Can anyone disrupt the domination of the Big Three at Flushing Meadows? Andy Swales provides a form guide ahead of the forthcoming men's singles at the US Open...
"For those who would like to see the titles shared around a little more, there is one small glimmer of hope ahead of Flushing Meadows, with the news that the US Open tends to be marginally more accommodating, than the other three slams, when it comes to diversity of champions."
Once again, we head into a men's Grand Slam tennis tournament asking if there is anyone out there who is capable of breaking the domination of the world's top three.
Between them, Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer have claimed the most recent 11 slams, as well as 33 of the last 39.
Despite an average age of 34 years and five months, this trio seems to be getting better and better, and there doesn't appear to be anyone on the horizon good enough to dislodge these three giants of tennis.
For those who would like to see the titles shared around a little more, there is one small glimmer of hope ahead of Flushing Meadows, with the news that the US Open tends to be marginally more accommodating, than the other three slams, when it comes to diversity of champions.
This is borne out by the following data:
• Only one of the last 14 winners of the Australian Open has not been Djokovic, Nadal or Federer.
• At the French Open it is just one of the last 15.
• For Wimbledon it is two in 17.
• Yet, at the US Open, it is as many as four of the last 10.
It is also worth noting that Federer's most recent victory in New York came in 2008, which should provide a little more confidence to the other 125 competitors taking part in the final Grand Slam of 2019.
Where Are The Young Guns?
As for the younger players competing in the US Open, which starts on Monday, the one who has stood out in recent weeks is new world No 5 Daniil Medvedev.
The 23-year-old Russian has reached the final of back-to-back Masters Series events in Montreal and Cincinnati.
In Canada he was trounced by Rafa Nadal but responded brilliantly in Ohio where he claimed a maiden Masters title, which included a victory over Djokovic in the semi-finals.
The six-foot, six-inch, Medvedev is yet to reach the last eight of a slam but he's certainly in good shape to do so during these next couple of weeks.
The other four, aged 25 and under, currently in the top-10 of the ATP World Ranking are Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Karen Khachanov.
Thiem had a great first six months of the year, winning the Masters Series title at Indian Wells before losing in the final at Roland Garros, but appears to have run out of steam in recent weeks.
Zverev seems to have gone backwards over the last 18 months, while Tsitsipas and Khachanov have continued to progress but it is doubtful whether either could beat one of the Big Three over five sets in New York.
Even the older guys appear to have lost heart. Marin Cilic is heading quickly down the ranking, following a brace of Slam final defeats during the past couple of years.
Check out latest betting ahead of the men's singles at the US Open
Big-serving duo Kevin Anderson and John Isner, aged 33 and 34 respectively, are also travelling in the wrong direction, leaving world No 7 Kei Nishikori as the only one of the older brigade still in the top 10.
Nishikori, runner-up at Flushing Meadows in 2014, has reached the semi-finals in New York, in three of his last four visits.
However, the 29-year-old has lost his only two hard court matches since reaching the quarter-finals of Wimbledon, so arrives in the Big Apple without any form to speak of.
One other name to mention is that of Nick Kyrgios. The angry Aussie won the Citi Open in Washington DC, at the end of July, beating Medvedev in the final thanks to two tie-break sets.
The world No 29 is capable of anything but it would be a massive surprise for Kyrgios to go all the way to the final.
Which takes us back to the Big Three? If Federer is unable to claim a first US Open crown in 12 years, then that leaves Nadal and Djokovic, with the Serbian a winner of 10 slam titles on hard court - including the most recent two.
Everything still points in his direction but at least the US Open is the most unpredictable of slams. We can only hope of watching some new faces during the latter stages in New York but I won't be holding my breath.
Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive
Key For Men's Slams Events: 1 - '19 Wimbledon; 2 - '19 French Open; 3 - '19 Australian Open; 4 - '18 US Open; 5 - '18 Wimbledon; 6 - '18 French Open; 7 - '18 Australian Open; 8 - '17 US Open; 9 - '17 Wimbledon; 10 - '17 French Open
Last 10 Grand Slam Results (selected players)
|Roberto Bautista Agut||SF||Rd-3||QF||Rd-1||Rd-3||Rd-1||Rd-3||Rd-4||Rd-4|
|Alex de Minaur||Rd-2||Rd-2||Rd-3||Rd-3||Rd-3||Rd-1||Rd-1||Rd-1||Rd-1|
|Juan Ignacio Londero||Rd-1||Rd-4|
|Pablo Carreno Busta||Rd-1||Rd-3||Rd-4||Rd-2||Rd-1||Rd-3||Rd-4||SF||QF|
|Roberto Carballes Baena||Rd-1||Rd-2||Rd-1||Rd-2||Rd-1||Rd-1|