With the men's side looking as scratch as a hungry kitten in the 2012 U.S. Open, predicting who will win the women's U.S. Open is a difficult task.
The field is very deep this year. With former champion Maria Sharapova claiming a No. 3 seed and powerhouse Serena Williams drawing a No. 4 seed, the gap between the best in the world is seemingly non-existent. Victoria Azarenka has a firm grasp on the top seed in Flushing Meadows, but there are multiple threats to a scratch departure for the Belarusian.
Of the 102 total competitors, two names that you should remember are Samantha Stosur and Agnieszka Radwanska. Stosur, the 2011 champion, drew the No. 7 seed and Radwanska drew the No. 2 seed.
Radwanska, who fell in the Wimbledon final to Serena Williams, will be looking for redemption and has the draw to get to the final—if she can overcome the shoulder injury that she suffered at New Haven. According to ESPN.com, the Polish star still plans to play in New York.
"'I was struggling with the shoulder for a couple of weeks now,'" she said. "'Honestly, it's near the end of the season and I've really played a lot this year.'"
But after reaching her first major final in the Williams loss, Radwanska is poised to ascend the ranks in the fluid field. The 28-year-old Stosur was beat by Venus Williams in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Western & Southern Open, but has played well in previous tournaments to justify a ranking just outside of the top five.
Stosur, who outlasted Serena Williams in the 2011 U.S. Open final, has formed quite a rivalry with the Williams sisters, which means she is accustomed to the big stage. She won't wither under the lights and has proven that she can beat the best. With the latest quarterfinal match under her belt, look for Stosur to be well armed to unleash her tennis arsenal next Monday.
Overall, the top of the field is unproven and in the modern day of what-have-you-done-for-me-lately, I don't see a strong case for favorite for this year's U.S. Open. All of this news comes despite ESPN.com stating that "only Serena can beat Serena."