Novak Djokovic started the 2011 US Open as strong favourite following a dominant year from the Serbian which has seen him not only draw level with Rafael Nadal but actually surpass the Spaniard and become the man to beat in world tennis.
Djokovic’s performances at Flushing Meadow strongly suggest that he will have three 2011 Grand Slams to his name by the end of this week, with Nikolay Davydenko only able to claim nine games during the pair’s third round match.
The bookmakers have responded accordingly, offering just 4/5 (bet365 – £200 free bets) about the world number one claiming his first US Open title and he should have few problems reaching the semi-final where Roger Federer is likely to be lying in wait.
Federer has won this Grand Slam on five occasions, although the latest of these came three years ago and the Swiss could easily be beaten by Mardy Fish or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarter finals, with the Frenchman having beaten the world number three twice in recent tournaments.
Even so, the 30-year-old is not someone you write off easily and he can be taken at 7/1 (Victor Chandler – £25 free betting) to claim a sixth US Open title, with Federer the only person to have beaten Djokovic in a major this year.
As for the bottom half of the draw, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray are on course for a rematch of their Wimbledon semi-final which the Spaniard won 3-1, although the world number two suffered from cramps after a third round win over David Nalbandian, with David Ferrer or Andy Roddick lying in wait for Nadal in the quarter final.
Nadal is a 9/2 chance with Victor Chandler to retain his crown, while Andy Murray is available at 5/1 to claim the spoils and he does appear to be improving with every round after a crushing win over Feliciano Lopez which saw the Spaniard claim just seven games.
With Juan Martin Del Potro having been beaten by Gilles Simon, it is interesting to see the latter on offer at 100/1, while Mardy Fish has also been playing top quality tennis recently and is probably the hottest American pick at 35/1.
Roddick is on offer at 80/1 and is more than capable of pulling off an upset, although A-Rod typically relies on his booming serve to stay in matches and it remains to be seen as to whether he can outpower Ferrer in their next game.