2012 US Open: The Top 5 Favorites to Take Home the Title
The two-week tennis tournament in Flushing, NY, otherwise known as the US Open, or the final Major of the tennis calendar year, kicked off August 27.
Five years from now, nobody is going to remember that Rafael Nadal did not play in the 2012 US Open, but people will remember the players that were favored to win the title.
Let's focus on the people that are playing, and the active favorites to watch.
Here are the five top favorites to take home the title.
Roger Federer has compiled a 56-7 record in 2012 and he brings that into Flushing, NY. He's also fresh off his most recent title at Cincinnati, where he exhibited some imposing tennis.
First up for Federer was American Donald Young, and Young was surely in over his head as Federer cruised through the first round without really breaking a sweat.
Federer has a lot on the line in this Major, as the chance to win a record-setting sixth US Open Championship is there for the taking.
Novak Djokovic comes into the US Open as a first time defender of the US Open trophy and is in a Nadal-less draw.
All signs point to him being a tough opponent and a good bet on someone to take home the title for a second year in a row.
The only possible cause for concern for Nole fans would be the drubbing he received in the final of the Cincinnati Masters on behalf of Roger Federer, just a little over a week ago.
It would have been impossible for Djokovic to duplicate the kind of tennis he played in 2011, but he's played fairly well in 2012, and it will be interesting to see if the pressure of repeating as US Open Champion gets to him or not.
There is no doubt that Andy Murray enters this year-end Major with the most confidence he's ever had.
He won a gold medal in front of his home country, and did so by dismantling the best champion ever in Roger Federer.
Suddenly, that elusive first Major championship that Murray continues to pine after, doesn't seem to hold as much weight as it did before he won gold in London.
Murray has shown that when he doesn't beat himself, he's as good as anybody in the men's draw. If he ever had his best chance to win a Major, it is now.
Sam Stosur comes in as the defending Champion of the US Open and she wasted no time on Day 1, as she beat down Petra Martic 6-1, 6-1 en route to protecting her title.
Stosur is a player who has beaten Serena Williams when Williams played her best tennis, and with something like that on the resume, anyone who plays Stosur is in for a rough time.
Despite her first-round exit at this years' Australian Open, and her second-round exit at Wimbledon, she did reach the semis of the French Open.
Look for her to cap off 2012 with a very strong effort to repeat as US Open Champion.
Azarenka can't seem to climb out of Serena Williams' shadow, and with a recent loss to Williams in the London Olympics, you can bet that Victoria will be playing this Major with a big chip on her shoulder.
Azarenka has proven herself to be a tough matchup for anybody. Earlier in 2012, she ousted Sharapova in the Australian Open final to capture her first Major Championship. Then the 23-year-old beat defending US Open Champ Sam Stosur to win the title at Doha back in February.
Typically a No. 1 seed at a Major doesn't have much to prove, but in this case, Azarenka will play like she does.
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