Wouldn't be surprised if at least one of the players outside the top 8 had a deep run or two and made it look more interesting. Sleevebot is well capable of picking up some smaller titles, and some deep runs in bigger events, as long as he isn't still affected by this issue with his foot. And obviously you can never count out Clutcherson.
But, anyway, the flip side is that the tournament should be much better if we don't have a field made up of mostly exhausted players. It's hard to imagine a worse tournament than last year's.
Only a slam SF or better with good masters results can push someone else there. Milos has some fluid in his foot, so no Washington for him and he isn't some top dog in the next tournaments. Maybe Marin or Jo can do something, Blanderson and Gasquet would be hilarious. The most vulnerable players from the top 8 are David and Kei because of the injury and Rafa because of his mehness. Bendych hasn't looked good since MC, but he's consistent.
Well last year massive fight to get there, and massive flops when you've made it.
Of the debutants, only Nishikori managed to win a match (2) and almost everything was straight sets and not just 3 or 4, we had 0 and 1 games, including Murray almost getting double bagelled.
Raonic is the loser here really, having missed Rome/RG and losing early at Wimbledon means he is quite behind Nadal. So looks like Nadal might achieve his year end goal here.