The stage is set for the US Open, which begins in just three weeks’ time, to decide who will be the player of the year. With Novak Djokovic winning the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal the French Open, Roger Federer Wimbledon and now Andy Murray the Olympics, the "Fab Four" who have dominated the men’s game for the last four years have so far shared the major honours for 2012.
While there are serious doubts over Nadal’s fitness – the Spaniard pulled out of the Olympics and this week’s Toronto Masters because of a knee problem – the three other top men can all be expected to shine at Flushing Meadows.
Federer has won the title in New York five times, Djokovic won it last year and Murray has always regarded it as the Grand Slam tournament where he has the best chance of success. He won his only Grand Slam junior title there in 2004 and reached his first senior Grand Slam final in New York four years ago, losing to Federer.
Murray, who has played in four Grand Slam finals and lost them all, will be hoping that his Olympic triumph can provide the final impetus for his career in the way that Serbia’s Davis Cup triumph at the end of 2010 proved the launch pad for Djokovic. The Serb has always said that winning for his country gave him the confidence that enabled him to win four of the next five Grand Slam tournaments and become world No 1.
The build-up to New York has been cut short because of the Olympics and several players have already pulled out of this week’s Toronto Masters. Murray is planning to fly to Canada tomorrow but said he would decide whether or not to play when he arrives. He is due to play his first match on Wednesday.