MATCH POINT: The US Open starts at Flushing Meadows on Monday. Our tennis pundit MATCH POINT is back to preview the Men’s tournament with three BETDAQ selections.

The US Open gets underway at Flushing Meadows but yet again there’s been plenty of pre-tournament headlines over Novak Djokovic who will miss the tournament, as he did in Australia at the top of the year, due to his vaccine status.

It’s hard to have any other view on this other than tennis misses out whilst being mindful of the decision is entirely in the hands of Djokovic and respectful of that.

But as tennis fans we are in the mists of perhaps the greatest three way battle in the history of the sport as the race to win the most Slams surely enters the closing stages.

As it stands:

1 Rafael Nadal 22
2 Novak Djokovic 21
3 Roger Federer 20

With the younger generation (at last) beginning to make their mark you just start to wonder how many more chances Djokovic will get and how costly the missed tournaments in Australia and New York will prove. Not to mention his disqualification from the US Open in 2020 for accidentally hitting a ball at a line judge.

Nadal perhaps sums the situation up best: “From my personal perspective, it’s very sad news. It’s always a shame when the best players of the world are not able to play a tournament because of injuries or because of different reasons.

“In this case, not having one of the best players of history in the draw of a Grand Slam is always an important miss. It’s tough for the fans, tough for the tournament. In my opinion, tough for the players, too, because we want to have the best field possible.”

But, as always in sport, the show rolls on and it’s no great surprise to see defending champion as the favourite on the BETDAQ SPORTSBOOK Daniil Medvedev is around 3.5 ahead of Nadal at 5.1.

Medvedev caused a shock in the final last year halting Djokovic’s progress with a 6-4 6-4 6-4 win to land his maiden slam – he missed Wimbledon due to the ban on Russian and Belarusian players but has since returned to form winning Los Cabos and reaching the semi-finals in Cincinnati.

I think he’s definitely a player I want to keep on side but will also add in a couple of bigger priced selections which will hopefully give us a good spin over the next fortnight.

Nick Kyrgios would have a Timeform squiggle if he was a horse but the enigmatic showman has proved that his tennis has reached a new standard when he focusses on the job in hand.

Of course you never know what you’re going to get but at around 10.0 doesn’t look bad value and he should see off his close friend and doubles partner Thanasi Kokkinakis in the opening round in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Kyrgios proved at Wimbledon he has a Slam in him when runner-up to Novak Djokovic after a testing 6-4 3-6  4-6 6-7 final.

At much bigger odds I’m keen on Jannik Sinner at around 18.0. The 20-year-old Italian won out in Croatia earlier in the year and I think could go pretty deep into this year’s tournament.

4 points win MEDVEDEV TO WIN (at around 3.5)
2.5 points win KYRGIOS TO WIN (at around 10.0)
2.5 points win SINNER TO WIN (at around 18.0)