Cilic one of three under-the-radar fancies for the US Open

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The chance to claim the final Grand Slam of 2014 is little over a month away and, if Wimbledon was anything to go by, one of the big four not winning the US Open could be a real possibility.

Yes, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer were familiar final opponents in SW19 with the Serb claiming the 36th Grand Slam final for the big four since 2005. However, Grigor Dimitrov’s toppling of Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal’s early exit indicate the tide could finally be turning in men’s tennis.

Here’s three under-the-radar players who are best placed to spring a US Open surprise:

Kei Nishikori – 33/1

A run to the Wimbledon fourth round helped the Japanese player move to within one spot of the world’s top 10.

The hard courts of New York will suit Nishikori, as 48 percent of his career wins have come on that surface and his confidence should be high considering he beat Dimitrov, David Ferrer and Federer in his last hard court tournament.

Ernests Gulbis – 66/1

Reaching the French Open’s semi-finals thrust Latvia’s best racket-baller slightly over the radar, but Gulbis is still a lengthy fancy to trouble the US Open’s engraver according to Ladbrokes.

His 2007 debut at the tournament, where he reached the fourth round, remains his best effort in the American Slam, but recent results – including that Roland Garros run – indicate he’s on the cusp of something special.

Marin Cilic – 150/1

Having made it to the Australian Open semi-finals at the tender age of 21 means Cilic has been on tennis fans’ radar for a while, although his Grand Slam performances since then have seen his reputation submerge.

His three-figure odds indicate just how far that fall has been, but the Croatian has won more matches at the final Slam of the year than at any other over the course of his career.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.