The 2013 U.S. Open is drawing closer in the summer swing, and though the draws are not determined yet, there is no doubt that all players will have tough roads in the championship.
The top of the men's game seems to be in a small state of confusion, while the up-and-comers are starting to pounce on their opportunities.
It may not be easy to label any particular player as a definitive favorite to win the title just because of the unexpected losses and upsets that can occur in any part of the draw.
Here are the players who are most likely to take out a major player in Flushing Meadows.
While it is taking Grigor Dimitrov a long time to adjust to expectations and Grand Slams in general, there is no doubt that he is on to big things.
He has a huge and very crafty game and can move around the court exceptionally.
His all-court game is something that can trouble a player with any type of monstrous weapon, and he definitely has the belief and will power to win big matches.
The problem with the young Bulgarian is he still has not actually "broken out" onto the tour in a major, but maybe this final Slam of 2013 will be his time to shine.
While John Isner is a Top 20 player, he was not playing like it for the first half of the year.
Now that he has several wins under his belt and looks to be back at his best, he surely recognizes that there is no better time for him to win memorable matches than right now.
His unprecedented service motion and follow-up forehand form one of the deadliest combinations on the planet.
Big John's fitness, movement and groundstrokes have also picked up over the past few years, and the fact that he takes so many players out of their comfort zones leads me to believe that he can do big things in New York.
Tommy Robredo has somehow managed to produce some of the best tennis of his career at the latter stages of his (tennis) life.
Enjoying a tremendous year-to-date, he has become prominent, even with other very successful Spaniards lurking in various draws.
He has incredible agility, which is impressive given his age, to back up his clay style of play.
Though his groundstrokes are not among the best out there, they certainly pack a punch and can break down opponents systematically.
He is on a good string of wins (and losses) and can upset a player or two on a good day.
Ernests Gulbis, the powerful and sometimes-nutty Latvian, has been a new man in 2013.
Though he has not really achieved immense results, he has proved to be trouble for all opponents in all tournaments.
For one or two matches in early stages of tournaments, he is one of the most terrifying athletes to go up against for the Top 10 members.
He truly has no weaknesses, except for his head at times, and he has committed to becoming a better tennis player on and off the court.
Should he get a tough first-round opponent in the draw, I would call it a scary sight for both of them.
Fernando Verdasco definitely has his fair share of weaknesses—his backhand at times, volleys, second serve and mental strength.
However, his ranking must have dropped so low after the clay-court season that he realized it was time to feel inspired and motivated again.
Verdasco has been in the Top 10 before and still knows how to crank out winners from all parts of the court.
His fitness, skill and tenacity are what makes him a dark horse in upcoming tournaments.
The biggest concern for him, though, is that he can lose to players of all rankings and usually starts off matches very slowly. So long as he isn't dropping the first set against all of these higher-ranked opponents, he should be given a very good chance to pull off an upset.
Gael Monfils, while not being talked about as a solid Top 20 player anymore, is still ready at all times to play a big match against a big opponent with a big crowd to watch.
Monfils is certainly known for his speed, as he is one of the faster players on tour, but he also has a serve that I would rank near the top 10.
He can generate unprecedented pace when attempting to pull the trigger, plus his defensive counterpunching style makes opponents sick of playing.
When this French player is in the draw against a top player, there should be upset alert written all over it.
Florian Mayer is getting older and better with time (notice this trend among the ATP tour players).
His tricky and frustrating game is good enough to take out any top opponent.
While he has not really beaten that many players in the Top 10, he has been close in many sets and often loses his spark when dropping a close set.
The U.S. Open provides a perfect court surface for his game, and he could soon be on his way back into the Top 20.
Do not count on this man to beat a Top 10 player, per se, but he can very easily beat any of the other 20-something people ranked above him.
Stanislas Wawrinka is on this list because I think he stands a great chance of beating the higher-ranked Top 10 athletes.
Richard Gasquet and Wawrinka are similar players on the court, but the Frenchman lacks that little bit of firepower necessary to take home the memorable win.
The Swiss man is capable of beating any of the other Top 10 players, with, perhaps, a slight exception in the case of Rafael Nadal, whom he has never really challenged too much.
"Stan the Man" has a deadly arsenal and has gotten much better at moving around the court and playing the right shots from out-of-place positions.