Will Federer win No. 6 in New York?
After Roger Federer's gleaming performance in Cincinnati, he will enter the U.S. Open as the unwavering favorite. Some might argue it's the best he's looked in two years.
But the men's field is deep and only getting deeper. Andy Murray is putting together another auspicious summer hard-court season, while Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick and Juan Martin del Potro have shined as well.
And then there's that Rafa guy. The return of Rafael Nadal, who missed appreciable time after the French Open, certainly adds intrigue.
So who will flourish in Flushing? Let the experts decide.
U.S. Open men's predictions
|Bonnie D. Ford
ESPN.com tennis writer
ESPN.com tennis writer
Florida-based tennis writer
|Early Exit||Rafael Nadal made it to the Cincinnati semifinals but often looked awkward getting there. It's too soon for him to weather the pressure of this Slam.||The oft-injured Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has never, ever been past the third round at the U.S. Open.||Jo-Wilfried Tsonga claims he prefers to play tennis in French-speaking countries, and New York doesn't fit the bill.|
|Sleeper||After reaching the fourth round here last year and a strong summer, Sam Querrey can do a lot of damage in New York.||David Ferrer knows how to win here. He reached the semifinals two years ago, losing to Djokovic.||Tommy Haas won his first title in two years at Halle and reached the second week at the French and Wimbledon. He's looking strong.|
|Winner||Yes, all signs point to the defending champion, but a contrarian would say Andy Roddick is primed to end the Slam drought for himself and American men.||After a brief birth sabbatical, Roger Federer is back in top form. Give him six straight U.S. Opens and 16 major titles.||Confident again, the reigning French and Wimbledon champion, Roger Federer, will claim his sixth consecutive U.S. Open title.|
Toronto-based tennis writer
London-based tennis writer
ESPN.com tennis editor
|Early Exit||Gut says this is Rafael Nadal's best chance yet because he's not exhausted. But the mind can't help noting those self-admitted mental fades at Cincinnati and Montreal.||Having a bad season, Gilles Simon recovered somewhat at last week's Cincinnati Masters. He's still pretty vulnerable, though.||Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's results have been less than spectacular since, well, February. This won't change in New York.|
|Sleeper||Impressive in this summer's smaller events, Sam Querrey must now show he can boom the dynamite at the big events.||Sam Querrey has been one of the hottest players on the circuit since Wimbledon. His huge serve and forehand trouble just about anyone.||Nine years after dismantling Pete Sampras in the U.S. Open final, Marat Safin will bid adieu to his Slam career with an inspiring run.|
|Winner||Resistance is futile. Not only is Roger Federer the five-time defending champ, he's been playing the best tennis going in and heads a well-defined list of favorites.||Juan Martin del Potro has stepped up his game from last year, and he now knows he can beat the big boys.||Don't buy into Rafael Nadal's bum knees and lack of play. It's all posturing to snag the one missing piece of his dossier.|
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2009 U.S. Open
Women's singles: Kim Clijsters, Belgium
Juan Martin del Potro, Argentina
Men's doubles: Lukas Dlouhy, Czech Republic and Leander Paes, India
Women's doubles: Serena and Venus Williams, United States
Mixed doubles: Carly Gullickson and Travis Parrott, United States
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