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US Open Tennis 2019: Odds and Predictions for Year's Final Major

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistAugust 21, 2019

MASON, OHIO - AUGUST 16: Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns a shot to Lucas Pouille of France  during the Western & Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 16, 2019 in Mason, Ohio. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic returns to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York as the bookmakers' favourite to successfully defend his title at the 2019 U.S. Open, beginning on Monday.

French Open winner Rafael Nadal is the only other men's player to have won a major in 2019, while Djokovic has featured in seven of the past nine U.S. Open finals.

Serena Williams leads the odds in the women's singles despite having having clinched the most recent of her six U.S. Open titles in 2014.

Naomi Osaka was crowned champion in New York last year and returns as the top seed, but Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova are just some of the top names out to block her defence.

Visit the official U.S. Open website to see the full schedule.

     

2019 U.S. Open Odds Leaders

Men's Singles

Novak Djokovic: 11-10

Rafael Nadal: 4-1

Roger Federer: 6-1

Daniil Medvedev: 16-1

Alexander Zverev: 25-1

Stefanos Tsitsipas: 25-1

Dominic Thiem: 28-1

Stanislas Wawrinka: 33-1

Via Oddschecker.com.

     

Women's Singles

Serena Williams: 5-1

Simona Halep: 7-1

Naomi Osaka: 8-1 

Ashleigh Barty: 10-1

Sloane Stephens: 12-1

Karolina Pliskova: 14-1

Madison Keys: 16-1

Angelique Kerber: 18-1 

Via Oddschecker.com.

      

Novak Too Hot to Stop, Serena to Fall Short as Favourite

Djokovic will return to Grand Slam action six weeks after he defeated Roger Federer to become Wimbledon champion for the fifth time in his career, and his chances look more favourable this time around.

It's no secret the Serb often produces his best on a hard court; his official ATP Tour profile shows Djokovic has won 555 matches on the surface and has a win ratio of 0.840, a close second to his grass record (0.841).

Daniil Medvedev is a surprise feature among the men's front-runners for the U.S. Open title, although a semi-final win over Djokovic on Saturday en route to the 2019 Cincinnati Masters title showed why he's a contender, via Tennis TV:

Tennis TV @TennisTV

Absolute stunner 🙌 The moment @DaniilMedwed took out World No.1 Novak Djokovic to reach the #CincyTennis final. https://t.co/EAaMU7zu4E

The 23-year-old Russian has been making steady strides in his results this season, and Djokovic was complimentary of his talent following the upset, per journalist Sasa Ozmo:

Saša Ozmo @ozmo_sasa

Djokovic: Everythining is fine with the arm, no pain at all, no physical problems. Medvedev played bravely, phenomenally. #CincyTennis https://t.co/4vvqF5rqN9

Nevertheless, Djokovic tends to find an extra gear at the U.S. Open and will approach the tournament with more caution. He has won three of the four finals he's reached in 2019, and it's difficult to see who can stage an upset in New York.

The same can't be said for Williams. She returns to Flushing Meadows in pursuit of her seventh U.S. Open crown, which would see her move clear of Chris Evert as the most successful champion in this competition in the Open era (Molla Bjurstedt Mallory won eight titles in the amateur era).

Osaka, 21, won a 2018 U.S. Open final against Williams that went down in infamy for the latter's clash with the umpire, per Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN. 

One year on, The Times' Stuart Fraser doesn't believe the 37-year-old has accepted her share of the blame for that incident:

Stuart Fraser @stu_fraser

Just watched "Serena vs The Umpire", the ESPN documentary on the "backstory" of last year's US Open controversy. Nothing new, to be honest, including little sign of any responsibility being taken by the Williams camp.

Osaka is a better-known player than she was 12 months ago, but early-round exits in the French Open and Wimbledon this year suggest being among the favourites does not always sit comfortably with her.

Pliskova, 27, is third seed for this year's Open and has made it to at least the final eight of the previous three tournaments. She lost to Angelique Kerber in the 2016 final, followed by back-to-back quarter-final exits against CoCo Vandeweghe and Williams in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

More recently, the Czech defeated Kerber in the 2019 Nature Valley International final at Eastbourne before falling to Karolina Muchova in the fourth round at Wimbledon, keeping her at No. 3 in the WTA rankings:

WTA Insider @WTA_insider

WTA Top 10 on Monday: 1. Osaka 2. Barty 3. Pliskova 4. Halep 5. Svitolina 6. Kvitova 7. Bertens 8. Serena 9. Sabalenka 10. Keys US Open seedings are based on Monday’s WTA rankings.

Pliskova is yet to win a major but frequently shows the potential is there. The U.S. Open looks like her most favoured Grand Slam, and she could emerge as a surprise contender for the crown.

          

Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win men's singles, Karolina Pliskova to win women's singles