US Open Could Offer Fascinating End to Tennis’ Grand Slam Season

The US Open at Flushing Meadows is the final Grand Slam event of the calendar year in tennis, and in the men’s singles competition, it could see defending champion and world number one Carlos Alcaraz take on 23-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic again.

As you may have seen on the Telegraph Star news page, Alcaraz got the better of Djokovic in the final of Wimbledon in what proved to be a thrilling contest, with the Spaniard prevailing in five sets to lift the trophy in London for the first time. He ended the Serbian’s winning run at the tournament which had stretched back to 2018.

This year’s US Open may also determine who ends 2023 at the top of the ATP world rankings. Success for Alcaraz would strengthen the argument that he has wrestled the power off Djokovic as the leading player in the men’s game.

Alcaraz Won His Maiden Grand Slam Title in New York in 2022

As covered in the Telegraph Star sports roundup, it was in New York in 2022 that Alcaraz made a name for himself on the big stage. As the number three seed in the draw, he defeated Casper Ruud in the final of the men’s singles championship, prevailing in a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.

The victory in the US Open was his fifth tournament success of the year, as he also won the Rio Open, Miami Open, Barcelona Open, and Madrid Open earlier in the campaign. It was a big moment in his career.

Alcaraz will head to Flushing Meadows full of confidence as he bids to defend his crown. He was unbeaten throughout his grass campaign, also winning the title at the Queen’s Championship prior to Wimbledon. 

Roger Federer was the last man to defend his crown in the US Open in 2008. That was the Swiss player’s fifth success in the tournament. If Alcaraz wins a second title in New York this year, he will have his idol’s tally in his sight.

Djokovic Remains the Favorite Despite Wimbledon Defeat

Despite losing to Alcaraz at Wimbledon on a surface which he usually dominates, as of July 20 Djokovic is the +220 favorite with Betway to lift the US Open this year for the fourth time in his career.

The world number two was last triumphant in New York in 2018 when he defeated Juan Martin del Potro in the final. He went close to success again in 2021 in his bid to win the Calendar Grand Slam, but he had to settle for the runner-up trophy as he lost to Daniil Medvedev.

Djokovic’s overall record in the US Open is 89-14 which gives him a winning percentage of 86%. He is expected to be one of the leading two seeds in this year’s tournament, which could put him on course for another shot at Alcaraz in a Grand Slam final. Should the pair get to that stage, it is sure to feature in the Telegraph Star entertainment pages, if their clash at Wimbledon is anything to go by.

Medvedev and Ruud Hoping for Big Runs Again Too

Medvedev and Ruud are just two other players who will be hoping to steal all the headlines at the end of the US Open this year. They have both had big runs at the tournament before, with Medvedev lifting the trophy in 2021 and Ruud finishing runner-up in 2022.

It has been an excellent year for Medvedev so far, as he is a winner of five ATP Tour events. Two of those victories have been in ATP 1000 competitions, with the latest being his triumph in the Italian Open on clay.

The Russian is a two-time finalist in the US Open as he also reached the final in 2019, losing to Rafael Nadal in five sets. He won the opening two sets of that contest but then the Spaniard came back to prevail 3-2, as reported by the BBC.

Ruud experienced his maiden US Open final appearance in 2022. The Norwegian lost to Alcaraz in that contest in New York. He had wins over Matteo Berrettini and Karen Khachanov in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.

The man from Oslo has now been in three Grand Slam finals as he was also runner-up at the 2022 and 2023 French Open. He will be hoping the next time he reaches one of those major finals, he can come away with the title.

The 2023 US Open begins on August 28 and runs through to the men’s final on September 10.

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