For all the talk about the missing talent at the 2017 Us Open there are still three former champions alive in the men's draw at Flushing Meadows. Those players are Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Juan Martin del Potro. All three are in the same half of the draw and, as such, they will all play on Monday. The latter will face Dominic Thiem in what is a rematch of a fourth-round match from the 2016 US Open.

Thiem vs. del Potro preview

Last year when the two players met in the quarters, what resulted was a disappointing contest. Thiem seemed to be injured at the time, perhaps due to the effects of playing an incredibly dense schedule in 2016.

The Austrian retired from the match during the second set. At the time of his retirement, he was already down a set and did not appear to have any intensity. The two players also met in 2016 in Madrid on clay. Clay is Thiem's surface of preference, however, del Potro took that match as well. The Argentine has a 2-0 record against Thiem having won all three sets that the two players have played heads up.

Del Potro the better hard-court player

Neither of these players was sharp in the lead-up events to the US Open. Thiem seems to be more interested in improving his hard-court results, but as of yet, he hasn't established himself as a threat on the surface. The Austrian may, in fact, win majors in his career but the venue where he's most likely to succeed is at Roland Garros.

Thiem has never won a fourth-round match in a major away from Paris, a trend that he will try to end on Monday.

Del Potro is certainly a more-proven tennis talent than Thiem. But if Monday's match comes down to cardio then the advantage belongs to the Austrian. He's more nimble than his opponent, he's younger, and del Potro, even when he was young, was never known as a cardio king.

Thiem's best chance in the match may come in the late sets. Even if the Austrian falls behind 0-2, much will still ride on the third set.

There should be no question of hunger in this contest. Both players are capable of making the final and given that there's no one amazing on the bottom half of the draw still in the tournament, both del Potro and Thiem are potential champions for Flushing Meadows.

This match has been scheduled for Grandstand, fourth up on the court after a Junior Girls match and two men's doubles matches. The stadium start time is 11 AM ET in New York and with three matches to be played before Thiem and del Potro take to the courts, it should be either a late afternoon or early evening match.

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