NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The 2018 US Open tennis tournament begins Monday in Queens with a full slate of action. Expert Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog.com and Metro New York, breaks down the favorites hoping to take home the championship.
Rafael Nadal (No. 1 seed)
The defending US Open champ is ranked No. 1 in the world after compiling a 40-3 record in 2018 with five titles, including his 11th French Open crown and 17th Grand Slam title in June, and the recent hardcourt event in Toronto. Nadal is seeking his fourth US Open title after winning in 2010, ’13 and ’17.
Roger Federer (No. 2 seed)
Amazing as it sounds, Federer hasn’t won the US Open since 2008, when he won the last of five straight crowns. The 37-year-old Swiss Maestro has won every other major more recently than the Open, including this year’s Australian Open, where he captured his 20th career Grand Slam title.
So by that logic, he’s either overdue to win in New York or destined to fall short yet again. A year ago, Juan Martin del Potro stunned Federer in the quartefinals, depriving New York fans of a Federer-Nadal semifinal.
Novak Djokovic (No. 6 seed)
Djokovic enters as the favorite to win the Open, with Ladbrokes giving him odds of 3/1 compared to 7/2 for Nadal and 4/1 for Federer. The Serb has won 15 of his last 16 matches, including capturing the Wimbledon title and beating Federer to take the title in Cincinnati. He is seeking his third Open title after winning in 2011 and ’15.
Juan Martin del Potro (No. 3 seed): The 2009 Open champ is 26-6 on hardcourts this year.
Kevin Anderson (No. 5 seed): Last year’s runner-up also used his massive serve to reach the Wimbledon final.
Marin Cilic (No. 7 seed): The 2014 US Open winner has the weapons to beat anyone on hardcourts.
Stefanos Tsitsipas (No. 15 seed): The 20-year old “Greek Freak” beat four Top 10 players en route to the Toronto final.
Simona Halep (No. 1)
The world No. 1 won her maiden Grand Slam at the French Open, and followed that with a strong hardcourt season. She won the Rogers Cup in Montreal over Sloane Stephens, and then reached the Cincinnati final, losing to to Kiki Bertens
“I still think Halep’s the one to beat,” Mary Jo Fernandez said on ESPN. “She’s the one who has won the most matches this season.”
Sloane Stephens (No. 3 seed)
The reigning US Open champ was also the runner-up in the French Open, but lost in the opening round at Wimbledon for the second straight year.
Serena Williams (No. 17 seed)
It’s tough to call someone who hasn’t won a title in 2018 and is 3-4 this year on outdoor hardcourts a favorite, but this is Serena. She hasn’t won the US Open since 2014 but Williams is hungry to win her record-tying 24th Grand Slam title and is always a threat in New York.
Angelique Kerber (No. 4 seed): Over the last eight majors, Kerber is the only woman to have captured more than one. She won Wimbledon this summer, beating Serena in the final, and is the 2016 US Open champ.
Kiki Bertens (No. 13 seed): She beat four Top 10 players en route to the title in Cincinnati, including the world No. 1 and 2 players in Halep and Caroline Wozniacki .