US Open predictions and betting tips

andrew hendrie:

Depending on coronavirus implications, the U.S. Open is currently scheduled to take place between August 24 and September 13, 2020.

U.S. Open 2020 predictions

For the first time in history, the U.S. Open might not be the final Grand Slam of the season after Roland Garros postponed their clay-court major to just one week after play is scheduled to finish at Flushing Meadows.

With qualifying beginning on August 24 and the men’s final completing the tournament on September 13, the French Open made the unprecedented decision to move their event to September 20 in a desperate bid to stage what is normally the second Grand Slam of the year.

The U.S. Open released a statement seemingly throwing shade at the French Open’s announcement, which was done without full consultation with other governing tennis bodies, and while they said it was possible they could change their own dates as a result, the plan for the time being was to play the tournament on its original schedule.

With the very real potential of two slams on different surfaces being played back-to-back, it remains to be seen if defending champion Rafael Nadal would even commit to the U.S. Open with Roland Garros starting immediately after.

Stay tuned for more updates surrounding the U.S. Open and its tournament schedule.

U.S. Open predictions: Who will win the men’s title?

No man has defended the U.S. Open title since Roger Federer won the last of his five straight trophies in 2008 – and as mentioned earlier, there’s a wild but also realistic chance that Nadal won’t even attempt to defend his if Roland Garros does indeed begin one week after the 2020 U.S. Open final.

It wouldn’t be an easy decision for Nadal, especially because the U.S. Open is his second-most successful slam outside of the French Open, with the Spaniard triumphing in New York on four occasions.

Nadal has played some of best hardcourt tennis at the U.S. Open, taking home the silverware in 2010, 2013, 2017 and 2019, while he was also a runner-up in 2011.

Rafael Nadal (Photo credit: Sergei’ Vishnevskii’/Kommersant/Sipa USA)

The 19-time major champion prevailed in an epic final last year, edging first-time slam finalist Daniil Medvedev in five sets, holding off a late charge from the rising Russian.

Speaking of Medvedev, it will be interesting to see how he fares during this period of the season. The 23-year-old took his game to another level at this stage in 2019, winning two Masters 1000 titles in Cincinnati and Shanghai, along with his incredible and very controversial run to the U.S. Open final, where he was involved in multiple heated moments with the energetic New York crowd.

Medvedev, understandably, slowed down towards the end of 2019, but he wasn’t at his best to start 2020 before the coronavirus shut down the tour, so it remains to be seen how the Russian performs when play starts back up again.

From what we saw over the first couple of months of the season, Novak Djokovic has got to be considered the favourite for the 2020 U.S. Open title. A three-time champion at Flushing Meadows, Djokovic was forced to retire in the fourth round last year against Stan Wawrinka and was subsequently knocked out of the ATP Finals Group stage to end 2019, relinquishing the No. 1 ranking to Nadal as a result.

However, Djokovic compiled a perfect start to 2020 to immediately regain the No. 1 ranking, going 18-0 across January and February as he won the ATP Cup with Serbia, claimed a record-extending eighth Australian Open title and another Dubai crown.

Djokovic beat basically every leading contender for the U.S. Open over the first two months of 2020, including Nadal, Federer, Medvedev, Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Gael Monfils, Denis Shapovalov and Karen Khachanov.

Federer, who owns the record for the most U.S. Open titles in the Open Era with Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras, is currently recovering from knee surgery and hasn’t won the title since 2008, while he’s suffered some surprising defeats in recent years to John Millman and Grigor Dimitrov. All things considered, it might be asking too much of the Swiss for a deep run at Flushing Meadows this year.

Thiem has made great strides on hardcourt over the last 18 months, winning Indian Wells and reaching the Australian Open final to start 2020, going down to Djokovic in five sets. If the Austrian can keep progressing and improving, he will be very hard to stop in New York.

We mustn’t forget about former champions Marin Cilic and Stan Wawrinka, both of whom are capable of beating anyone in the draw when at the peak of their powers, while what about 2009 winner Juan Martin del Potro – will the Argentine be fit enough to compete at his favourite slam after spending nearly two years on the sidelines with a knee injury?

There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the tour right now, but whatever happens and whenever the tournament is staged, we can be sure it will be full of excitement and jaw-dropping tennis!

U.S. Open women’s predictions

The U.S. Open has crowned a different women’s champion in each of the last five years – will that patten continue in 2020?

Some of the most memorable moments on the tennis calendar have come at the U.S. Open in recent years, including Flavia Pennetta’s stunning run to a first major title in 2015, Sloane Stephens’ comeback story in 2017 from injury to a Grand Slam trophy, Naomi Osaka breakthrough for her maiden slam in one of the most controversial finals in history against Serena Williams and another rising star in Bianca Andreescu replicating Osaka and securing her first major with a blistering defeat of Serena in the 2019 showpiece.

Serena, who is the record six-time U.S. Open champion alongside Chris Evert in the Open Era, has experienced immense highs and lows at her home slam throughout her legendary career. Six titles is obviously the highlight, but some of Serena’s most heartbreaking moments and poor behaviour have come in New York, including heated moments when she verbally abused a line judge in the 2009 semi-finals against Kim Clijsters, resulting in a point penalty on match point, while she also took aim at umpire Carlos Ramos in the 2018 final against Osaka over repeated infringements.

We can’t forget Serena’s shocking defeat to Roberta Vinci in the 2015 semi-finals when she was two wins away from making history and winning the ‘Grand Slam’ of all four majors in a calendar year. Throw in two consecutive runner-up finishes to young guns in 2018 and 2019 and Serena will be determined to capture that elusive 24th major crown in New York this year.

As usual, it’s shaping as another wide open women’s major. Any number of 20+ players have realistic chances of winning the title, but a lot of attention will be on Canadian sensation Andreescu, who will be aiming to defend a Grand Slam for the first time.

The teenager didn’t play in 2020 before the coronavirus-forced suspension of the tour due to a knee injury sustained at the WTA Finals at the end of 2019, but Andreescu has already proven in her short career that she doesn’t need a lot of matches and can beat absolutely everybody in the draw when she’s fit and firing. But will she be fit, that’s the question?

Slumping former champion Angelique Kerber and Sloane Stephens will be hoping to recapture some of their best tennis once again at Flushing Meadows, while the usual suspects of Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova, Petra Kvitova and Elina Svitolina will also be in the conversation.

It will also be interesting to see how Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin performs in front of her home fans with the increased expectation and attention.

Last year’s semi-finalist Belinda Bencic continues to make gradual gains on tour, while it’s also time for Aryna Sabalenka to step up and produce her best tennis at a slam. Could the 2020 U.S. Open be the tournament the hard-hitting Belarusian puts it all together?

U.S. Open 2020 tournament information

Name: U.S. Open
Location: New York, USA
Venue: USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Dates: August 24 to September 13
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Hardcourt
Draw size: 128 singles
Most titles:
Men – Roger Federer, Jimmy Conners, Pete Sampras (5)
Women – Serena Williams, Chris Evert (6)
Reigning champions:
Men’s singles – Rafael Nadal
Women’s singles – Bianca Andreescu

U.S. Open player performance

Who are the best-performing male players at the U.S. Open?

PlayerTitlesFinals2019 resultWin-loss
Roger Federer5 (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)2 (2009, 2015)QFs89-14
Rafael Nadal4 (2010, 2013, 2017, 2019)1 (2011)Champion64-11
Novak Djokovic3 (2011, 2015, 2018)5 (2007, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2016)R1672-11
Andy Murray1 (2012)1 (2008)Didn’t play45-12
Juan Martin del Potro1 (2009)1 (2018)Didn’t play35-9
Stan Wawrinka1 (2016)0QF44-13
Marin Cilic1 (2014)0R1636-10
Kei Nishikori01 (2014)R325-10
Kevin Anderson01 (2017)Didn’t play22-9
Daniil Medvedev01 (2019)Runner-up8-3

Who are the best-performing female players at the U.S. Open?

PlayerTitlesFinals2019 resultWin-loss
Serena Williams6 (1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014)4 (2001, 2011, 2018, 2019)Runner-up101-13
Kim Clijsters3 (2005, 2009, 2010)1 (2003)Didn’t play38-6
Venus Williams2 (2000, 2001)2 (1997, 2002)R279-18
Svetlana Kuznetsova1 (2004)1 (2007)Didn’t play35-15
Sam Stosur1 (2011)0R122-14
Angelique Kerber1 (2016)0R125-11
Sloane Stephens1 (2017)0R119-7
Naomi Osaka1 (2018)0R1614-3
Bianca Andreescu1 (2019)0Champion7-0

U.S. Open betting tips

Check back here for the best Roland Garros betting tips when odds are released closer to the tournament, with main draw play starting on August 31.