As much as the loss of Nadal will hurt the tournament, the fact that there will be other huge stars ready to step up and benefit from the Spanish star’s absence will make this Grand Slam amazing.
All of the following stars would be contending for the win with or without Nadal in the field, but their road to Grand Slam glory is admittedly easier without the star possibly dominating.
There is almost no one in tennis that can beat Roger Federer on a consistent basis other than Rafael Nadal. With that said, no player in the world was happier to see the star miss the event more than Fed-Ex.
Now that Federer has avoided his biggest hurdle, he can focus on his play and build off his huge win at the Cincinnati Masters. With the huge victory coming over Novak Djokovic in the finals of that tournament, Federer walks into the 2012 U.S. Open with the mental edge over the entire field.
While Andy Murray defeated Roger Federer to win the gold medal at the Olympics just a few weeks ago, Murray has never beaten Federer on a consistent basis. With five U.S. Open titles, Federer is the new favorite.
With a tumultuous 2012 season so far, tennis phenom Novak Djokovic has not been able to regain the elite form he had in 2011 when he dominated the sport. After losing at the Olympics and at the Cincinnati Masters, the lack of Nadal is a welcomed sight.
Djokovic told ESPN about the difference between the U.S. Open courts and the ones he found during his loss to Federer at the Cincinnati Masters tournament:
“The conditions here are quite different from US Open. It's a bit slower there, which I think goes in my favour a little bit more, more suitable to my style of the game. I'm going to have a week that I think is very necessary for me right now mentally and physically.”
After meeting Nadal 33 times in their careers, these two stars are very familiar with each other, but Nadal holds a distinct edge. If Nadal misses Roger Federer in the draw, there is a chance he could avoid playing his two biggest foes.
After an amazing performance at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Great Britain’s own Andy Murray was able to hoist a gold medal and his country’s flag in celebration of the biggest win of his life; over long-time foe Roger Federer no less.
While the gold is great, the real next step for Murray is a Grand Slam title. No better place to start the championship glory than at the US Open where he can ride his still red-hot momentum to a possible win.
With Nadal missing the U.S. Open, the field can shake out many different ways for the Scottish star, but the hope is to avoid the portion of the bracket featuring Roger Federer and/or Novak Djokovic. If Murray gets a favorable draw, he could easily win his first Grand Slam here.
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