Roger Federer, the recently crowned champion at Wimbledon 2017, hasn't exactly been a mainstay in the US Open final this decade. He skipped the tournament outright last season, but was in the final in 2015, losing to Novak Djokovic. You actually have to go all the way back to 2008 to find Federer's last title in New York. However, that hasn't stopped the oddsmakers from making the Swiss Maestro the favorite for the late-summer Grand Slam event.

US Open ends Grand Slam season

The 2017 Us Open will start on August 28th.

Beforehand, the key tournaments will be the Canadian Masters and the Cincinnati Masters. There are also some smaller events to be played out, including ATP Washington. Those events and the winners of them will affect the favorites' list for the 2017 US Open. However, in the aftermath of the title at the All England Club, Federer is a +275 (9 to 4) favorite to win what would be his 20th Grand Slam title.

Is there reason to be skeptical of Federer's chances? One big one is just the fact that he skipped the clay court season, something that reveals his own concerns over injury.

With Montreal and Cincinnati to be played in the weeks ahead, the upcoming schedule is compact. If Federer needs to take it easy to recover from Wimbledon then that might affect his preparation for Flushing Meadows.

Something wrong with everyone else

However, there is no other bright light right now on the men's tour. Djokovic appears to be injured, Murray appears to be injured, and the US Open hasn't been Rafael Nadal's best tournament over the years.

Stan Wawrinka, the defending champion in New York, may emerge as a key player in the tournaments ahead. However, Federer owns a strong record against his fellow Swiss. Marin Cilic, the 2014 champion at Flushing Meadows, appears to also be a key player heading into the hard court season. That said, Federer just finished dismantling Cilic.

In looking ahead, one can only look at a few different things.

Firstly, Federer could pick up an injury. In fact, it would be surprising if he played a full schedule ahead of the US Open. Secondly, Djokovic and/or Murray might start to feel better physically. However, given how long they've struggled with their bodies it's unlikely that a lot will change in the weeks before the US Open. Rafael Nadal may be Federer's main antagonist again. The Spaniard is +400 (4 to 1) to win the last Grand Slam of the year, making him the 2nd favorite.

One could also watch for one of the peripheral players to hit top form. However, it's hard to imagine anyone stopping a healthy Federer outside of the other players in the Big Four. If Federer can win the US Open, then he certainly would take away the No. 1 ranking. After winning Wimbledon, it's hard to imagine him not getting back to the top in the months ahead.

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