Aaron Favila/Associated Press
Rafa Nadal Is Injured
Due to a wrist injury sustained in practice, Rafael Nadal had to miss the two Masters 1000 events this summer, and he announced Monday via a Facebook post (h/t AP, ABC News) that he would miss the U.S. Open as well. Despite his French Open win, it's been a season of struggles for the world No. 2.
With the defending champion sitting New York out, the whole complexion of the field is different.
The Top Guys Are a Bit Shaky
If you haven't been paying attention to tennis closely this year, you might not recognize the guys at the top of the game. Sure, their names ring a bell—Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray—but they look a bit different on the court.
Djokovic has looked unsure of himself and his game all year. And while he was still able to win Wimbledon, he has not looked good this summer, falling early at the Rogers Cup and the Western & Southern Open.
Murray, meanwhile, hasn't looked the same since coming back from back surgery at the beginning of the season.
Federer is in the best form of all of them, but his best isn't unbeatable. The top three are still dangerous but not as dominant as they have been in the past—hence why Stanislas Wawrinka was able to win the Australian Open at the beginning of the year.
The Young Guys Are Coming
As the guys at the top begin to show cracks in their facades, the younger generation is starting to make some waves. I use the term "younger" loosely here to mean the 25-and-under crowd. Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov and Kei Nishikori have particularly made big impressions this season.
Slowly but surely, there are signs that it's time for the next generation to shine.