As expected, the Big Three of men’s tennis — Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer — secured the top three seeds in the 2019 U.S. Open. They have won a combined 54 Grand Slam titles. The last time one of them didn’t win a Grand Slam was the 2016 U.S. Open when Stan Wawrinka upset Djokovic.
Could these tennis juggernauts’ three-year reign over the sport come to an end this year at Flushing Meadows? USA TODAY Sports examines which on-the-rise players have what it takes to upset one of the Big Three and potentially hoist the trophy.
Dominic Thiem. Ranked No. 4 behind the Big Three, the 25-year-old has faced Djokovic, Federer and Nadal on the big stage and has beaten them all in smaller tournaments. The Austrian won at Indian Wells in March and has reached the past two French Open finals, bowing out to Nadal both times.
Nick Kyrgios. The racket-slamming rebel has shades of John McEnroe with his on-court eruptions at chair umpires (he threw a chair onto the court in May) and while the Australian’s bad boy ways don’t fit in at the more eloquent Wimbledon, his personality and flair fit right in at the…