extending the number of successive wins by male players over the age of 30 to eight."
In the world of men's tennis, it appears to be a case of 'As You Were' following Novak Djokovic's victory at Wimbledon last month.
Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Djokovic have all suffered from prolonged periods of injury, as well as recuperation from surgery, in recent years but they all head to New York as the three most likely winners at the forthcoming US Open.
Djokovic's success at SW19 in July means The Big Three have claimed the last seven Grand Slam titles between them, while extending the number of successive wins by male players over the age of 30 to eight.
In fact, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have scooped up 46 of the last 54 Slams, dating back to the summer of 2005, and their dominance seems set to continue at Flushing Meadows these next two weeks.
Defending champion Nadal won the recent Rogers Cup in Toronto, before skipping last week's Masters Series event in Cincinnati.
Federer, who remarkably has not won at Flushing Meadows since 2008, reached the final in Cincinnati where he lost to Djokovic, as the Serb claimed his second title of the season.
So Can Anyone Dislodge The Big Three?
Who will be their main rivals in the Big Apple?
Kevin Anderson: Runner-up in two Slams during the past 12 months but is he really ready to stand on the top step of the ladder? Since his brave and momentous run at Wimbledon, the South African has reached the semi-finals in Canada, before losing in the last 16 at Cincinnati.
Marin Cilic: His surprising second round defeat at Wimbledon, from two sets up against Guido Pella, must have hurt the 29-year-old Croatian. However, he made it through to the latter stages of both hard court tournaments during August, where he was beaten in deciding sets by Nadal and Djokovic - both of whom went on to win those respective events.
Juan Martin del Potro: Will fancy his chances of claiming a second US Open title having risen to No 3 in the ATP World Rankings. Was only 20 years old when he won at the Meadows in 2009, beating Federer in a gripping five-set final. During the past 12 months has lost three times to Nadal in Slams - twice at the semi-final stage.
Stefanos Tsitsipas: The 20-year-old from Greece is the sport's newest star as he prepares to make his US Open debut. He lost to Nadal in the final of the Rogers Cup earlier this month, which followed victories over four top-10 players - namely Anderson, Alexander Zverev, Djokovic and Dominic Thiem.
Stan Wawrinka: Although he currently stands well down rankings, he is a three-time Slam champion whose form has improved dramatically in recent weeks. The 33-year-old lost to Nadal in two extremely close sets in Toronto, before taking Federer to three in Cincinnati. If he gets a favourable draw, don't be surprised if he reaches the last eight in NY.
Alexander Zverev: Considered by many as the young pretender but has only once reached the quarter-finals of a Slam in 13 attempts. He also looks a little lightweight compared to the three big superstars.
CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO VIEW FORM AT LAST 10 GRAND SLAM EVENTS
Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive
Last 10 US Open Performances
|Juan Martin del Potro||SF||QF||Rd-2||QF||Rd-3||Won||QF|
|Pablo Carreno Busta||SF||Rd-3||Rd-2||Rd-3|
|Roberto Bautista Agut||Rd-3||Rd-3||Rd-4||Rd-4||Rd-2|
|Alex de Minaur||Rd-1|