Novak Djokovic the ‘huge favourite’, but Brad Gilbert predicts ‘some crazy results’ at US Open
Brad Gilbert believes we could have a surprise semi-finalist or finalist at this year’s US Open due to the long layoff and other factors that will be in play.
Following a five-month hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, the ATP Tour will finally resume this week with the Western & Southern Open followed by the US Open.
Both events will be played at Flushing Meadows and no spectators will be allowed to attend while strict health and safety measures will be in place due to Covid-19.
On top of that, some of the world’s best players won’t feature as defending champion Rafael Nadal pulled out due to concerns over the coronavirus while 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer is recovering from knee surgery.
It leaves world No 1 Novak Djokovic as the “huge favourite”, but Gilbert feels there could be surprises.
“There are a lot of unknowns, but if he [Djokovic] is 100 per cent healthy, on this surface, he’s a huge favourite,” the American, who coached the likes of Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray, told ATPTour.com.
“It’s a tough call, it’s just really hard to know. Maybe [it will benefit] someone like a big server. All of a sudden if someone like John Isner, if his serve is fine, the guy can hold serve and you never know,” he said.
“It’s hard to put your brain around it. Especially if someone plays a tough five-setter, how will they recover and manage it? That part I’m most curious about. I’m not sure who it helps the most or hurts the most. But I do think there’s going to be somebody who I say, ‘Whoa! I didn’t see that coming.'”
Gilbert feels if Federer and Nadal were playing then it would probably have been “business as normal”, but he feels we might get a “real surprise” in the semi-final or final.
“I do think we’re going to see some crazy results,” Gilbert said. “But let’s say even if the Big Three was playing after all this time, I just don’t think that after something like this you’d expect it to be business as normal… I do think somebody’s going to make a semi or final who is going to be a real surprise. I do think the biggest surprise is going to be somebody who maybe you don’t think about and doesn’t play that well on a big stadium or a big crowd.”
Follow us on Twitter @T365Official.
Dan Evans eyes ‘a few more wins’ at Queen’s Club after ending his long wait for a win
It was the British No 1’s first win at the venue since 2014.
Gary Neville unimpressed by double standards that will allow bigger Wimbledon crowds
Decision to allow increased capacity at Wimbledon sparked claims of double standards.
‘Fresh, clever, calm’ Novak Djokovic favourite to win Wimbledon and US Open, according to Mats Wilander
Novak Djokovic “looks scary good and motivated”, says Mats Wilander.
‘My Wimbledon goals are high, they have to be high, or I wouldn’t be playing,’ says Roger Federer
“The season starts around now,” says Roger Federer.
Exclusive – Ex-British No 1 admits Andy Murray is not in control of his own destiny this summer
Andy Murray will return to the scene of some of his greatest triumphs.
Wimbledon finals to be played in front of capacity stadium after change in guidelines
Wimbledon officials are preparing to welcome bigger than expected crowds.
Heather Watson battles past Viktorija Golubic at Birmingham’s Viking Classic
Heather Watson set up a clash against Shuai Zhang.
Jack Draper beats Jannik Sinner at Queen’s to secure first ATP Tour singles win
Jack Draper won two tie-breaks to beat Jannik Sinner
All England Club to provide final decision on Wimbledon crowd capacity and Covid-19 protocols soon
Discussions are continuing over Wimbledon crowds.
Exclusive – Judy Murray on how the game’s ‘Big Four’ are still ahead of the pack
“They all have an incredible love of the game,” says Judy Murray.