Monfils started the season like a house on fire, capturing a hardcourt title in Rotterdam and also making semi-finals in Sofia and Dubai and the quarters in Indian Wells before injury struck.
Sadly that’s been a common theme throughout the Frenchman’s career and admittedly it’s always a risk backing him to stay fit for two weeks of best-of-five-sets tennis.
However, he showed glimpses of that good form in Montreal recently where he again reached the last four, fighting his way impressively past Roberto Bautista Agut.
A great showman, Monfils should thrive in the atmosphere of Flushing Meadows and indeed he reached the semis here in 2016 when he was pulling out ‘hot dog’ shots left, right and centre. He’s also made two other quarter-final runs in New York.
Monfils has always had the talent to succeed at the highest level. He’s shown plenty of application this season so if his body can hold up, he’s got the potential to make 100/1 look big.
Another player with undoubted talent, Rublev gave fans another flash of his potential by beating Roger Federer in Cincinnati recently.
He’s also beaten Lucas Pouille and Marin Cilic on a hardcourt this year, while Dominic Thiem on clay is a serious scalp he claimed in Hamburg.
Still only 21, the Russian made the quarter-finals here two years ago and as he bids to go even further in the draw, he may just benefit from the recent success of fellow Russian Daniil Medvedev.
Medvedev, the man who bet Rublev in Cincinnati, reached three finals in as many weeks in the run up to the US Open, ensuring the talk about Rublev following his victory over Federer didn’t last long.
We’ve seen before how domestic battles can result in players spurring each other on and Rublev is unlikely to be happy to find his rival garnering all the attention right now.
Unseeded, Rublev will need some luck in the draw but I’m not sure he should be out at 200/1.
Horses-for-courses punters simply have to take note of Sevastova’s US Open record.
In the last three years, she’s made two quarter-finals and one semi-final.
Since her run to the last four 12 months ago – one ended by Serena Williams – Sevastova has gone on to reach the final of the prestigious China Open on a hardcourt and also make the last 16 of the Australian Open, only losing in three sets to eventual champion Naomi Osaka.
Recent hardcourt form has been harder to find although a tight first-round loss to Svetlana Kuznetsova in Cincinnati has been given some perspective given the Russian went on to reach the final.
Prior to the North American summer swing, Sevastova had won a claycourt title in Jurmala so any suggestion that’s she’s out of form is wide of the mark.
The Latvian is the world number 12 and with the women’s game remaining fairly open right now, odds of 50/1 are tempting given Sevastova’s tournament record.
Another player from a Baltic state, Kontaveit has been showing some good signs in the warm-up events.
She was eliminated in the last 16 in both Toronto and Cincinnati but beat Maria Sharapova in the former before losing to Karolina Pliskova, and in the latter Angelique Kerber was defeated before a 7-5 in the third loss to world number two Ash Barty.
Those were Kontaveit’s first hardcourt events since reaching the semis in Miami in the spring and her performances suggest she could contend in the Big Apple.
Kontaveit made the last 16 here in 2015 but has suffered three first-round defeats in a row since.
If you are prepared to put that down to a quirk, there’s plenty to like about the Estonian at 66/1.
I picked out Yastremska as one of my ‘five to follow’ on the WTA tour at the start of the season and the Ukrainian has justified that faith – she’s already pocketed two titles, including one on hardcourts in Hua Hin.
A power player who is still only 19, Yastremska has enjoyed some notable results in recent weeks.
Arriving in North America on the back of a last-16 run at Wimbledon, the teenager beat both Johanna Konta and Victoria Azarenka in Toronto. Having moved onto Cincinnati, Yastremska defeated Caroline Wozniacki before being edged out by Svetlana Kuznetsova – missing match points in the second set against a player who went on to finish runner-up.
That’s the sort of form which will make her dangerous in New York where she has claimed a late seeding following the withdrawal of Amanda Anisimova.
That means she’ll avoid any of the big guns until at least round three where she’ll be a threat to any of the higher-ranked stars.