As the US Open nears tennis' top players are getting much needed match practise as they play the Cincinnati Masters.
World No1 Novak Djokovic and defending US Open champion Andy Murray got their pre-Grand Slam preparations off to a bad start as they both crashed out of the tournament losing to John Isner and Tomas Berdych respectively.
At the Roger's Cup to a couple of weeks ago the two players were unable to win the title and will be analysing their game as the hard court Grand Slam nears.
Djokovic and Murray are the top players as well as the men in form making the Wimbledon final. As the Australian Open and US Open champions, the duo are pre-season favourites for the last Grand Slam of the year.
French Open champion Rafael Nadal on the other hand in his 31st meeting beat old rival Roger Federer in a three-setter. Federer is yet to win a Grand Slam this year and would have loved to win this title en route to the US Open.
Nadal who won the Roger's Cup after his first round loss at Wimbledon looked strong and could spring a surprise. Hard court is not the Spaniards favourite surface but he is the 2010 US Open champion and has been seeking another title at Flushing Meadows for sometime now.
Injury after a hectic French Open and Wimbledon has always meant that Nadal was too burnt out for the last Grand Slam, but the tennis star in the hard court season so far has looked spot on with his game, movement and shots.
The last Grand Slam will surely have Djokovic, Murray, Federer and Nadal making major changes to their game plans as other players in the mix also try to get the better of tennis 'fab four'. The US Open this year could also produce a surprise winner like Juan Martin del Potro in 2009.