by Alastair Bull
Djokovic needed elbow surgery following a fourth-round exit in the Australian Open, and it took him a while to return to form. He did so splendidly in Wimbledon, beating Kevin Anderson in the final after overcoming Rafael Nadal in five hours and 17 minutes in the semifinal.
The 31-year-old Serb was beaten by Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Rogers Cup before beating Roger Federer in the final of the Cincinnati Masters, becoming the first man to win all nine ATP Masters tournaments in his career.
Though he will start as the sixth seed because of his injury layoffs, Djokovic was the favorite at the start of the tournament at around +225. For a man with a winning record against both Federer and Nadal, and one who is now clearly in form, they are attractive odds.
Odds To Win 2018 U.S. Open (Top-6 Outrights)
Novak Djokovic +225
Rafael Nadal +225
Roger Federer +575
Alexander Zverev +1100
Juan Martin Del Potro +1100
Marin Cilic +1800
The only thing counting against Djokovic is his curious record at theU.S. Open. Djokovic has been a dominant figure at the Australian Open, having won six times on the hard court at Melbourne, but he’s won just twice on a similar surface in the U.S. Open, suffering five defeats in the final. However, he arrives at the tournament having missed some of the season due to his surgery, so he should be fresher than normal.
Federer (+500) can’t be ruled out after reaching the final at Cincinnati, while Nadal looks to have a good draw.
Perhaps one for odds, especially to make it to the semifinals from the third quarter, is Marin Cilic. His main obstacle in the draw appears to be young German Alexander Zverev, but Cilic has been more consistent of late and he has a U.S. Open title – in 2014 – to his credit.
Novak Djokovic to Win 2018 U.S. Open (+225)
Marin Cilic to Win Third Quarter of Draw (+240)