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US Open 2015 – who are the ones to watch this year at Flushing Meadows?

As the summer reaches its close we all look forward to the last major of the year: the US Open. So who are the ones to watch out for this year at Flushing Meadows?

Well, we should be sure to look out for some of the usual suspects. Obviously, on the men’s side we will have Novak Djokovic as the firm favourite (despite only having won the title once in his career previously). Last year, Djokovic lost to Kei Nishikori in the semi-finals – will he go one better this time and take the title?

Djokovic currently seems to be in the form of his life and coming off fresh from an Australian Open title, a Roland Garros final and a Wimbledon title, it’s fair to say he is probably feeling pretty good about himself right now. Djokovic has closed out the past four out of five years as world number 1; will he top this year off with the number 1 ranking and his third grand slam of the year?

In the men’s final last year we had Marin Cilic battling it out with Kei Nishikori. Both were making their grand slam final debuts and one was to win their maiden grand slam title. Cilic ended up taking the title in a rather lacklustre final 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. But, in light of recent performances put in by the likes of Djokovic, Wawrinka, Federer and Murray, it seems slightly far-fetched that either Cilic or Nishikori will find themselves back in the US Open final this year. But, then again, the same would have been said about them this time last year; so perhaps we should never count out the underdogs. Afterall, Nishikori did overcome Raonic, Wawrinka and Djokovic on his way to the final last year; while Cilic ousted Berdych and Federer.

Stan Wawrinka (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

And always lurking on the sidelines is Stan Wawrinka. Wawrinka has a knack for defeating Djokovic at very crucial times: back in 2014 to reach the finals of the Australian Open (which he ultimately won) and again this year to win his first French Open title. Will he be the only one to stop Djokovic at the US Open this year? Or will his inconsistency be his demise in yet another grand slam (why exactly did he lose to Gasquet in the quarters of Wimbledon this year?!)?

Serena Williams is out there on her own again as the favourite to win the title on the women’s side. Williams has already achieved the Serena Slam twice; but, perhaps of even greater gravity, winning this title would mean that she will achieve her first calendar-year Grand Slam. Often referred to as the Holy Grail of tennis, the task has not been achieved since Steffi Graf won all four grand slams (and an Olympic gold medal!) back in 1988. This US Open title would also give Serena her 22nd major title which would see her equal Graf’s record.

Although there will be pressures on Serena – home crowd, the media and hype, the history books calling yet again, it is hard to see her losing on the fast hard courts at Flushing Meadows. Who are her biggest contenders?

First of all we should mention Victoria Azarenka. Out of their last ten meetings, Serena and Victoria have gone to three sets. In 2015, the pair have met three times and all three meetings have gone to three sets with Victoria having several match points and chances to win. Will Azarenka finally take her chances at this year’s US Open? Or will the “comeback queen” reign supreme?

Another one to watch throughout the tournament is Garbiñe Muguruza, the Wimbledon finalist who has been making quite a splash in the tennis world of late. Although Serena is 3-1 in their head-to-head Garbiñe does have a 6-2, 6-2 victory over the number one in the world at a grand slam, had a close three setter against her at this year’s Australian Open, and had a tough battle against the American again in the final of Wimbledon. So she could definitely be a threat to Serena’s shot at the calendar grand slam.

Is there anyone who can stand in the way of Serena’s fourth slam this year?

Is Djokovic going to steam roll the competition to claim his second US Open title?





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Ian Horne
Ian goes back to the very early days of CrunchSports, having been tirelessly covering soccer for us for over 10 years.

Ian goes back to the very early days of CrunchSports, having been tirelessly covering soccer for us for over 10 years.

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