Tennis has always been dominated by a core of players, but there always used to be players who came from the periphery to win tournaments.
But, in recent years, this has not been the case, as Grand Slam tournaments have all been dominated by the ‘Big Four’.
Only two players outside of this ‘Big Four’ have won a Major since 2005. The first of which was Marat Safin, who won the 2005 Australian Open, and the second is the Argentinean Juan Martin Del-Potro who took the 2009 title at Flushing Meadows.
This means that of the 35 Major Championships between 2005 and 2013, 33 have been spread between just four people, of which Andy Murray has won just two. Novak Djokovic has snared six, Rafael Nadal 12 and the legendary Roger Federer has a mere 13.
But I think that the US Open of 2013 could be different. I think it could be the perfect time for another player to come out from the wood-work and prove himself.
The reason for my optimism toward the less fancied players is due to the form, or lack of it, for the ‘Big Four’.
Rafael Nadal has obviously not been himself this season, due to injuries, and granted, he may have won the Cincinnati Masters last week, but I’m not sure he will last the two weeks needed to prevail.
Novak Djokovic has certainly not been at his almost invincible best this year, as proven by his quarter-final exit at Cincinnati at the hands of John Isner.
The Serbian World Number 1 has been off the pace this year, a trait personified by his lacklustre performance in the Wimbledon final, which gifted the title to Andy Murray.
Murray himself will be confident, but I don’t expect him to progress past the semi-finals, especially after his uncharacteristically poor performance in Ohio.
Roger Federer, in my opinion, tennis’ greatest player, has not been challenging for many titles recently, after consistently failing to advance into the latter stages.
Now to the players whom I think will challenge for the title. John Isner is a good outside bet to reach at least the semis after his runner-up performance at Cincinnati.
Juan Martin Del-Potro is a former US Open champion, and has excellent Grand Slam pedigree.
David Ferrer is always going to be there or there about, due to his dogged determination and unbelievable stamina. Jo Wilfried Tsonga is a fan favourite and has the big hitting ability that will serve him well in New York.
Tomas Berdych is a wonderful tennis player, who never seems to be able to hit form when the Majors come around. If I were a betting man then I’d put some money on Del-Potro and maybe Isner to reach the semis.
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