Top guns ready to boom again

Top guns ready to boom again

Djokovic, Federer main contenders in men's section; Serena the cynosure among women

Top guns ready to boom again

Top seed Novak Djokovic and number two Roger Federer are favoured to wage another title showdown in the last Grand Slam of 2014, although some emerging young guns have other ideas for the US Open starting on Monday.

Djokovic and Federer’s path to a championship clash could be less troubled than usual with the absence of last year's winner Rafael Nadal due to a wrist injury, and the sub-par form of 2012 champion Andy Murray since last year’s back surgery.

If the leading men star in the Arthur Ashe Stadium final, it would provide a sequel to their five-set thriller at the All England Club in which a teary-eyed Djokovic hoisted the Wimbledon trophy.
Both claim to be overdue for another taste of triumph at Flushing Meadows.

Djokovic counts just one US title (2011) in his haul of seven Grand Slams despite reaching the Flushing Meadows final in each of the last four years and five times overall.

Federer, 33, has five successive US Open crowns from 2004 but has gone without since. He extended his Grand Slam title record collection to 17 by winning the 2012 Wimbledon, which stands as his only Slam triumph in his last 18 tries.

Lying in wait for another chance to spring a surprise and trumpet their arrival on the main stage are promising players who made a big splash in London.

Seeded fifth is hard-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, a Wimbledon semifinalist along with fellow 23-year-old Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, seeded seventh in Flushing Meadows, where girlfriend Maria Sharapova will likely be seen cheering him on.

Also hoping to follow up the fireworks he set off at the last major is 19-year-old Australian Nick Kyrgios, who ousted Nadal in the fourth round before falling to Raonic in the quarters at Wimbledon.

Among the veterans, Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland is seeded third ahead of Spaniard David Ferrer, with Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic at number six, two places ahead of Murray, who has shown hints of a return to form of late.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, who beat Federer in the Rogers Cup final in Toronto, holds the ninth seed while Japan's Kei Nishikori rounds out the top 10 seeds.

Serena favourite

Serena Williams will once again be counted on to wave the Stars and Stripes as she takes centre stage in the women’s competition with the next generation of American tennis hopefuls waiting in the wings.
The world number one has always made a point of how special it is to play at home and there is no bigger stage than centre court at the US National Tennis Center.

Adding to Williams's confidence, the path to the Sept 7 women's final has been cleared of at least one major obstacle with another limping.

Maria Sharapova, the 2006 US Open champion, has had a steady if unspectacular buildup to Flushing Meadows while Agnieszka Radwanska will fancy her chances at a maiden Grand Slam.

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki will also be eyeing her Grand Slam breakthrough, the Dane hitting her hard court stride with a title in Istanbul, followed by making the quarterfinal in Montreal and semifinal in Cincinnati.

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