Berrettini was the 24th seed at the U.S. Open last year. He catapulted himself to the semifinals, where he lost to the eventual champion, Rafael Nadal. Now, seeded sixth, Berrettini is no longer a true underdog. Although he performed poorly at the Australian Open this year, his powerful groundstrokes should help him make another strong run at this year’s U.S. Open.
Goffin, the world No. 10, is a clay court specialist but has reached the round of 16 at the U.S. Open the last three years and was a finalist at the Western & Southern Open in 2019. While few would him to challenge for a Grand Slam title, he’s a joy to watch, especially on days when his two-handed backhand is in full swing.
Roberto Bautista Agut
In Spain, it is customary for players to develop impressive defensive skills from years of playing on baked red clay. Bautista Agut, the world No. 12, took that education and adapted it to hardcourts, becoming one of the rare Spaniards who isn’t just a “dirt rat” — a player whose yearly rankings are almost solely reliant on performances on the red clay of Southern Europe and Latin America. While Bautista Agut’s game is not particularly varied, his tenacity makes him a hard opponent to push past.
Schwartzman is one of the most entertaining players on the ATP Tour. On and off the court, he possesses a charm that makes you want him to do well. At 5 feet 7 inches, Schwartzman became the shortest player since 1994 to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal when he did so at the U.S. Open in 2017, the French Open in 2018 and the U.S. Open again in 2019.
Last year’s U.S. Open was Rublev’s return to the spotlight. Rublev reached the quarterfinals in Queens in 2017 and then missed most of 2018 with a back injury. Upon returning, he did not play particularly well: At last year’s U.S. Open, as an unseeded player, he beat Tsitsipas in the first round before making his way to the round of 16, losing to Berrettini. Rublev had a better start to this year, winning the Qatar Open and the Adelaide Open in preparation for the Australian Open, where he lost to Zverev in the round of 16.
Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Gael Monfils, Fabio Fognini, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, Nick Kyrgios, and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga.
A few more to watch:
Andy Murray, a three time Grand Slam tournament champion, is returning to major competition after his second hip surgery and a subsequent hip injury. He looked like a promising competitor during the Western & Southern Open this past week.