The sprint, we’re not sure if you noticed, is almost over.
A while back we mentioned that the most wonderful time of the (tennis) year had started once we arrived in Paris for the French Open, and here we are. We’ve walked the entire rainbow to Flushing Meadows, and now comes the big treasure at the end of said rainbow: the US Open, with perhaps the pot of gold (a Nadal/Federer final?) awaiting us.
Tennis never stops and it’s all led to this, the sport’s biggest party in the place where they throw the biggest parties in the world. There are 256 men and women competing in New York over the next two weeks to capture the year’s final Grand Slam: who’s hot, who’s not, and who’s just happy to be here? It’s time for the 2017 US Open power rankings.
America, as they say, gonna America. Say what you will about the United States, but the country sure knows what and who they are, and they don’t apologize for it to anyone. There’s something to be said for that. The US Open is where the crowd gets the rowdiest. Where Novak Djokovic dances on court one year, and fights with the crowd the other. Where Bernard Tomic does Bernard Tomic things. Where future US President gets booed. Where there are too many fights in the crowd to only single out one.
The US Open, basically, is where a whole bunch of things happen that wouldn’t happen anywhere else.
2. Roger Federer
No pressure, Roger. This is likely your best and last chance to add major title No. 20 to your mantle. And you’re all alone too, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are absent. No pressure.
3. Petra Kvitova
We’ve ranked Petra Kvitova near of the top of our power rankings for Roland Garros, Wimbledon and now the US Open, because what she’s managed to accomplish this year is remarkable. Whether she wins doesn’t matter.
4. Alexander Zverev
Have you heard? Alexander Zverev is really pretty great and he’s accomplished just about every single possible thing on the ATP World Tour in 2017 at the ripe age of 20 years old. The one thing left would be to grab a Grand Slam title. Hmmmmmmm.
7. Garbine Muguruza
The 23-year-old Garbine Muguruza, meanwhile, has done pretty much everything she can do on the WTA Tour but she had never really put it all together… until this year maybe, with already two titles and more than $4 million in prize money? She’s been utterly dominant throughout the summer and the US swing and probably profiles as the main favourite on the women’s draw.
35. Jelena Ostapenko
Jelena Ostapenko, we don’t know if you’ve heard, has had quite the 2017 season: she dominated the clay court season and somehow won the French Open. But since making the Wimbledon quarterfinals, she really hasn’t been so good, losing in her first match in both Toronto and Cincinnati. But at the US Open, the tennis Gods smiled on the youngster as the main draw broke her way: other than a potential match against a vulnerable Angelique Kerber, Ostapenko could waltz her way to the quarterfinals.
Relive Ostapenko winning the French Open, here.
52. Madison Keys
Madison Keys has the weight of the United States on her shoulders and enters the US Open as the No. 15 seed but you would do well not to expect too much from the 22-year-old. Her 2017 season, a recent title in Stanford notwithstanding, has been a little bit of a lost cause with just 11 wins in 19 matches played.
88. Gilles Muller
All hail, the #PeoplesChamp Gilles Muller. The 34-year-old is seeded No. 19 at the US Open but whatever: he’s already had his moment under the Sun in 2017.
100. Denis Shapovalov
Copy-paste everything we wrote about Madison Keys here but replace Canada for the United States, and that’s basically Denis Shapovalov.
128. Maria Sharapova
It’s not much, but we’ll finally get to watch Maria Sharapova play tennis in 2017. Considering what she’s been through, that she’s (finally) out there competing is a victory in and of itself. Best of luck to No. 2 seed Simona Halep, who faces the awful task of a first round match against a five-time Grand Slam winner.
175. Alexandr Dolgopolov
Alexandr Dolgopolov has been on quite a run of “MEH!” for a few years now and, well, we’re mostly just slotting here wherever to discuss that one of his recent matches has come under investigation over betting patterns. O’rly? Oh really.
230. Frances Tiafoe
Good luck with Roger Federer in your first match, Frances Tiafoe. These are the breaks unfortunately.
256. Andy Murray
Farewell, world No. 1 Andy Murray. Your reign on the top was pretty short this time and now you’re injured and just generally inconsequential to the happenings of the tennis world. But we know you’ll be back, Murray.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG