Andy Murray's Health is Still in Question as US Open Approaches

  • Andy Murray's Health is Still in Question as US Open Approaches

Andy Murray's Health is Still in Question as US Open Approaches

Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal have shared the first three majors of the season, and with the latter returning to No. 1 you'd be forgiven for thinking we're in a time warp.

The National's sports desk offer up their predictions for who will excel, surprise and struggle over the next two weeks.

Federer, 36, defeated Nadal, 31, in this year's Australian Open final, improving to 3-7 against the Spaniard in Slam finals.

The duo's run to the final Down Under stunned the tennis world after both had cut short their 2016 seasons due to injury.

Sharapova is a former No. 1 with a career Grand Slam; her five major championships include the 2006 U.S. Open. There were signs of fatigue in his shock defeat to Frances Tiafoe in Cincinnati, but after a week's rest expect the German's all-court game to be firing on all cylinders, moving with the litheness and hitting with the ruthlessness of a lanky Novak Djokovic.

That trio of top-10 players is following Federer's example.

He couldn't have envisioned winning the Australian Open, winning Wimbledon, winning top tier events back-to-back at Indian Wells and Miami, and a total of five tournaments in all. He was defeated in the fourth round and quarterfinals of Montreal and Cincinnati respectively, and both losses were to young, rising players.

While the likes of Diego Schwartzman, Lucas Pouille and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga could be risky, Murray at 100 per cent would certainly be fancied to get past all of them.

Murray failed to build on his appearance in the 2008 final the following year, crashing out at the fourth round stage in 2009 to Marian Cilic.

Showdown: Nick Kyrgios will play compatriot John Millman in round one of the US Open. If Nadal storms into the final, he has to insure that neither Murray nor Federer wins the title, however, he will still retain top honour if he finishes as runners-up with the condition that neither Federer nor Murray could make it to the finals. But, in the end, Dimitrov reached the finish line first winning the first maiden Masters 1000 title which he did without dropping a set in the whole tournament.

Figures in brackets are current ATP world rankings.

Three-time major champion Andy Murray, recently replaced at No. 1 by Rafael Nadal, has been dealing with a sore hip and hasn't played since Wimbledon.

The odds were firmly against him as he returned the next day to face Federer, the four-time defending champion, and the Swiss maestro's dominance at Flushing Meadows never looked in any real danger as experience won the day.

There's no doubt that Zverev is a potential future major victor, but 2017 is perhaps a tad too soon. The fact he has not yet withdrawn suggests Murray will take his place on the starting blocks, but it is hard to see how he can make a significant impact in NY.

However, Nadal said: "If I am in the semi-finals, I prefer to play against another one".

Federer, who will open against USA teen Frances Tiafoe, never saw it coming that he and Nadal, who won his 10th French Open title, would enjoy success so long after 30. McEnroe and Borg were a part of the greatest rivalry in tennis through the 1970s and '80s. It would take some effort to upset the apple cart.