Nalbandian has spent much of the year in the world's top 10 and is coming into form at just the right time.
World ranking: 13
US Open best:
3rd round (2001)
2002: 1st round
2001: 3rd round
The Argentine burst onto the scene by reaching last year's Wimbledon final and has confounded the sceptics by becoming one of the leading players on the tour.
Nalbandian is a heavy hitter from the baseline but, unlike most of his compatriots, does not count clay as his favourite surface.
He relishes hard-court tennis and improved considerably when he arrived in North America this summer, reaching the final in Montreal and beating Roger Federer in Cincinnati.
And despite not reaching a tour final until August, the 21-year-old has still shown he can prosper in the big events and on all surfaces.
He reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open, semi-finals at the Hamburg Masters Series and the last 16 at Wimbledon.
In two trips to Flushing Meadows he has not been past the third round, but a good draw could see him go further this time.