It’s time to get into that ‘New York State of Mind’, because It’s US Open time, baby! The whole tennis world will turn its gaze upon The Big Apple, as the best players in the world battle it out for 2019’s final slam. The city that never sleeps has been home to some of the rowdiest, enthralling and significant moments in the history of tennis. Get your best New York accent ready, chuck your Yankees hat on and let’s dive into who will be the #furthestaussie, the men’s singles winner and the women’s singles winner.
The Story So Far
The hard-court season has brought about plenty of queries, quandaries and quips for tennis fans to ponder. Nick Kyrgios took out the Washington title, and followed that up with a monstrous fine in Cincinnati. Kyrgios’ contemporary, Daniil Medvedev, is leading the charge from the Nextgen as he continued his amazing season so far with a title in Cincinnati, as well as 2 finals in Washington & Montreal. Madison Keys emerged as a frontrunner on the women’s side, as she beat out some of her major rivals on her way to winning the Cincinnati final. Novak Djokovic & Roger Federer had lackluster results, but their big 3 compatriot, Rafael Nadal, has travelled well and took out the title in Montreal. The defending champions are Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka.
The Big 3
You know it. I know it. Everybody in tennis knows it. It’s all about The Big 3. Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer have combined to take 11 Slam titles in a row and 54 of the past 65. This is reflected in the betting markets, with Novak the favourite at $2.20, followed by Nadal at $3.75 and Federer at $8.50. I said in my Wimbledon 2019 preview that it was tough to see anyone outside of those 3 names challenge for the title, which ultimately proved to be true as Djokovic took out Federer in an epic final. Once again, it’s difficult to see anyone mounting a significant challenge outside of those 3 names.
The Lost Gen
Stan Wawrinka was the last man to win a grand slam outside of the big 3, as he took out the 2016 US Open. Will it happen in New York this year? Uh… probably not. Daniil Medvedev is the form men’s player at the moment, but has yet to produce any significant best-of-five set tennis. This factor is often overlooked in men’s tennis, with experience and age usually proving a massive advantage at grand slams. Mevdedev should test the serbian wall AKA Djokovic in the quarter-finals. Of the other hopefuls, Stefanos Tsitsipas has a difficult draw, Alexander Zverev is down on form and Dominic Thiem would have to beat two members of The Big 3 back-to-back to win the title.
Look Out For…
Hubert Hurkacz. He had an amazing week at Winston-Salem, the seeds in his section are 100% beatable.
Felix Auger-Aliassime. Widely regarded as the future world no. 1 – this kid can play. If he takes out compatriot Denis Shapovalov in the 3rd round, watch him catch fire and make a run deep into the draw.
So. Many. Contenders.
It’s been a strange couple of slams on the women’s side. Notorious grass-court lover, Ashleigh Barty, won on clay at Roland Garros. While notorious clay-court lover, Simona Halep, won on grass at Wimbledon. 37 year old Serena Williams arrives at her home slam as the favourite at $6, with her Wimbledon nemesis, Simona Halep, next at $8. Australia’s golden girl, Ashleigh Barty, is next at $9.
Ash is looking to cement her place atop the WTA rankings and take out her second grand slam of the year. Naomi Osaka is the no. 1 seed and defending champion, but we don’t really see her making a significant run as she battles injuries and a dip in form. Halep and Petra Kvitova come in under injury clouds as well, meaning an upset to either could be on the cards in the early rounds. Karolina Pliskova & Madison Keys are probably the 2 best players in the draw who have yet to win a slam. Ironically, they will meet in the quarter-finals. I think the winner of that match-up most likely ends up winning the title. Serena has a difficult draw, as she faces former champion, Maria Sharapova in the first round and meets Ash Barty later on.
Look Out For…
Coco Gauff. Just like FAA on the men’s side, Coco Gauff is unbelievable. The 15 year old’s 4th round appearance in her grand slam debut at Wimbledon may have come as a shock to many, but to anybody that had seen her play it was no surprise. She can match it with anybody in this draw.
Bianca Andreescu. Has the capacity to win the whole thing, but also has the capacity to significantly dip in form. Her title run in Toronto was followed by a withdraw from Cincinnati. Look out Halep in the 4th round.
There are 12 Aussies in action in New York in the 1st round.
Leading the charge for Australia is world no. 2, Ash Barty. Ash would be the first Australian woman to win 2 singles slams in a calendar year since Evonne Goolagon Cawley. Former champion, Sam Stosur, accepted a wildcard into the event and looks to return to form in New York. Astra Sharma is a nightmare for any opponent – look for her to cause upsets. Priscilla Hon & Ajla Tomjlanovic both have winnable matches first up. As does Daria Gavrilova. Look for the Aussie girls to have a strong showing into the 2nd & 3rd rounds of the tournament.
Nick Kyrgios has a really difficult first round against American, Steve Johnson. Which Nick will show up? Cincinatti Nick or Washington Nick? Jury is out. Alexei Popyrin, Alex De Minaur and Thanasi Kokkinakis all have winnable matches first up, and should make a strong push into the 2nd and 3rd rounds. John Millman has drawn Rafael Nadal first up. Johnny will try his heart out and make Rafa will work for every single point. We like John to take a set.