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Tennis News • U.S. Open Seed Report: Djokovic Leads The Way

By Ricky Dimon

The U.S. Open is less than a week away and the seeds were officially announced on Wednesday morning. Ricky breaks down the top 32 players in the men’s field, in order, prior to Thursday’s draw ceremony.

1. Novak Djokovic – As winner of four of the last five Grand Slams (each of the last four on non-clay surfaces, including the 2018 U.S. Open), Djokovic is the obvious favorite.

2. Rafael Nadal – Nadal may not be far behind. The second-ranked Spaniard won the 2017 U.S. Open and is coming off a big hard-court title in Montreal.

3. Roger Federer
 – Both Djokovic and Nadal would much rather have Dominic Thiem in their half of the draw instead of Federer.

4. Dominic Thiem – The gap between the Big 3 and everyone else is vast, despite Daniil Medvedev’s form. Thiem remains a question mark away from clay.

5. Daniil Medvedev
 – Nobody is hotter right now than Medvedev, but it remains to be seen what he can do at slams in a best-of-five format.

6. Alexander Zverev – Zverev has been surpassed by Medvedev in the rankings and in terms of expectations. Could that be a good thing?

7. Kei Nishikori – Something always seems to be up with Nishikori, either injury or illness. He may not be in peak form right now.

8. Stefanos Tsitsipas – Tsitsipas was the toast of the tennis town in the first half of the season; now it’s his rival and nemesis Medvedev.

9. Karen Khachanov 
– Khachanov consistently reaches the third round and sometimes fourth round of slams. Can he take the next step?

10. Roberto Bautista Agut – The next step is what Bautista Agut took at Wimbledon, where he reached the semis. He is into the top 10 for the first time ever. 

11. Fabio Fognini – Fognini is capable of beating anyone on any given day; just ask Nadal! But the Italian can just as easily flame out in round one.

12. Borna Coric – Coric has not been 100 percent of late and the result is a relative slump. Expectations should not be high in New York.

13. Gael Monfils
 – At 100 percent, this would be a downright terrifying group of four. Monfils could do the most damage of the four based on current form.

14. John Isner – Isner is the most dangerous because of his serve, but the 6’10” American is now all the way back from a spring stress fracture.

15. David Goffin – Goffin is coming off a runner-up showing in Cincinnati, where he benefited from a favorable draw before losing to Cincinnati.

16. Kevin Anderson – Anderson, the 2017 U.S. Open runner-up, is still struggling physically and may not even play.

17. Nikoloz Basilashvili
 – Basilashvili is the two-time reigning champion in Hamburg. When he’s hot, he can be really on fire. That was sort of the case last year in New York.

18. Felix Auger-Aliassime – Auger-Aliassime has cooled off since winning his first two matches at Wimbledon. His collapse against Khachanov in Montreal was a tough one.

19. Guido Pella – Pella is enjoying by far the best season of his career, and it includes an improbably trip to the Wimbledon quarters.

20. Diego Schwartzman – Like his fellow Argentine Pella, Schwartzman is also playing great in 2019. He often excels at the U.S. Open.

21. Milos Raonic – Raonic is just too injury plagued to inspire much confidence during the upcoming fortnight.

22. Marin Cilic – Like Raonic, Cilic can get hot from out of the blue. But based on current form, it would be a real shock if it happens now.

23. Stan Wawrinka – The 2016 U.S. Open champion may not be back to his very best, but is playing well and can beat anyone when he’s on.

24. Matteo Berrettini – Berrettini had a ton of momentum after a brilliant grass-court swing, but an ankle injury has derailed everything.

25. Lucas Pouille
 – Pouille is no stranger to U.S. Open success and he picked up some momentum with a quarterfinal finish in Cincinnati.

26. Taylor Fritz – Fritz is feeling it right now, reaching finals left and right this summer. Is he due for his first breakout at a Grand Slam?

27. Dusan Lajovic – Lajovic’s ranking is a bit inflated due to a runner-up finish in Monte-Carlo. He won’t really scare any of the top guys.

28. Nick Kyrgios – As combustible as Kyrgios is, he is the last player in the 25-32 group that a top-eight player wants to see in the third round.

29. Benoit Paire – Paire is a former fourth-round performer at Flushing Meadows. He would have to get the right draw to make it that far again.

30. Kyle Edmund – This is not the same Edmund who reached the last four at the 2018 Australian Open. Injuries have been part of the problem.

31. Christian Garin – Garin probably has to be considered the weakest seeded player in the field given that these are relatively fast hard courts.

32. Fernando Verdasco – Verdasco remains dangerous in the latter stages of his career, but he is also susceptible to an early upset loss.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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