Aug 23, 2019
Aug 23, 2019

2019 WTA US Open predictions

Serena Williams: An undeserved favourite?

Bianca Andreescu: Can the 19-year-old win her first Grand Slam?

Outsiders to consider at WTA US Open 2019

Best US Open 2019 odds

2019 WTA US Open predictions

As with all women’s Grand Slams, the WTA US Open promises to be an extremely competitive event, with no clear favourite. In advance of the draw, we look at the list of contenders with a view to establishing the prospects of numerous players.

While men’s Grand Slams typically go the way of the elite three, matters on the WTA Tour are rather more evenly split. Only two players - Simona Halep and Naomi Osaka - have won multiple Grand Slams (two apiece) from 2017 onwards, and therefore there have been nine different Grand Slam winners in 11 tournaments during that time period.

In addition, there have been four different winners here at Flushing Meadows since Serena Williams won three consecutive US Opens between 2012 and 2014, and the former world number one hasn’t won here since then, and hasn’t lifted a Slam trophy since the Australian Open in January 2017.

Serena Williams: An undeserved favourite?

With this in mind, it’s perhaps surprising to see her catapulted to the top of the outright market, currently available at 5.42*, particularly given that she’s retired or withdrawn in four of her last six tournaments - she’s only completed the French Open (lost in third round to Sofia Kenin) and Wimbledon (lost in the final to Simona Halep).

However, as the table below illustrates (WTA US Open contenders priced below 50.00* in the outright market at the time of writing, sorted by combined hold/break percentage), Williams still has the best hard court data on tour this year:-

WTA US Open 2019 top contenders

Player

2019 hard court service hold %

2019 hard court break opponent %

2019 hard court combined %

Serena Williams

76.8

42.1

118.9

Bianca Andreescu

74.3

42.7

117.0

Ashleigh Barty

77.6

39.0

116.6

Petra Kvitova

80.7

34.8

115.5

Karolina Pliskova

79.1

35.1

114.2

Marketa Vondrousova

69.0

44.6

113.6

Elina Svitolina

70.5

40.2

110.7

Garbine Muguruza

71.2

39.3

110.5

Aryna Sabalenka

74.1

36.2

110.3

Madison Keys

76.5

33.5

110.0

Sofia Kenin

71.7

37.6

109.3

Naomi Osaka

77.6

31.5

109.1

Angelique Kerber

69.4

38.8

108.2

Belinda Bencic

68.6

39.5

108.1

Victoria Azarenka

62.1

45.8

107.9

Simona Halep

68.2

38.6

106.8

Maria Sharapova

71.7

35.0

106.7

Kiki Bertens

75.0

31.4

106.4

Caroline Wozniacki

70.6

34.1

104.7

Johanna Konta

75.5

26.7

102.2

Anastasija Sevastova

66.1

35.8

101.9

Sloane Stephens

57.8

32.5

90.3

Despite this, there must be considerable doubts over Williams’ fitness - she retired last time out in the final of Toronto, against Bianca Andreescu, and readers may be a little surprised to see the Canadian 19 year old, Andreescu, second in this list.

Bianca Andreescu: Can the 19-year-old win her first Grand Slam?

However, Andreescu is a stunning 29-4 on the WTA Tour on hard court this year, and those numbers illustrate that she not only deserves to have a winrate in this region, but also her status as the fourth favourite for the event, at 9.49*.

Incredibly, Andreescu has only played four career Grand Slam matches - she missed Wimbledon with injury - so it would be worth noting that she is, of course, extremely unproven on the biggest stage.

Sandwiched between Williams and Andreescu in the outright market are Simona Halep and Ashleigh Barty, with both having won a Grand Slam this season already, although many may have predicted that the events which they won would have been reversed.

Barty was triumphant in Paris, on clay at the French Open - Halep’s best surface, while Halep took the title at Wimbledon on grass - arguably Barty’s best.

Perhaps there is no better illustration of the variance, and even nature, of the WTA Tour at this current point in time.

Statistics would indicate that Barty has a better chance than Halep here - the Romanian’s hard court numbers this year aren’t particularly impressive - while there are also numerous other contenders with similar numbers to Barty as well.

Petra Kvitova, however, has been struggling with injury - she’s only played two events since retiring in Rome in May - while Karolina Pliskova, somehow, given the even nature of the women’s tour, is still awaiting her first Grand Slam title. She reached the final here in 2016 - her only Grand Slam final - but lost a tight three-setter to Angelique Kerber.

Marketa Vondrousova is another player who the statistics like, but the Czech hasn’t played since losing to Madison Brengle in the first round of Wimbledon and has had a hand injury. She reached the final of the French Open this year, losing to Barty, and if fit, will be a major threat.

Outsiders to consider at WTA US Open 2019

Many of the remaining contenders have shown a relatively similar level on hard courts in 2019, with perhaps some of the younger players - Madison Keys, Sofia Kenin and Naomi Osaka, for example - being the most of interest given their potential for improvement.

There may be a decent argument made for Cincinnati winner Keys to be unflattered by her numbers, given her injury issues over the last year or so, while Osaka has struggled a little more this year after a stunning 2018.

How much that has to do with losing coach Sascha Bajin is intangible, but it’s also worth noting that the Japanese former world number one retired in her last match, to Kenin in Cincinnati.

As for Kenin, the American 20 year old is on a huge upward curve, evidenced by tight semi-final defeats in both the Premier Mandatory events in August, in Toronto and Cincinnati.

Narrow losses against Andreescu and Keys are certainly nothing to be concerned about, and in a tournament where numerous players look capable of beating each other, Kenin is certainly one of many who will be confident of reaching the latter stages at the US Open this year.

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