New York (AFP)
Djokovic, Nadal and Federer have dropped only 11 Grand Slam tournaments out of 65 since the first of Switzerland in 2003 at Wimbledon, and are again the big favorites of the US Open 2019 which starts Monday in New York ... unless a promising youngster finally becomes a "major" player.
In women, the domination of Serena Williams is already widely questioned. The American would offer a 24th Grand Slam title a few days before her 38th birthday to match Australia's Margaret Court's record, but the road to her 7th Flushing Meadows Trophy is jam-packed.
French side, the man in the form of the moment is Richard Gasquet (34th world) who remains on a very nice semifinal in Cincinnati, his first half in Masters 1000 since 2013. But he will have a lot to do in front of him. Italian Matteo Berrettini (25th).
Novak Djokovic (32), Rafael Nadal (33) and Roger Federer (38) seem to have the common goal of the record Grand Slam titles.
If the Swiss, current N.3 ATP, is currently in the lead in this race with 20 major tournaments to his credit, and although he won more often the US Open than his acolytes (5 times against 3 each for the Serbian and the Spaniard), he seems the least well armed of the three.
- 11 years of scarcity -
The summer tour in North America has not been successful for a long time and his last title at Flushing Meadows dates back to 2008!
"I have not felt that way for years before the US Open," Federer warned on Thursday, obviously pleased with his very short preparation.
Since his Homeric final at Wimbledon, lost to Djokovic, "Rodgeur" has played only one tournament, the Masters 1000 Cincinnati where he was eliminated in the 8th finals.
Djokovic, on the contrary, is the undisputed world No. 1 when he arrives in New York and, with his victory over the English turf, he seems able to keep his title on the hard New York, even if he also had a short preparation with only one tournament played, Cincinnati where he lost against Daniil Medvedev, future winner.
"I always feel young inside and out and I'm always very motivated," said the Serbian on Saturday, saying he has reached a point in his career where "it's the Grand Slam titles that matter. most". And the record for major titles is "undoubtedly become one of my ambitions, one of my goals," he assured.
- Nadal is "ready" -
This time, it is in the semifinals that he could cross the road of Federer, before theoretically facing Nadal in the final for a 17th Grand Slam title.
The Spaniard, who outrageously dominated Roland-Garros, also limited his preparation to a tournament, the Masters 1000 Montreal. But unlike Djokovic and Federer, he went on to win the title.
"I think I play well, I have trained well in recent days, of course, having won in Montreal helps: I'm ready for action!" Said Nadal, who is aiming for a 19th Major.
He will have a theoretical half against Dominic Thiem that he beat twice in a row in the final at Roland-Garros. But young Stefanos Tsitsipas, Karen Khachanov and Felix Auger-Aliassime could also be big obstacles. In any case they dream of it.
At the top of the table, Djokovic and Federer will have potential opponents Daniil Medvedev, who dominated the preparation tournaments and won the most games this year, but also the former winner Stan Wawrinka (2016), Kei Nishikori, or the heavy server Milos Raonic.
In the women's draw, the American public will follow Serena Williams' career, starting with her first match against Maria Sharapova.
But the place of N.1 world will also be at stake: Ashleigh Barty (2nd and winner at Roland Garros this year), Karolina Pliskova (3rd) and Simona Halep (4th and crowned at Wimbledon) will be able to dethrone Naomi Osaka who will defend his title.
© 2019 AFP