Iga Świątek, Coco Gauff: Analysing the US Open favourites
The US Open has arrived. After weeks of preparation, the world’s best tennis players will take to the stage at Flushing Meadows.
It is likely the tournament will be Serena Williams’s last, with the 23-time Grand Slam winner announcing earlier this month that she would be “evolving away from tennis”.
Fans will also be watching Emma Raducanu’s title defence with interest – the British teenager has struggled to recreate the form which resulted in a historic US Open victory, but has shown glimpses of promise in recent weeks.
The narrative will centre around Williams and Raducanu during the tournament, but there are a number of other tennis players who are more likely winners. GiveMeSport Women selects five favourites and analyses their chances of US Open glory.
Świątek was in scintillating form in the first half of 2022, clinching the world number one spot while on a 37-match winning streak.
The 21-year-old has not been as formidable in recent weeks, however, exiting the Canadian Open and Cincinnati Masters in the second round.
But Świątek is still one of the best tennis players on the WTA Tour, even when experiencing a dip in form, and she is expected to go far at Flushing Meadows.
Kasatkina has been enjoying an excellent season, reaching the semi-finals at the Italian Open and French Open earlier this year.
She earned two WTA titles in August, triumphing at the Silicon Valley Classic and Granby Open.
The Russian bravely came out as gay in July, and her new-found freedom is clearly having an impact on the court. Indeed, Kasatkina could well earn her first Grand Slam title in the coming weeks.
It feels as if the 18-year-old Gauff has been on the WTA Tour for years, despite her young age.
The American star is yet to win a Grand Slam, but reached the French Open final in June. Her recent performances suggest she could go one step further at Flushing Meadows.
A Grand Slam title would fit in perfectly with Halep’s recent resurgence. The 30-year-old has been impressive since linking up with coach Patrick Mouratoglou, winning the Canadian Open earlier this month.
With two Grand Slam titles to her name, Halep has experience of winning at a major tournament. The only concern is the leg injury which forced her withdrawal from the Cincinnati Masters.
Pegula’s recent performances have gone under the radar. The American is currently third in the race to the WTA Finals, behind only Świątek and Ons Jabeur.
As with Gauff, Pegula could benefit from the home crowd. She has never gone beyond the third round of the US Open, but that could be about to change.