With Novak Djokovic's shoulder in question and Andy Murray barely surviving his last match, Rafael Nadal could easily be considered the favorite to win the 2011 US Open at this point.His win over David Nalbandian doesn't just have him looking like he's going to make a deep run in this tournament; it's got him looking like he's going to take the whole thing.There were a ton of question marks surrounding the top seeds in this tournament. With none of the favorites coming into this tournament playing their best tennis, it appeared as though someone like Murray might finally be destined for a grand slam win, or perhaps a dark horse would creep into contention.Djokovic's shoulder is holding up, but it's still a major cause for concern. Djokovic regressing to his Rogers Cup state would make for an immediate exit.With promising players like Robin Soderling and Gael Monfils being ousted from contention, the number of players looking like they could test the favorites is dwindling.Nadal may have been overtaken by Djokovic as the No. 1 player in the world, but make no mistake about it, Nadal is still a world-class player. He's the second best player in the world and seems to have been unfairly written off.Nadal has a tough road ahead of him, likely having to go through David Ferrer and Murray just to get to the finals. Even so, Nadal is gaining serious momentum with every win.Nadal isn't far removed from his reign of terror over tennis. Surely regression has taken place, but he's got a great opportunity to show the tennis world that he's still got grand slam victories lying in his future.It's impossible to discount Nadal, and with every win it's looking less and less like an underdog could pull off an upset by shutting him down on his road to the final.Nadal isn't just surviving and advancing, he's making statements every step of the way.