The U.S. Open is fast approaching, and everyone is trying to figure out who will ultimately win the men and women’s tournaments. Furthermore, who are the contenders that pose the most threat to the favorites and could pull up the upset? While it’s impossible to predict the future, here are our best guesses on who will be in the semifinals in both the men and women’s tournament.
Now, we tried our best to be impartial on this, but it was difficult to bet against the top seeds in the biggest tennis tournament of the year. It was also impossible to create this list without acknowledging Serena Williams and Novak DJovovic, who have their own storylines heading into this tournament.
Serena Williams: It seems like you can’t have a conversation about the U.S. Open without considering the idea that Serena Williams would somehow fight her way into the finals. Of course, she will have to overcome a leg injury and weeks of rehab to pull it off, but it just seems like the sport of tennis hasn’t seen the last of her yet.
Despite her injury, she is still a baseline player, giving her the advantage of seeing the ball and being able to react to it. She is also a 6-time winner in singles competition at the U.S open, making her one of the best to ever play in this tournament. She is even ranked 3rd among women on the U.S Open website, which speaks volumes of her talent.
CiCi Bellis Underdogs have a way of making things interesting and that is exactly what CiCI Bellis could do in this year’s U.S. Open. In fact, between winning a match during her first U.S. Open in 2014 and making it all the way to the third round the last time she competed, it is pretty safe to say that Bellis could make some noise in this year’s tournament.
Naomi Osaku: Naomi Osaku has proven to be an unstoppable force in the world of Tennis and might drive that point home by winning back-to-back U.S Opens in 2021. She ended up winning the historic tournament last year by defeating Victoria Azarenka 2-1. She also knocked off Shelby Rogers and Jennifer Bradly to make it to the finals last season.
While that was last season and she already withdrew from Wimbelton earlier this year due to mental health issues, she could use that rest period to her advantage. Furthermore, she is known for being an aggressive baseline player, meaning she will be able to scope out the full court and make moves on the fly.
Consistency is the name of the game in tennis and how can you root against a woman that has been steadily improving since the season began. It started at the Australian open where she knocked off Jasmine Paolina in the opening round of the tournament. She would then move past Danielle Collins, before finally being stopped by Karolina Muchovia in the 3rd round.
Fast Forward to the French Open and it was a completely different story. In fact, Pliskova was ranked 9th, but had an overly competitive game against unranked Donna Vekic. She then was eliminated by Sloan Stephens in the second round. While the loss had to hurt, it also seemed to motivate her to climb all the way to the Finals at Wimbledon.
Sure, she eventually lost to Ashleigh Barty in the Finals, but she did win a match before doing so. Finally, she seems to be one of the players that is steadily improving her game as she plays more this season. If nothing else, that could lead to her going deep in this tournament and maybe even winning her first U.S Open.
Novak Djokovic: All Novak Djokovic seems to do is win this season and there are a lot of reasons to believe the trend will continue at the U.S Open. The man has already won the Australian Open, the French open and Wimbledon this year. Why not cap it off with a legendary performance in the U.S. Open that shows everyone why he is the best in men’s tennis.
In the end, there’s not a lot of guys that can match his consistency right now, and that’s going to help him as he works his way through the tournament. Furthermore, he hasn’t lost a single game this year, making a final appearance at the U.S. Open almost a guarantee. Whether he can come home with the hardware or not remains to be seen, but he is certainly on a streak.
Matteo Berrettini: Speaking of Novak Djokovic, he is the person that defeated Matteo Berrettini in the Finals at Wimbledon earlier in the year. The series was pretty competitive at first, but Berretinni wasn’t able to score when it counted. He proved he could stay competitive with Djokovic though, meaning he is capable of pulling off the upset at the U.S. Open.
Whether Berretinni can pull off that highly coveted upset and hand Djokovic his first loss remains to be seen, but he surely stands the best chance of doing so. In fact, one could even argue that after the loss at Wimbledon, Berretinni has all the motivation in the world to win this year’s U.S. Open.
Daniil Medvedev: It’s going to take a very special competitor to stop Novak Djokovic from winning back-to-back U.S. Opens and Daniil Medvedev might just be the man for that job. He has already had quite a season and even went deep into several tournaments. Of course, he has yet to notch a victory this year, but he is getting so close he can probably taste it.
For example, Medvedev met Djokovic in the finals of the Australian open earlier this season but wasn’t able to defeat the top seeded player. After the loss, Medvedev moved on to the French open, where he would be eliminated in the Quarterfinals by Stefanos Tsitsipas. Interestingly enough, Tsitsipas was the one to make it to the finals, only to lose to a dominant Djokovic
Moving on to Wimbledon, Medvedev was surprisingly eliminated in the 4th round of the tournament by Hubert Hurkacz. Not only was this the first time this season that Medvedev didn’t make it out of the preliminary rounds, it also had to be a gut check moment for the rest of this season. Who knows, maybe this is where Medvedev turns things around.
Cristian Garlin: Although Cristian Garlin isn’t currently in the top-ten in seeding, he is someone that could very well surprise everyone at the U.S. Open. He is 6-2 so far this season and made it to the semifinals in the Madrid open as well. Another feather in Garlin’s cap is his fourth-round finishes in the French Open and Wimbledon, making him the perfect wildcard.
If nothing else, 2 wins in a month and a top 20 ranking makes Garlin a bit of a rising star. A rising star that could disrupt the flow of this tournament. Think about it! This man has a lot to prove after making it into the top 20 and he can start making that statement at the U.S. Open this season. Maybe even all the way to the Finals.