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US Open - Tennis: Five to follow in the men's draw

New York City's US Open - the fourth and final Grand Slam on the tennis calendar - is on the horizon and it is tough to pick the winner in an open men's field.

With uncertainty over Novak Djokovic's participation, his rivals will be eager to capitalise in the Big Apple, with Russian Daniil Medvedev looking to defend last year's title and Rafael Nadal aiming to build on two Grand Slam triumphs already in 2022.

Here is a look at the players to follow in the men's US Open draw this year.

What

US Open

Where

USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows, New York

When

Monday 29th August-Sunday 11th September 2022

How to watch

Amazon Prime and bet365's Sports Live Streaming

OddsMen's - Novak Djokovic 5/4, Daniil Medvedev 5/2, Carlos Alcaraz 4/1; Women's - Iga Swiatek 5/2, Naomi Osaka 6/1, Aryna Sabalenka 12/1

Medvedev should not be ruled out

Last season was a significant one for Medvedev, who achieved his best finishes in each of the four Grand Slams in 2021 but it was in Flushing Meadows where he made his mark.

The US Open represented the Russian's first ever Grand Slam title win and he hardly put a foot wrong, dropping only one set in the entire tournament and overpowering three-time champion Djokovic 6-4 6-4 6-4 in the final.

And while Medvedev has arguably not kicked on in the way many expected after that triumph in New York - his run to the Australian Open final has been the highlight of the year - he should once again be a fierce competitor on the hard courts.

Having not been involved at Wimbledon, he returned to action after a short break in the season with victory at the Los Cabos Open in August, beating Cameron Norrie in the final on the outdoor hard courts.

Time may not be right for Alcaraz

The general consensus in the world of tennis is that Carlos Alcaraz is the sport's next big thing but to prove that theory, the Spanish starlet needs to impress in a Grand Slam tournament.

Arguably his greatest chance of doing that this year was at the French Open but his tournament was cut short in the quarter-finals by Alex Zverev and he is yet to reach the last four of one of the majors.

The 19-year-old admitted the pressure got to him at the ATP Montreal, in which he was dumped out by American Tommy Paul in his first match, and he looks a little short at 7/2.

That said, he responded with a straight-sets win in his opener at the Cincinnati Masters and lowered expectations could play into his hands in New York.

Nadal targeting third Grand Slam of the year

Veteran Nadal never ceases to amaze. The legendary Spaniard began the year by securing his 21st Grand Slam title - putting him ahead of Roger Federer and Djokovic in the overall standings - at the Australian Open before extending his advantage with another French Open triumph.

The 36-year-old also looked in the mood at Wimbledon, reaching the semi-finals before handing Nick Kyrgios a walkover win due to an abdominal injury.

He admitted his priority in the build-up to the US Open will be his fitness and recovery rather than results and it would be foolish to ever rule out Nadal, who won the US Open in 2010, 2013, 2017 and 2019.

Kyrgios goes in search of maiden Grand Slam title

There have never been big doubts about the ability of Australian ace Kyrgios and now that he has gained more control over his on-court temperament, he is beginning to flourish.

It has been a year of resurgence for the 27-year-old, who reached his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon in July and took the first set against Djokovic before crumbling on centre court.

That defeat was a result of both Kyrgios losing his head and Djokovic keeping his cool but the Australian has improved on that front and could be a dangerous competitor in New York.

He followed that run at the All England Club with victory at the Citi Open in Washington and a run to the last eight of the ATP Montreal, so it's fair to say his hard-court preparations are going well.

There will certainly be worse bets than Kyrgios, who is available at 7/1 to win this year's US Open and cap off what has been a brilliant breakthrough year in style.

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