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US Open Tennis 2016: Odds, Predictions for Key Players in Draw

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2016

Aug 7, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Novak Djokovic (SRB) hits a forehand against Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG, not pictured) during the men's singles in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Olympic Tennis Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Novak Djokovic is the No. 1 tennis player in the world, but he may not be a very happy man as he prepares for the U.S. Open.

The Serb failed to win at Wimbledon this year and was eliminated from contention for a medal in the recently completed Rio Olympics.

As a result of those defeats in two high-profile events, Djokovic should come in ready to play his best tennis and defend the title he won last year. Not that it will be easy, though, as the world No. 1 will find himself in the cross hairs of the best players in the world.

He has certainly withstood these challenges in the past, as Djokovic has won 12 Grand Slam titles, including two U.S. Opens.

Djokovic comes into the New York tournament, which kicks off August 29, as the even-money favorite according to OddsShark, with Wimbledon and Olympic champion Andy Murray the second choice at plus-180.

While Djokovic has had a couple of recent defeats, it is difficult to see him losing here because of his consistency and his ability to place the ball wherever he wants on the court.

U.S. Open Odds and Predictions
PlayerOddsPrediction
Novak DjokovicEvenChampion
Andy Murray+180Lose in semifinals
Milos Raonic+1,200Lose in quarterfinals
Juan Martin del Potro+1,600Runner-up
Stan Wawrinka+1,600Lose in semifinals
Marin Cilic+2,000Lose in quarterfinals
Rafael Nadal+2,000Lose in second round
Kei Nishikori+2,500Lose in quarterfinals
Nick Kyrgios+5,000Lose in second round
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga+8,000Lose in quarterfinals
Odds Shark; Silverman predictions

The Serbian is the No. 1-ranked player in the world as a result of his 51-5 record ย this year. He's won nine tournaments and more than $9.2 million this year. Djokovic has earned more than $100 million in his career and brings a formidable game with him to the biggest tournaments.

Statistically, he has won 86 percent of his service games, and he has converted 44 percent of the break points he has faced.ย Those are championship numbers, and it's going to take a spectacular effort to beat him.

That includes Murray, who is also in the middle of a fine year. The Scot has a 50-7 record and won four titles this year. He has won nearly $7.5 million this year.ย 

Djokovic and Murray are going to have to deal Milos Raonic, Juan Martin del Potro, Stan Wawrinka and Rafael Nadal.

TennisAtlantic @TennisAtlantic

They went Cuckoo for Delpo @usopen just a few minutes ago. https://t.co/kiiDWg1xGI

Del Potro is perhaps the most impressive of the challengers because he is finally healthy after a series of injuries to his left wrist that kept him from playing to his level for more than two years.

The Argentine showed off his talent at the Olympics where he beat Djokovic and Nadal, and pushed Murray hard before settling for the silver medal.

Del Potro has a remarkable serve, and his ability to overpower opponents makes him a real threat in this tournament.

Raonic may be as talented as Djokovic or Murray, but he has never shown the consistency to his game to win the big events. The 25-year-old has a 42-11 this year, but he has won just one tournament. The Canadian has earned more than $3.5 million this year, but he still has much to prove.

Wawrinka has two major titles to his credit, winning the 2014 Australian Open and the 2015 French Open. The Swiss has the game to make a long run at the U.S. Open, but he hasn't had a brilliant year. He has a 32-12 record and has won three tournaments and slightly more than $2 million in prize money.

Nadal has shown that he can still play sharp tennis and when he is at his best, his left-handed forehand is as surgical as it comes.

However, the Spaniard seems to run out of gas as tournaments move along, and it may be difficult to sustain excellence in the latter stages of the U.S. Open if he gets to the quarterfinals or beyond.

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