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US Open 2020 Odds: Who can stop Djokovic?

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Plain and simple, the US Open 2020 is one like no other. Usually, the fourth Grand Slam of the year, this time the US Open will be the second, after five months without top-notch tennis that saw Wimbledon canceled and Roland Garros rescheduled. 

The reigning champion Rafael Nadal won't be participating in the tournament, as many other players who are concerned -and rightfully so- about how the United States is handling the Covid-19 pandemic and is probably waiting to appear in Roland Garros, instead.

Starting on August 31 and ending on September 13, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the US Open will open its doors for tennis elites to battle for the Grand Slam title.

Talking about US Open action, world no.1, Novak Djokovic, starts as a huge favorite, due to his high level, and because Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, his fiercest rivals, won't be playing. This begs the question: can someone stop Djokovic from winning his 18th Grand Slam and his fourth title at Flushing Meadows? 

Here are his biggest threats:

Dominic Thiem

Even if Nadal and Federer were playing, Thiem would be the biggest threat to the big three. Thiem has won seven of his last ten matches against Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer, and even though his head to head against Nole is 4-7, he has won two of the previous three encounters against the Serbian.

With high-volume tennis and an excellent backhand, Thiem poses a dangerous matchup to Novak. If they find each other, it would possibly be at the final according to the seedings, so we would have an incredible matchup to end the tournament.

Daniil Medvedev

Last year's runner up is coming back to Flushing Meadows with a vengeance. Having won two of the previous three against Djokovic, Medvedev style is a nightmare matchup for many on tour.

His flat, non-spin, strikes made his style a more aggressive one than most of the ATP Tour players. He is a low-risk player with a complete skill set and a flat-out powerful shot, no pun intended.

These two usually go the distance, no straight sets from them.

Stefanos Tsitsipas

The Greek has two victories over Djokovic in five matches. Tsitsipas is a very aggressive baseliner player but can serve and volley with the best of them.

A tall player with great stamina, Tsitsipas has a style that will make Djokovic dive deep into his toolset to surpass the Greek tower.

Conclusion

Djokovic has a combined record of 14 wins and eight losses against these three contenders, who are the brightest of the Next Gen ATP, who are poised to take the torch from the Big Three, Djokovic included.

Now, if we focus on the surface, the US Open is on hard court, so let's see how that shifts the horizon. It favors Djokovic, though, who rides a 9-4 combined record. 

The one who has beat Djokovic the most in hard court is Tsitsipas, who defeated Novak twice at the ATP Masters 1000 in Shanghai and the ATP Masters 1000 in Canada.

Djokovic has a clear cut advantage, but he is not invincible, and the Next Gen knows it. When facing any of the three in Grand Slams, Djokovic's record is still positive but much more limited, being 3-2. Interestingly, though, his two losses have come against Thiem at Roland Garros, a clay surface, the specialty of the Austrian. 

So that takes out those odds against him, given that the two surfaces couldn't be more different from one another. In hard outdoors, he has a 2-0 record in Grand Slams, winning against Thiem and Medvedev in Australia. 

Even though both are hard courts, its surfaces are very different. For example, at Melbourne, they play on a Plexicushion based court since 2008, a medium-paced, hard court with lower bounce and less spin than the US Open, which uses a DecoTurf court, which is slightly faster with higher bounce. 

So, upsetting Djokovic is possible. It's very hard, but the chance to upset one of the tennis greatest ever is a longshot that we may have to follow closely as the US Open unfolds, given that it could make space for huge payouts.

Remember, it's been five months since the elite last played, and Djokovic has 33 years of age and was a victim of Covid-19 himself, so we are yet to see his true level and what these two factors can imply when resuming the action.

He has very winnable rounds at the start, but when the quality leaps to the other elite players, an upset could be very possible and betting on the underdog could give you a huge payout here at Skybook Sportsbook Online. Register now to place your bets.