As far as oddsmakers are concerned, the 2016 U.S. Open is either Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray’s to lose. Day One of the ATP’s final slam of the year begins Monday, and while defending champion Djokovic may be slightly hampered by a minor injury he’s considered the heavy favorite at 10/11 odds compared to Murray at 2/1, according to Sportsbook.ag.
The two-time U.S. winner and world No. 1 said his left wrist began bothering him just before the start of the Rio Olympics and caused him to withdraw from the Cincinnati Masters a week later. Evidently, the injury to the hard-hitting right-hander was severe enough that Djokovic couldn’t make it out of the first round of the Games.
Still, with the Australian and French Open titles already in his possession this year, Djokovic remains the most feared player at Flushing Meadows. The Serbian will meet Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz, who he’s never faced, in Monday’s night session.
Murray, who became the first player to win consecutive gold medals in tennis, appears to be healthy and will try to parlay his Olympic success into the second U.S. title of his career. The 29-year-old Scot dropped Djokovic in a five-set thriller in 2012, and open’s this year’s tournament against the Czech Republic's Lukas Rosol Monday afternoon.
After the two favorites, and with No. 4 ranked Roger Federer still sidelined with injuries, the second tier of contenders is led by the man who shockingly eliminated Djokovic in Rio, Canada’s highest-ranked player, and two-time U.S. champ Rafael Nadal.
Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro, who’s currently ranked No. 142 in the world, bounced both Djokovic and Nadal during the Olympics and fell to Murray in the finals. At 14/1, Del Potro’s tied with sixth-ranked Canadian Milos Raonic, with Nadal next up at 16/1 odds.
Nadal’s tournament begins with Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin, a 30-year-old who’s reached as far as the fourth round at Flushing Meadows but has lost all four his career matches and claimed just one set against the Spaniard.
Prediction: Djokovic and Nadal won’t meet until the finals if they reach that far, but the top-ranked Serb has a very tough slate to the championship round. If the seeds hold, Djokovic could meet 2014 champion Marin Cilic in the quarters and then Nadal in the semis, before Murray in the finals. Murray’s toughest test likely won’t come until the potential matchup with No. 7 ranked Kei Nishikori in the quarters and then-No. 3 Stan Wawrinka in the semis. Since Djokovic has the hardest trail, look for Murray to claim his second U.S. crown.
Odds To Win 2016 U.S. Open
Novak Djokovic 10/11
Andy Murray 2/1
Juan Martin del Potro 14/1
Milos Raonic 14/1
Rafael Nadal 16/1
Marin Cilic 20/1
Stan Wawrinka 20/1
Kei Nishikori 22/1
Nick Kyrgios 40/1
Dominic Thiem 50/1
Gael Monfils 66/1
Grigor Dimitrov 66/1
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 66/1
John Isner 100/1
The full list of futures odds can be found at Sportsbook.ag here