Tournament Info: The U.S. Open is second only to Wimbledon in prestige and age.
1. Rafael Nadal
Not only is this year seemingly Nadal's best chance to win a U.S. Open title, he's got the momentum from winning the past two grand slams and will probably be healthier and fresher.
With a win, Nadal will become part of a select few players who have managed to win the coveted career slam. Can he do it? Yes, but this will always be his hardest title to achieve.
2. Roger Federer
Similar to Wimbledon, this is not exactly Roger's house, but more like his summer home. Basically it may as well be. He was kicked out last year and now he wants back in, but his declining form and surprise losses are beginning to add up. If he fails to make a deep run, the drums sounding his demise will only grow louder. In many ways this is his most important slam in some time.
3. Andy Murray
The U.S. Open has been kind to Murray in the last couple of years where he has posted excellent results. Still looking for his maiden slam, this may prove to be his best surface for it as it plays right into his style.
4. Andy Roddick
The site where Roddick won his one and only grand slam seven years ago would be a fitting place to get No. 2 and end the year on a very positive note. The question now is will he be mentally ready after a somewhat dismal summer?
5. Marin Cillic
Cillic has proven over the last 18 months that he is a real threat, especially on hard courts. The question now is whether he can lift his game enough in the big matches to make it to the final in order to have a chance at lifting the trophy. He's been getting closer. Time will tell.
2009 Champion: Juan Martin Del Potro
2010 Pick: Rafael Nadal
The last two years have been unlucky for Nadal at the U.S. Open. Last year he had a torn abdominal muscle but still made it to the semi-finals. In 2008, Nadal won Olympic gold, but it drained him so much that Andy Murray rolled him in the semi-finals.
This year reminds me of 2008 without the Olympics. With a healthier Nadal however and a thinner schedule, I believe Nadal wins and completes his career slam and tightens his grip on the ATP tour.
With a win, and better schedule management, and an aim to take care of his body at all costs, Nadal may just enter a period of Federer like domination over the next few years.