Mats Wilander picks his US Open dark horses that features two young Canadian stars
Mats Wilander has picked out three dark horses for next week’s US Open, as he backed world No 1 Novak Djokovic to pick up his 18th Grand Slam title in New York.
Djokovic is the red-hot favourite to claim the title against a field that does not contain an injured Roger Federer or an absent Rafael Nadal, with Eurosport expert and seven-time Grand Slam champion Wilander picking out the three players he believes could make a breakthrough.
“I am paying particular attention to the two Canadians, Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Alliasime,” stated Wilander. “To me, they are the ones who haven’t broken through yet, that can win a major straight away.
“Stefanos Tsitsipas, I am paying attention to him but I think he is way more ready. He has shown that he can and he has been in the semis, the other two we haven’t really seen them at their best in majors and I am really expecting them to be, to be very, very huge threats.
“I hope we see new players breaking through. I mean you’re going to have some seriously, some strange match-ups you might not have seen in the later rounds before, that’s pretty obvious. I think it could be a very interesting US Open in terms of the tennis and of the faces that we will see. Certainly, it helps to not have Roger and Rafa there if you are interested in a new phase of professional men’s tennis.
“I think Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem are very clear favourites because it’s a major and because it’s five sets, but we could see a breakthrough from someone new in this tournament.
“I think it’s wrong to assume that Novak has had the perfect preparation as he has before all the other Slams, I don’t think we can assume that his preparation has been perfect this time.”I am not saying that anybody’s preparation has been perfect, but he knows what perfect means because he’s done it so many times and some of the younger players, they don’t know what perfect means, they’re just preparing but they have never been successful at the end of a slam so they don’t know if they did the right thing or the wrong thing. So, I think the playing field is levelled out by not knowing if Novak is 100% prepared.
“I am assuming he is but we’re assuming something that is kind of unfair to the best guys, that they can just pick up and be better than anybody else.
“Maybe they prepare better or they practice harder and if they haven’t been able to do it then suddenly they are not the greatest anymore so I think Novak is the favourite because of old results and willingness to come and compete and I think Dominic Thiem seems to be the one that has prepared really well and looks unbelievably good and strong.
“I think it could be a very interesting US Open in terms of the faces that we will see. Certainly, it helps to not have Roger and Rafa there if you are interested in a new phase of professional men’s tennis.”
The US Open from Flushing Meadows in New York will be screened on Eurosport across Europe in over 50 countries and territories, except the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Follow Kevin Palmer on Twitter @RealKevinPalmer
Follow us on Twitter @T365Official.
Dominic Thiem on Emma Raducanu’s US Open win: ‘It’s one of the greatest achievements in women’s sport’
“Perhaps it is the greatest breakthrough of all time,” says Dominic Thiem.
‘Unfair that Novak Djokovic is always the bad guy and Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are the good guys’
“I hope he is treated a little more fairly,” says Boris Becker.
Venus Williams explains backstory behind photo with Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova at Met Gala
Just Venus, Serena and Maria enjoying a laugh in the bathroom at the Met Gala.
‘I think it’s gradually sinking in a bit more,’ says Emma Raducanu after ‘whirlwind experience’
The teenager took part in a round of breakfast TV and radio interviews.
‘People are talking about tennis again,’ revels Boris Becker after ‘Dame Emma Raducanu’s’ heroics
Boris Becker waxes lyrical about Emma Raducanu.
Tennis to introduce ‘Stefanos Tsitsipas bathroom break rule’ following Greek’s lengthy loo visits?
Stricter rules on the cards following furore over Stefanos Tsitsipas’ loo breaks.
LTA chief insists Emma Raducanu will not lose focus after stunning rise to the top
Lloyd has called for the newly-crowned US Open champion to be given “breathing space”.
Emma Raducanu delighted to return back in the UK and reunite with her father
Raducanu was pictured outside her house after travelling back from New York.
Introducing Wilson’s Blade v8 racket Emma Raducanu could use at the Australian Open
Emma Raducanu is set to be wielding a new-look weapon when he plays at the Australian Open in January.
Shock defeat for Andy Murray as he is beaten in Rennes
The Russian is ranked 42 places below Murray.