The 2017 US Open – Which Players are in Contention for the Titles

 

The final tennis Grand Slam of 2017, the US Open, begins next week, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York. British fans will be hoping that Andy Murray and Johanna Konta can do enough to take the trophies home. What challenges will the British number ones face and which players stand in their way?

The Men’s Singles – Is Murray Fit Enough to Fight for the Title?

At present, it isn’t even certain that Andy Murray will be competing in the tournament. The Scottish player was forced to pull out of the Rogers Cup event in Montreal and the Cincinnati Masters earlier this month, due to the hip injury that hampered him during Wimbledon in July.

Murray isn’t the only leading player to have injury woes at the moment, however. If he does make it onto the courts, he won’t need to worry about facing Novak Djokovic, for example. The Serbian has already called time on his 2017 season, so that he can recover from the elbow injury that caused him to retire during his quarter-final Wimbledon tie against Tomas Berdych.

Stan Wawrinka, who defeated Djokovic in last year’s US Open final, has also had to stop playing until 2018, due to a knee injury. 

“After talking with my team and doctor, I had to make a difficult decision to undergo a medical intervention on my knee,” he told the BBC. “This was the only solution to make sure I will be able to compete at the top level for many more years.”

Kei Nishikori will also be absent from the tournament, due to a wrist problem, while Milos Raonic, Roger Federer and Marin Cilic withdrew from the Cincinnati Masters, due to wrist, back and abductor injuries respectively. 

Rafael Nadal, on the other hand, is in fine form and, due to Murray’s recent tournament absences, reclaimed the world number one spot earlier this week. Other players who could challenge for the famous tennis trophy this year include Alex Zverev, Nick Kyrgios, Grigor Dimitrov and Dominic Thiem.

The Women’s Singles – Can Konta Win Her First Grand Slam Trophy?

There’ll be some big names missing from the women’s tournament this year as well. The most notable of these is Serena Williams, who is expecting her first child soon. However, this week, Victoria Azarenka also announced that she would be unable to participate, as she’s involved in a custody battle over her son.

Britain’s Johanna Konta is set to take part, however, and according to Tim Henman, she could be a real contender. 

“I think hard courts are probably her best surface,” he told Sky Sports. “She won in Miami which is their next biggest tournament outside of a major, so she’s beaten a lot of the best players in the world and she had a great run to the semis at Wimbledon.”

Konta will need to be at her best to succeed, however, as competition will be fierce. This year’s Wimbledon champion, Garbine Muguruza is looking particularly strong, having taken less than an hour to defeat Simona Halep in the Cincinnati Open final last weekend.

Other threats to Konta’s US Open campaign could include Venus Williams, Jelena Ostapenko, Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber, Maria Sharapova, Elena Svitolina and the current world number one, Karolina Pliskova.

Which players do you think will triumph at Flushing Meadows this year? Will you be watching the action on TV? Leave a comment, or let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

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