Nadal and Pliskova headline the US Open, but are they the favourites?

Rafael Nadal and Karolina Pliskova are the No. 1 seeded players at this year’s US Open, but not necessarily the favourites.

In the Men’s draw, Nadal started last week off as the new World No. 1 and the No. 1 seed for the tournament and with Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka all sidelined, it is still not a done deal for the Spaniard.

Unfortunately we won’t be having a repeat of this year’s Australian Open final, with Nadal and arch rival, Roger Federer in the same section of the draw.

Grigov Dimitrov and Dominic Thiem are players of interest, but Alexander Zverev of Germany, who recently defeated Roger Federer in the Canadian Open final as well as winning three other ATP titles this year must be the player to watch.

From a South African point of view, our No. 1, Kevin Anderson has been climbing up the rankings since returning from injury and is seeded No. 28 at this year’s US Open. 

There is a very interesting battle ensuing for the Top spot in the Ladies draw, with 1040 points separating the Top 5 players.

Current World No. 1, Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, may be the No. 1 seed, but the talk of the town is definately the third seed, Garbine Muguruza of Spain, who is having a fantastic second half of the 2017 season so far, having clinched this year’s Wimbledon title and then the Cincinnati Masters.

The second seed, Simona Halep, who is currently five points behind Pliskova, will have a tough opening match against the 2006 champion, Maria Sharapova. One would expect Halep to come up trumps, but she seems to be battling in the “bigger” matches. Sharapova, who only returned to the tour in April, has been plagued by injuries and has only played in five tournaments leading up to the US Open.

The fourth seed, Elina Svitolina will be the “outsider” for the title, having already bagged five WTA titles this year.

The fifth seed, Caroline Wozniacki, will only have something to prove to herself. She has got to be the most unluckiest runner-up of 2017, having played in six finals and not yet bagged a title. Will it be third time lucky for the 2009 and 2014 US Open finalist?