The US Open men's singles championship is set to start on Monday, 30 August 2021, and we from Spooky Express are always excited when the final of the four Grand Slam tournaments takes place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York City.
So who are the top favorites to win the title? One is certain – we'll have a new champion, and we also have a player whose potential triumph would officially make him the most successful player in men's tennis.
With his old foes Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer both ruled out due to injuries, Novak Djokovic is a red-hot favorite to clinch the title and become just the second man in the Open Era, after Rod Laver in 1969, to complete the Calendar Year Grand Slam.
Last year's winner Dominic Thiem won't be able to defend his title as the Austrian was forced to withdraw from the competition due to an ongoing right wrist injury, which basically means we'll have a new champion.
Bet on Alexander Zverev at +550 with BetOnline
But last year's runner-up, on the other hand, looks more mature than ever as Sascha Zverev recently won the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo. He remarkably defeated Novak Djokovic en route to glory. Thus Zverev became the first German man to win a gold medal in singles and the first to win a medal since Tommy Haas' silver at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
The German will be keen to continue his surge of form as following the Olympics, Zverev had lifted the title in Cincy. Moreover, it was his second Masters final in 2021, and Zverev already conquered the Madrid Masters in May.
Zverev is heading into the US Open on the back of an 11-match winning streak on hard courts – since he suffered a disappointing defeat to Felix Auger Aliassime at the Wimbledon Championships – dropping just two sets in the process. He seems to be the biggest favorite in the second quarter of the US Open draw. Still, the German could be challenged by some tricky players, including Jannik Sinner, Denis Shapovalov, Karen Khachanov, and Gael Monfils, to name only a few.
Bet on Novak Djokovic at -150 with BetOnline
Things are also personal and so special for Djokovic as the Serb was disqualified in last year's event, but he never gave up and is more than ever the big favorite to win his fourth US Open title and 21st Grand Slam title.
Winning all four Grand Slams in the same year in this era of tennis would be unreal. Novak Djokovic seems to be destined to rewrite tennis history and possibly become the G.O.A.T.
With his Wimbledon triumph, Djokovic once again cemented his name into the tennis history books – leveling both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most career Grand Slam titles at 20 – and the Eastern European now has the chance to surpass them.
However, we must remember that Djoker has not played competitive tennis since he lost the semi-final to Sascha Zverev at the Olympics. Since his maiden US Open title ten years ago (in 2011), Djokovic never skipped participating in at least one warm-up competition, such as the Cincinnati Masters, for example.
Also, even if Nole doesn't complete the Calendar Year Grand Slam now, this won't make it a disappointing season, and over the years, the Serb has proven he has the ability to handle the pressure.
Bet on Daniil Medvedev at +350 with BetOnline
No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev will be hoping to reach once again the showdown (as he did in 2019), and the Russian once again demonstrated his confidence during the North American hardcourt season in his build-up to the US Open Championship.
Medvedev triumphed at the Canadian Open – his fourth Master's title – as he defeated Reilly Opelka in the final. His next step was to compete at the Cincinnati Masters.
Following his quarter-final defeat to Pablo Carreno-Busta in Tokyo, Medvedev gained momentum over the course of the American hard-court swing and won eight matches in a row at both competitions before the semi-final at the Cincinnati Masters against Andrey Rublev.
It's a special place for the Russian baseliner – the same location where Medvedev clinched his first ATP Masters 1000 title two years ago – and when Medvedev appeared to be in control of the game, leading by a set, he collided with a baseline camera which resulted in Medvedev taking a medical timeout to treat his left hand.
Thereafter, Rublev took advantage of the opportunity to complete a comeback, thus ending a run of five successive wins for Medvedev.
Nevertheless, having already reached his second Grand Slam final earlier this year in Melbourne – when Novak Djokovic dismantled Medvedev – Daniil Medvedev seems to be the biggest threat to possibly challenge the Serb's desire.
Bet on Stefanos Tsitsipas at +750 with BetOnline
Tsitsipas is among the players with most tournament finals in the ATP Tour this season (5 and Novak Djokovic). The Greek reached back-to-back semi-finals at the Canadian Open and the Cincinnati Masters, losing to Reilly Opelka and Alexander Zverev.
Bet on Casper Ruud at +6600 with BetOnline
One of the three players with most tournament titles in the ATP Tour (4, alongside Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev) this season, Casper Ruud, will hope to beat the odds at the US Open.
Of course, all of his titles were in the ATP 250 Series, but that's a great achievement, and the Norwegian will hope to at least level his best-ever Grand Slam performance as he reached the fourth round of the Australian Open earlier this year.
However, all of his seven finals and five titles were on clay, and Ruud is yet to accomplish something significant on hard courts, though the back-to-back quarter-finals in Toronto and Cincinnati are a sign that he's heading in the right direction.
Bet on Andrey Rublev at +2800 with BetOnline
Another potential long-shot – Andrey Rublev – has been progressing well over the last few seasons. The 23-year-old Russian had already reached the US Open quarter-finals twice – in 2017 and 2020 – making him one of the recommended longshots.
Rublev won five ATP titles and reached back-to-back Grand Slam quarter-finals (at the US Open and the French Open) in 2020, but 2021 has seen them taking the next step as the talented Russian reached his first Master's finals. However, he lost either of them – at Monte Carlo and Cincinnati a fortnight ago.
However, Rublev already started to improve and turn things around as he had to endure a frustrating losing sequence against his fellow compatriot and close friend Daniil Medvedev. He had never won a set in five previous matches against Medvedev (all on hard courts) and lost the first set at the Cincinnati Masters, but he finally broke Medvedev in what seems to be his biggest win career.
In addition to his undeniable progress in singles, Rublev won the mixed doubles title at the 2020 Summer Olympics with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Bet on Matteo Berrettini at +3300 with BetOnline
Top-ranked Italian Matteo Berrettini enjoys a great season so far as the 25-year-old player reached his maiden Grand Slam final at the Wimbledon Championships earlier this summer. He also reached the US Open semi-finals two years ago, and Berrettini, despite his disappointing campaign at Cincy, will be eager to reignite his winning form. However, the draw hasn't been really favorable for the Italian, who's in the same quarter with Novak Djokovic.
Bet on Jannik Sinner at +2800 with BetOnline
Jannik Sinner won the Washington Open title a few weeks ago. Still, the Italian failed to impress in the subsequent Masters 1000 tournaments in his build-up to the US Open Championship. His first aim is to make it through the first round of the US Open for the first time in his career – after three unsuccessful attempts – and the lack of consistency makes us think he's not ready to shine at this year's tournament.
Spooky Express Betting Picks
One of these four ballers: Novak Djokovic (-150), Daniil Medvedev (+350), Alexander Zverev (+550), or the long shot in Andrey Rublev (+2800); can triumph at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
If the two top-ranked Russians meet the expectations to reach the quarter-finals and Rublev survives a match against No. 3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, we could witness an all-Russian semi-final in New York.