The US Open championships are up and running, and the top four players in the world have got off to impressive starts in their chase for US Open glory in a fortnight's time.
All safely into the third round at Flushing Meadows, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray have slugged out wins, while Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic haven't broken a sweat. Things are looking good in all the respective camps.
However, with the two matches out of the way, how do the top four rate against each other?
The Serbian world No. 1 has looked right at home on New York soil. With losses of just three games so far, Novak Djokovic has looked the most impressive of the top four.
Continuing the amazing form that has seen him claim the status as the top player in the world, and unfazed by the shoulder injury that troubled him at the Cincinnati Masters, Djokovic is looking unbeatable—and that, unfortunately, stinks of some sort of Pyrrhic victory.
It's been so far so good for Roger Federer at the US Open this year. He's made short work of both his opponents and does look—as he usually does—immensely better than his early round opponents.
The true measure of the post-2009 Roger Federer, is his consistency against the better players on the tour, so the jury remains out. However, one can only play what's put in front of him, right?
Rafael Nadal's consistency and form at the US Open so far, has been an improvement on his performance at the Cincinnati and Montreal Masters last month. Still, it can't be helped but felt that there are a few gears left for the Spaniard to climb up.
The world No. 2 has visibly added more oomph to his serve (although there is still a lack of penetration) and his ground-strokes look more on-point, for lack of a better word—but his court positioning is questionable.
Nadal has been fortunate to face two opponents with little to no confidence in their ability to see out a working game plan. Improvements are still needed.
Britain's world No. 4 Andy Murray usually—although inexplicably—finds a way to give ammo to his naysayers who claim it should be a "top three" not a "top four," and at the US Open this year he hasn't let up.
Murray is neither a slow starter nor a fast one—but when he is at his best, he is typically decisive. No better example of this than his demolition of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the US Open in 2008 and at the Cincinnati Masters two weeks ago, respectively.
Murray just scraped through his second round match against Robin Haase, and, although much should probably not be read into it—much will be read into it. Consistency will be the be-all and end-all for Murray at this year's tournament.
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