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US Open preview - men

It's Slam time again which means I've been busy with betting previews. I've been writing these for all the Slams since 2000 with some tasty winners along the way...

Men's draw

Changing of the guard with Djokovic holding the no.1 seed mantle for the first time at a Slam. If his shoulder ailment has gone, then the title is his to lose. But if he isn't full strength, it's wide open. Expect severe disruption to the schedule for the first couple of days until the after-effects of Hurricane Irene peter out completely.

1. Djokovic - his form this year makes him the most dominant man I have seen across all surfaces. 57-2 is incredible, particularly with the most recent defeat being a precautionary retirement due to an ailing shoulder (Cincinnati final). Early rounds should be a breeze, gets harder in week two - Gasquet, followed by Berdych or Monfils. 2.3
32. Dodig - first time seed facing former world #3 in R1. Tough initiation. Beat Nadal in Montreal so can pull a shock result out from time to time. 1000
22. Dolgopolov - yet to make an impact at the Slams, has the talent to mix it with the best. Nishikori R2, Gasquet R3 will be intriguing clashes for him - can with both of those, but no chance of getting past Djokovic soon after. 400
13. Gasquet - never past the fourth round here, the talent is there but the application always suffers. Opens up against big-server Stakhovsky, followed by Karlovic or Gonzalez. Has to be on the ball just to meet another seed in R3. 250
9. Berdych - after beating Federer in Cincinnati, he retired in the semi-final with a shoulder injury. Not an ailment you want to suffer just before a Grand Slam on a quick surface. Has bombed in R1 twice in last three years, yet to get past R4. 80
20. Tipsarevic - awful Slam record, just two Wimbledon R4s to show from 30 events. That said, he has changed focus this season with two titles won. 1000
31. Granollers - 16 Slam main draws, never past R2! Ranking obviously based on winning a lot of matches in weak tournaments. 1000
7. Monfils - Rasheed seems to have improved him. Finalist Washington, beaten by Djokovic in the quarters at Montreal and Cincinnati, but his wins over top 10 players are few and far between. Tricky opener against Dimitrov, could face Djokovic again in the QF. 150
3. Federer - still capable of brilliance, but tellingly, now more capable of average days when those he once dominated can beat him. Inflicted the only full match defeat of Djokovic this year at Roland Garros, but then threw away a two-set lead against Tsonga at Wimbledon. Beaten by Tsonga again in Montreal and then by an ailing Berdych in Cincinnati. Tsonga/Fish in the quarters will be a real test for him. I still maintain my view that he will not win another major tournament (and nor will his mate Tiger for that matter). 12


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