Who can stop Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic
Former US Open finalist Casper Ruud believes there are plenty of players who could upset expectations in New York.
Ruud picked out some select names he feels could mount a significant challenge at the US Open.
With Alcaraz and Djokovic carrying the top seedings all eyes are on the pair opening the door for someone else to cause a shock.
One of those is Alexander Zverev, who finds himself drawn in the same quarter as Alcaraz.
He also backed No 3 seed Daniil Medvedev, who could wind up being the semi-final opponent for Alcaraz.
Ruud added that it would be dangerous to write off the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas as well.
Tsitsipas could meet Djokovic in the last eight but he has a tough pathway to the quarter-finals in prospect.
Ruud told Eurosport: “You have a lot of players who want to do well. Alexander Zverev is beginning to find his form after an injury last year, he’s been playing much better. Daniil [Medvedev] you can’t count him out. He’s also won there before. Carlos, of course, Novak.
“Stefanos Tsitsipas maybe will make a good run. Holger Rune also, who is No. 4 seed I believe for the first time this year, so it’s going to be interesting.
“You have [Taylor] Fritz and [Frances] Tiafoe, who’s going to want to do well on home soil and in front of the home crowd. I’m going to do my best as well. And many, many others, we’ll see.
“There are always surprises in Grand Slams, so it’s fun to see who’s going to be the big surprise this year.”
Having fallen in straight sets to Alex de Minaur in the Canadian Open quarterfinals and then falling to Alexander Zverev in Cincinnati, Medvedev, who won the U.S. Open in 2021, has not had the best lead-up to the competition.
The Russian has made it to five hard court finals this year, taking the titles in Rotterdam, Doha, Dubai, and Miami and ending as runner-up at Indian Wells.
Ruud himself will be looking to improve on being the bridesmaid to Alcaraz in the final in 2022, but not much has gone well for the Norwegian in recent weeks.
The 24-year-old lost his opening match at the Cincinnati Masters against Australian Max Purcell after being eliminated in the second round of Wimbledon and the Canadian Open.
Although he had a rough start to the season, Ruud has demonstrated this year that he can perform admirably at Grand Slams by making it all the way to the French Open final.
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