In the past few years the tennis world has been dominated by the big four of Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.

However, recently things have started to change with the rising stars of tennis developing the game to cause monumental upsets, propelling the players in question into the spotlight.

The reason i'm backing a rising star for this years US Open is because there hasn't been anyone from the top four who has dominated the sport this year.

So far this season the Grand Slams have been equally shared, which has been rare of recent years with the Serbian Djokovic dominating most major finals.

To start the year we had Djokovic winning in Australia for the fourth time, after that Nadal made his comeback with a win at Roland Garros with a win over his fellow Spaniard David Ferrer. After that we saw Andy Murray shake Great Britain by becoming the first man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry 77 years ago.

To add to this, all of there form has been very dippy of recent months with Murray being eliminated from the Montreal Masters by Ernests Gulbis in straight sets 6-4 6-3.

After that he would continue in the same form, getting knocked out of the Rogers Cup in Cincinnati by Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-4. This means the Scotsman is unlikely to retain his title in New York.

Djokovic's year has been somewhat of an anti-climax with everyone expecting him to be his normal dominant self with Nadal out because of his injury.

However, so far he has only picked up one Major in Melbourne beating Andy Murray in four sets. To add to this he's only been in one other major final this year in Wimbledon where he didn't even get a set off Murray.

Since then Djokovic has been off form not getting into any ATP tennis final. The closest was against Nadal in the semi-finals of the Montreal Masters.

After that loss to the Spaniard he followed Murray into misery by losing in the quater-finals of the Cinncinatti Masters to John Isner who was ranked outside the top 20 at 22. Therefore I believe the Serbian wont be challenging for the trophy this time round.

Roger Federer's long career has seemed to take somewhat of a 'slump' this year. He hasnt got into one grand slam final and only one semi-final at the Australian Open. To make things even worse for Federer he's only won one tournament in Halle, Germany.

Arguably his most shocking defeat this year was in the second round of Wimbledon losing to Sergiy Stakhovsky who is now ranked 116th in the world.

This isn't the first person he has lost to outside the top 100 this year, he also lost to Federico Delbonis in Hamburg 7-6 7-6. More recently he lost to Nadal in the Cincinnati Masters 5-7 6-4 6-3, which shows that he is not able to compete with his big rivals.

This brings me on to Nadal. Even though recently he has been winning more tournaments again I don't think he'll be able to keep up this level of fitness and form going into Flushing Meadows.

He has won nine titles this year, obviously his most special one coming in Paris where he beat his fellow compatriot David Ferrer to win the title. He has also one in Cincinnati this month beating the 6' 10'' John Isner to claim the victory. Nadal will go into New York the out right favorite but I think there might be some unexpected hurdles in his way.

For example someone who I have already mentioned in this article, John Isner. The giant has very recently started to get his name heard again in the sport after pulling off two upsets to the No.1 Novak Djokovic and world No. 6 Juan Martin Del Potro.

Isner beat three top ten players in Cincinnati, which saw his ranking rise from 22 to 17.

He has won two titles this year in Atlanta and Houston, some may argue that it is not one of the most important or prestigious tournaments but it still shows that the American has what it takes to win tournaments.

I believe if he keeps up this form going into the US Open he is most certainly in with a shout of at least getting to the quarters.

Another name who has actually won this tournament before is Juan Martin Del Potro. 

In 2009 the man from Argentina took his chance and beat the 17 time grand slam winner Roger Federer in an epic five set match. Unfortunately the 24 year-old soon got injured after winning in New York and had to take a lengthy spell out of tennis which saw him fall down the rankings a lot.

His ranking falling out of the top 400 at one point. However he quickly came back and showed no signs of nerves winning in Estoril and Delray Beach the following year.

Now he has climbed back up the rankings to the number 6 spot, just in front of Federer who he beat in the US Open all those years ago. This year he has won one title in Washington, beating John Isner in the final 3-6 6-1 6-2.

However, in the Montreal and Cincinnati Masters he lost to people lower ranked than him in John Isner and Milos Raonic. But nhe has shown that he can perform well on the big stage so I believe he is a good contender to regain his trophy in Flushing Meadows.

Another man who has had some memorable victories this year is the Canadian Milos Raonic. After progressing to the final of the Montreal Masters Raonic became the first Canadian to get into the top 10 of the ATP rankings for years.

This year he has won one title in San Jose beating the veteran Tommy Haas in the final 6-4 6-3. The Montenegro born tennis players height of 6' 5'' means his biggest weapon is his serve going into the US Open.

His most impressive win this year came against Del Potro in the third round of Montreal, winning 7-5 7-6. I think if he can get off to a good start he is in with a good chance of upsetting the odds this year.

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Topics:
US Open Tennis
Tennis