Dominic Thiem and Naomi Osaka will try to defend their titles at the 2021 US Open but can they hold off the other favourites for champion?
Read on for the latest outright odds for the 2021 US Open, live from Flushing Meadows, New York from 30 August-12 September.
Multiple US Open champions Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Naomi Osaka and Roger Federer are among the top favourites as Grand Slam tennis returns to New York.
US Open 2021: Outright odds – men’s champion
Here are the latest outright odds for the winner of the men’s singles at the US Open in 2021:
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US Open 2021: Outright odds – women’s champion
Here are the latest outright odds for the winner of the women’s singles at the US Open in 2021:
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US Open 2021 Predictions
There’s still a lot that’s uncertain about the 2021 tennis season, but if the US Open could keep itself going in 2020 when the global pandemic was at its height, it can do it again in 2021.
The 2020 US Open was played behind closed doors, with players enclosed in a bio-security bubble and many of the usual top names we would expect to see missing. Under the circumstances, it was up to the players who did come to New York to adapt to the changed conditions and the eventual champions certainly shone in that regard.
When the shock default of Novak Djokovic in the fourth round guaranteed a new men’s Grand Slam winner, it was Dominic Thiem who stepped up to the plate, defeating 2019 runner-up Daniil Medvedev and then first-time finalist Alexander Zverev in a fifth-set tie-break, saving championship points along the way. It was an unforgettable triumph for Thiem – but he will face a tough task to defend the title in 2021, as Djokovic returns with redemption on his mind and is joined by fellow multiple US Open champions Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, both of whom missed the 2020 edition.
Naomi Osaka had injury and a slew of inspired opponents, not least a revitalized Victoria Azarenka in the final, to contend with. But the Japanese-Haitian player was fired up by her desire to speak out about racial injustice in the USA, and pulled off a brilliant comeback win in the final to claim her third major title. Seven-time champion Serena Williams once again leads the American charge in 2021, however, while a flood of players who missed the 2020 edition – 2019 champion Bianca Andreescu, world no. 1 Ashleigh Barty and Simona Halep chief among them – return for an assault on the trophy.
And let’s not forget the New York crowd, one of the most passionate and boisterous in tennis, who could also be making their return to the US Open when the 2021 edition takes place from 30 August-11 September.
US Open men’s champion 2021: Who are the favourites?
Former winners including Novak Djokovic and defending champion Thiem lead the favourites to win the US Open men’s singles title in 2021.
Despite his supremacy on hard courts, the US Open is actually not one of Djokovic’s more successful majors – the 17-time Grand Slam winner has ‘only’ won twice in New York. He’s also lost more finals at the US Open (five) than at any other major.
Still, Djokovic has not actually lost a completed match at the US Open before the semifinal stages since 2006. The Serb has had a couple of unfortunate fourth-round exits – retiring against Stan Wawrinka in 2019, and his default against Pablo Carreno Busta in 2020 – but that should only fire him up further in 2021.
The US Open was the scene of Thiem’s biggest career triumph in 2020 when he saved those championship points to beat Zverev and break into the ranks of Grand Slam champions. In his tennis prime at 27, the Austrian continues to establish himself as a force at the absolute top of the men’s game – but many players falter when facing the pressure of being defending champion at a major for the first time.
The only player among the top favourites who has yet to win a major, Russia’s Medvedev looks likelier to break through at the US Open than anywhere else, having made the final in 2019 and the semifinals in 2020. His chances could be even better if the New York crowds are back to give him energy.
A four-time champion at the US Open, Nadal has won the title two of the past four years. He did not defend his title in 2020 due to the pandemic, but if he is fit for the 2021 edition, he should be incredibly difficult to beat in New York once more.
It’s not hard to see why Federer, despite being a five-time champion at the US Open who once ruled supreme there, is considered much less likely to win than the players listed above him. Federer has only twice made the final since 2008, the humidity in New York seems to bother him more than it did, and after multiple knee surgeries in 2020 slow hard courts no longer seem like a surface that’s going to bring out his best.
Germany’s Zverev had championship points in 2020, but he also didn’t come through a very tough draw to reach his first Grand Slam final. Zverev will have to prove that he can step up to the mark against the biggest players if he is to make it back to the US Open final in 2021.
The 2019 ATP Finals champion made his second Grand Slam semifinal at the French Open in 2020 and continues to improve, but suffered a painful defeat to Borna Coric at the US Open and doesn’t seem necessarily as much of a threat on American hard courts as he might on the quicker hard courts of Melbourne.
US Open 2021 women’s favourites
Naomi Osaka reclaimed the US Open title in 2020 – will we see another former champion being reunited with the trophy in 2021?
The defending champion is currently the favourite to win the US Open again in 2021, after the brilliant display of power tennis she produced in 2020 to remind us that there is no player more formidable on hard courts when she is on form. But will Osaka be on form in 2021, with the pressure of defending her title, not to mention the Tokyo Olympics scheduled to be held shortly before the US Open?
Barty may be world no. 1, but considering that she’s never made it as far as the quarterfinals at the US Open, has a 1-5 record against top-10 players at Grand Slams and played very little in 2020, oddsmakers seem to be a bit optimistic about the Australian’s chances at this point.
French Open and Wimbledon champion Halep didn’t play the US Open in 2020 and has had a pattern of early exits there in recent years, losing in the first round in 2017-18 and the second round in 2019. There’s no doubt that Halep has been very unlucky with draws, but the way that she’s been unable to overcome tough early opponents emphasizes the fact that the Romanian remains vulnerable to more explosive or outright attacking players.
Canada’s Andreescu made a dazzling run to the US Open title in 2019, defeating Serena Williams in the final, but was unable to defend her title in 2020. In fact, Andreescu did not play a single match in 2020 due to a combination of injury and the pandemic, so it’s tough to know what to expect from her in 2021.
Seven-time champion Williams has performed better at the US Open than any other major since returning from maternity leave, making the final in 2018-19 and the semifinals in 2020. That 24th major title continues to elude her, however, and there’s no denying that Williams struggles more physically than she used to.
A US Open finalist in 2012-13, Azarenka surged back to form brilliantly and unexpectedly in the summer of 2020, winning the Western & Southern Open and beating Williams to reach the final in New York. If she can bring the same form in 2021, she will be formidable indeed.
Kvitova continues to be a force at the top of women’s tennis and is a two-time Wimbledon champion as well as an Australian Open finalist and French Open semifinalist, but she has never been past the quarterfinals in New York and does not play her best on American hard courts.
The USA’s Kenin proved that winning her maiden major title at the Australian Open in January 2020 was no fluke when she reached the final of the French Open later that autumn. Defeated by Elise Mertens in the fourth round of the US Open in 2020, Kenin is a really tough competitor and should return stronger in 2021.
US Open 2021 Outright Odds: Other Markets
There are plenty of other options for outright betting on the 2021 US Open, live from Flushing Meadows, New York from 30 August-12 September.
One extremely popular market is to bet on which player will win each quarter, i.e. reach the semifinals.
Oddsmakers also offer odds on players to reach the final, and which half of the draw the champion will come from.
Bookies also frequently offer ‘Big Guns vs the Field’ bets.