It's never too early to begin looking ahead.
Sure, the image of Novak Djokovic kissing the Wimbledon Championship trophy is still fresh in our minds, but that doesn't mean we can't start speculating about the last Grand Slam tournament of the year. This one may, in fact, be the hardest to predict.
The main contenders for the 2011 U.S. Open are, of course, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic. With all due respect to Andy Murray and 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro, their formidable games are not quite within striking distance of the sport's dominant trifecta.
Within this trio, one finds the defending champion (Nadal), the hottest player all year (Djokovic) and a guy who happens to be the only player in the Open Era to ever win five consecutive U.S. Open titles (Federer).
But who has the edge right now? Let's take a closer look so you have something to ponder for the next couple of months.