The US Open 2011 looms ahead, and in barely a month we will be deep in prognostication as the final grand slam of the year comes upon us. It has been a fairly typical month and a half since the end of Wimbledon, and the intense competition in Europe it culminated. Its time for the hard court season, for new stories to emerge, or for old ones to prolong themselves.
The big names are the central focus, of course, and why shouldn't they be? Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are leading men's tennis in this golden summer of its time. The players of the tier below aren't exactly pushovers, either; Andy Murray, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Robin Soderling may well have been slam champs in another era.
Who will be our US Open champion this year? Its hard to say, and almost pointless to do so. What we can correctly crystal-ballgaze about, however, are the prospects for our top men's players over the next month and a half. Here they are.