Heading into Day 10 of the 2012 U.S. Open, the pressures and expectations on the world's greatest tennis players are starting to reach phenomenal heights.
We all want our favorite players to finish the tournament strong; we all want our favorite player to be the one lifting high that trophy on the final day of competition.
We want stellar matchups and a dream Grand Slam final.
Here are four players who must prevail for that to happen.
Novak Djokovic is a player that many, if not all, tennis fans want to see in the final. The Serbian international has been one of the sport's greatest competitors, and he will continue to be so over the next few years, as his strong ground game is bound to keep him in the upper echelon.
Djokovic recently lost his claim as the best player in the world courtesy of Roger Federer's 2012 Wimbledon triumph, and you can guarantee that he wants it back. To do that, he'll need to take home the Grand Slam trophy from Flushing Meadows.
Djokovic, ranked No. 2 in the world, will play Stanislas Wawrinka in the fourth round for a place in the final eight.
Djokovic's dream opponent in the final would be Roger Federer—the man who has the No. 1 ranking and an incredibly large target on his back.
The Swiss maestro is one of the most-loved, most-followed tennis players in the world, and a Grand Slam showdown against Djokovic would be a fan's delight and a great testament to the quality and skill that both men possess.
Not much would be better than the top two players in the tournament playing for the title.
Serena Williams will end her career as one of the most successful women in tennis history. And with the home crowd behind her, you get the feeling she's poised to challenge for another Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows this year.
Serbian Ana Ivanovic stands between her and a place in the final four.
Seeing Williams in the final would be a dream for American fans, officials and tennis followers around the world.
However, for Williams to claim to be the best, she has to first defeat the best. And at the moment, that mantle belongs to Victoria Azarenka, who has already booked her spot in the semifinals after defeating Samantha Stosur in a gripping three-set encounter.
She is poised to add to her 2012 Australian Open title by winning the U.S. title as well.
A match against Williams in front of an American crowd would truly be the sweetest victory of them all for Azarenka, and one that would surely justify her claim as the top-ranked women's player in the game today.
What Grand Slam final matchups would you like to see?
Comment below or hit me up on Twitter: Follow @dantalintyre