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Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal could be set to miss this year’s US Open, which is due to get underway later this month. Djokovic’s refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccination means he is currently unable to enter the United States, while Nadal is struggling with injury and hasn’t played since pulling out of this summer’s Wimbledon ahead of his semi-final with Nick Kyrgios. If Djokovic and Nadal are absent from Flushing Meadows, Kyrios could fancy his chances of landing the trophy. And Express Sport takes a look at five contenders for the US Open title, including the Australian.
Kyrgios might be best-known in the tennis world for his outbursts on the court and made plenty of friends and foes in the Wimbledon crowd earlier this summer with his extroverted behaviour. The 27-year-old had never gone beyond a Grand Slam quarter-final before his run at the All England Club but took the opportunity to show what he could do.
Kyrgios doesn’t have the best record at the US Open as he has never gone past the third round and has lost half of his matches there. But he has a huge serve and could now possess a new belief that he can compete with the best in the world. And if he can control his emotions, he might just put another strong run together.
Daniil Medvedev is always a huge threat at Flushing Meadows and stormed to the title there last year as he dispatched Djokovic in the final in style. Djokovic was the overwhelming favourite to win the showpiece event as he aimed to get his hands on all four Grand Slams in the same calendar year. But Medvedev saw off his rival in straight sets.
JUST IN: Nick Kyrgios and Andy Murray in US Open danger with tough draw and Medvedev clash looming
The Russian also reached the US Open final in 2019 and the semi-finals in 2020 so he certainly knows his way around the court in New York. And after being banned from Wimbledon along with other Russian and Belarusian players, the 26-year-old could be hungrier than ever for success.
Carlos Alcaraz is arguably the best young player in world tennis at the moment and has been tipped to achieve big things in the sport. The 19-year-old reached the US Open quarter-finals during his maiden appearance in New York last year and has since gone on to win a string of ATP Masters titles.
The Spaniard won the Miami Open title on a hard court in April but will need to show he has what it takes to do the business over five sets on the biggest stage of all if he wants to land his first-ever Grand Slam next month.
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Another tennis superstar in the making is Jannik Sinner. The 20-year-old Italian almost knocked Djokovic out of Wimbledon after racing to a two-set lead against the eventual champion in their quarter-final showdown. Sinner, who won the Croatia Open at the end of last month after defeating Alcaraz in the final, has already shown he has the right mentality to perform in Grand Slams and his Wimbledon experience might just pave the way for success at the US Open.
Dominic Thiem has struggled for form recently and could be overlooked by many as a potential champion. He struggled with injuries last year and has fallen to world No 172. But the Austrian got some wins under his belt throughout July and won the title at Flushing Meadows two years ago. So he could fancy his chances of going all the way again.
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