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US Open Tennis 2016: Sleepers to Watch and Latest Odds to Win Championship

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistAugust 25, 2016

Novak Djokovic
Novak DjokovicJeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

The U.S. Open is the final major tournament on the tennis calendar every year, coming just after Wimbledon.

The event is normally the province of the best tennis players in the world, and there's a good chance that Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray will reign supreme in the New York tournament this season when it starts Monday.

However, fans will not get a chance to see Roger Federer compete for the title as he recovers from knee surgery.

Andy Murray
Andy MurrayJohn Minchillo/Associated Press

While Djokovic is the even-money favorite to win the tournament, and Murray is fairly close behind at +180 (bet $100 to win $180), according to Odds Shark, there are no guarantees that either one will be at his best in the tournament.

There are several sleepers who have the talent to step up in New York and make a run at the title, including Juan Martin del Potro, who is coming off a silver-medal-winning performance in the Olympics. Del Potro defeated Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in the Olympics before losing to Murray in the championship match in Rio.

Del Potro has a huge serve and is healthy after battling wrist problems for years. If Del Potro can serve consistently and play with confidence, he has a chance to make a long run in the tournament and provide a big payoff to his supporters at +1600.

Stan Wawrinka comes into the tournament at +1600, and the 31-year-old is the third-ranked player in the world. He has won more than $2 million this year and has compiled a 32-12 record.

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The Swiss has shown he has the game and the stamina to string wins together in the biggest tournaments, but he needs to consistently prove he can hold his own against players like Djokovic and Murray.

#AusOpen @AustralianOpen

A flying Kei. #Nishikori in full-flight is just... awesome. #ausopen #WorldPhotoDay https://t.co/zg2b3tC2Yn

Kei Nishikori of Japan has a relentlessness about his game. If he can hang in early and win a set, he has the ability to engage his opponent and lock on as if he was a pit bull.

The 26-year-old has put together a 46-14 record this season and is the No. 7 player in the world. He has won more than $2.5 million, but he has a tough time finishing the job—Nishikori has won just one tournament this year.

Odds to win 2016 U.S. Open
PlayerOddsSkinny
Novak DjokovicEvenThe one to beat
Andy Murray+180Ready to repeat Wimbledon success
Milos Raonic+1200Looking for consistency
Juan Martin del Potro+1600Building on Olympic success
Stan Wawrinka+1600Has trouble against the top players
Marin Cilic+2000Has the game to push top players
Rafael Nadal+2000Stamina is an issue
Kei Nishikori+2500Relentless attitude is his best asset
Nick Kyrgios+5000Colorful and talented, but troubled
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga+8000Has the serve to cause problems
Odds Shark

If he is going to make a long run in the U.S. Open, he needs to be razor-sharp with his two-handed backhand. Nishikori is a fairly sizable underdog at +2500.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is an imposing figure on the tennis court because of his explosive serve. At 6'2" and 200 pounds, Tsonga has the size and strength to impose his will on the court when he is getting his serve in consistently.

The Frenchman has won slightly more than $1.1 million this season but has not won a title. He goes into the tournament as a huge underdog at +8000. The public may not be giving him much of a chance, but he has the power to cause quite a bit of discomfort throughout the U.S. Open. 

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