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US Open 2015: Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams are Hot Favorites

Like every major tournament nearly every year, the 135th edition of US Open is also expected to witness histories being made.

Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, who have been declared as the top seeds of the last slam event of the year are two of the biggest names waiting to be written on the pages of history. Djokovic, 27, is bidding to become only the third player to win three majors in a calendar year in open era while Williams, 33, will be looking to claim her 22nd major to match Steffi Graff’s record as well as achieve a calendar slam.

(141102) -- PARIS, Nov. 2, 2014 (Xinhua) -- Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates for victory after the men's singles semi-final match against Nishikori Kei of Japan at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 indoor tennis tournament at the Bercy Palais-Omnisport in Paris, France, Nov. 1, 2014. Novak Djokovic won 2-0 to enter the final. (Xinhua/Chen Xiaowei)

(141102) — PARIS, Nov. 2, 2014 (Xinhua) — Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates for victory after the men’s singles semi-final match against Nishikori Kei of Japan at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 indoor tennis tournament at the Bercy Palais-Omnisport in Paris, France, Nov. 1, 2014. Novak Djokovic won 2-0 to enter the final. (Xinhua/Chen Xiaowei)

Djokovic, who has been in sheer dominating form this season, won his only US Open in 2011. Quite like Rafael Nadal, who termed Australian Open to be his “unlucky slam” US Open holds the same place for Djokovic, who ended up as a runner-up four times.

Nonetheless, Nole (as Djokovic is known to his fans) has been in vintage form. Although he lost both of the tournaments in the US Open series to Andy Murray and Roger Federer, he is undoubtedly the hot favorite to win the slam.

Andy Murray, seeded third in the tournament faces a tough and young challenge in the name of ‘bad boy’ 20-year-old Aussie, Nick Kyrgios. Kyrgios who was slammed by 25,000 dollars and a 28-day ban by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) due to his misbehavior and passing of wrong comments to Stanislas Wawrinka at Montreal Masters a few weeks ago, hasn’t ever been able to grab a win from the Scot.

It will be interesting to see how Kyrgios deals with the ongoing attention on him and the American public’s reaction and faces such a tough opponent in the first round. Although he has got a big serve and smart shots in his bag Murray’s experience in playing big games will notch up to take him an edge ahead of the Aussie.

On the other hand, Roger Federer doesn’t look to grow old et al. All he does is polish his expertise in the sport by each passing day. At 34, he plays like a 20-year-old, moving and running like his legs are made of rubber and executing shots that only indicates what a natural player he is.

Participating in his 16th US Open, Federer is at par with Djokovic and Murray, proving it well enough by defeating Djokovic at the Cincinnati Masters couple weeks earlier.

However, no one can write off Rafael Nadal from the scene. Albeit seeded a mere eighth in the tournament – the lowest in a slam in a decade, he is still a member of the “Big Four”. Nadal has been in the most disappointing form of his life, losing his reign at the French Open also to Novak Djokovic.

More than the physical state his mental state seemed to have broken his confidence. While he will be looking to find his form and strike back at the tournament, we know it’s very likely to happen because Rafa is known for his “never back down” nature.

If all goes well, then Flushing Meadows will get to see a thrilling quarter-final between Novak and Rafa who have been drawn on the same quarters.

In the ladies’ side, all eyes will be on Serena Williams. Honestly, at this point nobody seems to be in a more damaging form than her, and the disparity with other top players like Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep, is so high that the latter’s earnest endeavors look to not suffice.

As a form of new twist it will be interesting to see how young and rising star, Eugenie Bouchard, 21, performs in the tournament after recently hiring Jimmy Connors as her coach. Before Bouchard, Connors coached Sharapova for only one match in 2013.

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