Juan Martin del Potro practicing on Kids' Day
The 2012 US Open, which starts on Monday, will prove to be a wide-open tournament.
Rafael Nadal is out and his would-be section of the draw presents a tremendous number of dark horses.
Tough opponents for the big men are inevitable, especially for Juan Martin del Potro, who drew fellow countryman David Nalbandian in the first round.
Let's have a look at the favorites in each quarter.
Nole is the favorite in his section of the draw up until at least the quarterfinal stage.
His toughest opponent in the fourth round would be Alexandr Dolgopolov, who certainly cannot guarantee that he will make it that far.
The only true test for him in the quarters would be Juan Martin del Potro.
Delpo got the best of the Serb in the bronze medal match at the Olympics, though there was a role reversal in their most recent meeting.
In the semifinals, life gets much harder for the No. 2 seed. John Isner, Richard Gasquet, Viktor Troicki, Janko Tipsarevic, Tommy Haas, David Ferrer and Philipp Kohlschreiber have all given him stern tests in other matches.
Still, his path to the final looks clear-cut.
The fourth-seeded Spaniard will have an incredibly tough time reaching the semifinals.
In my predicted draw, which you can access on the final slide, I put Ferrer through to the semis.
In reality, I think he will lose in the fourth round to either Tommy Haas or Richard Gasquet. Also, Kevin Anderson in the first round is a tough break for the hopeful athlete.
He should not make the semifinals, but I have a strange feeling he will.
The in-form Andy Murray has the toughest draw of the Big Four in this tournament.
Even from the get-go he will be worked overtime. Milos Raonic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are the main men who could prevent him from facing Roger Federer.
Tsonga, in my mind, is the true fourth seed in this event and can give anybody a run for his money on a given day.
Andy is still the favorite to reach the semis but is expected to lose at that stage.
Mardy Fish and Gilles Simon could potentially threaten the Maestro, but his path is truly unobstructed until the quarters.
There he could face Tomas Berdych or Sam Querrey, both of whom are playing sublime tennis at the moment.
The semifinal presents Tsonga, Murray and Raonic as possible opponents—each of these guys has failed to do much damage against Rog in the Majors.
The final we all want to see is Federer against Novak Djokovic, and I cannot see any other possible matchup occurring.
To see how my US Open ATP draw played out, click here.
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