The 2014 U.S. Open men's and women's draw will be revealed on Thursday during the official draw ceremony at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
As the U.S. Open announced via Twitter on Monday, 2013 champion Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the tournament with a wrist injury. Wimbledon winner Novak Djokovic is the favorite to take the men's singles title prior to the draw at 6-5. For the WTA, back-to-back winner Serena Williams leads the lines at 7-4.
Let's break down some of the other ATP and WTA singles favorites to win it all in Flushing Meadows, with an odds overview and predictions for the men's and women's titles.
Djokovic claimed the top seed while Roger Federer took the No. 2 seed. Djokovic will attempt to become the first player to reach a fifth consecutive U.S. Open final since Federer did so from 2004 through 2009.
Because they are seeded 1-2, Djokovic and Federer could only meet in the final.
He won't get the opportunity to stage a rematch against Nadal this year after falling to him 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in 2013. But coming off his Wimbledon win, Djokovic will prove difficult to challenge as he looks to win it all at the U.S. Open, including his eighth career Grand Slam singles crown.
One of his challengers will be 2012 U.S. Open champion Andy Murray, who is seeded eighth and has lost some go-ahead victories in recent months, including when Federer rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati to knock Murray out. If Murray can keep his head in the game when he's up, he could be a solid bet at 4-1 odds.
ATP Prediction: Roger Federer
We'll go against the odds on this one simply because while Djokovic won at Wimbledon, he's looked less than stellar in uncharacteristic losses since, falling to Tommy Robredo in Cincinnati and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Toronto. Federer, on the other hand, has strung together a superb summer circuit, winning in Cincinnati and making the final of both the Rogers Cup and Wimbledon. With Nadal out, Federer won't have to worry about playing Djokovic until potentially the final, which carves out a clear path to the championship and his 18th title.
Coming off her Cincinnati title, Serena Williams is dangerous. As Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times noted, the title was Williams' white whale. Now that she's won it, what's to stop her from carrying the momentum all the way through the U.S. Open final?
Serena Williams grabs the biggest title that had eluded her, winning Cincinnati with a comprehensive 6-4, 6-1 win over a tired Ana Ivanovic.— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 17, 2014
Not far behind Williams is Maria Sharapova with 5-1 odds to take the women's singles title. Sharapova enters the tournament aiming to win her sixth Grand Slam singles trophy. After watching from the sidelines with a shoulder injury at the 2013 U.S. Open, Sharapova will be hungry for the finals this year.
After Williams beat Caroline Wozniacki 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the Western & Southern Open final, there's no doubt Wozniacki will be looking for her opportunity to top Williams at Flushing Meadows.
The women's seeding for the U.S. Open will be announced Wednesday, which could affect these odds prior to the draw ceremony Thursday.
WTA Prediction: Serena Williams
Who else? Williams is in top form heading into the U.S. Open in terms of her game—whether or not she wins depends on if she can stay in the same mindset she was in as she convincingly won her first Cincinnati title 6-4, 6-1 over Ana Ivanovic. After winning the Stanford title, Williams fell to sister Venus in the semifinals of the Rogers Cup and got off to a slow start in Cincinnati after three straight weeks of play. But she found her stride just in time to head to Flushing Meadows. Williams also won the U.S. Open Series trophy last year before going on to win the U.S. Open.