US Open Tennis 2020: Odds and Predictions Ahead of Major Tournament

Martin FennCorrespondent IAugust 26, 2020

Serena Williams reacts to winning a point in the tiebreak with Arantxa Rus, of the Netherlands, during the second round at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Over half a year has passed since the Australian Open concluded on February 2, but the wait for tennis fans is finally over.

The 2020 U.S. Open Championship begins on Monday in Flushing Meadows, New York, with some of the top stars hoping to capture the first Grand Slam since the resumption of tour play.

However, some of the best players in the world will be absent.

Neither singles' champion from last year—Rafael Nadal and Bianca Andreescu—will participate due to concerns regarding COVID-19. And numerous others in the WTA Top 10 are also out, including world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty and No. 2 Simona Halep. 

All-time men's Grand Slam leader Roger Federer will not take part as he continues to heal from a knee procedure he underwent in June, and 2016 men's champion Stan Wawrinka withdrew from the tournament, citing "the health situation in New York."

This year's tournament will also be played without fans, adding yet another wrinkle as players prepare for a wholly different atmosphere in Flushing Meadows. 

Still, winning a grand slam title does a whole lot for legacy, and a number of players in the men's and women's fields will be eager to reach the pinnacle with the 2020 season back in swing.

Draws will be announced on Thursday. For now, here is a quick look at the top betting odds and players to watch. 


Men's and Women's Singles Odds For 2020 U.S. Open   

(Odds via OddsChecker)   


Novak Djokovic: 1-1

Daniil Medvedev: 13-2

Dominic Thiem: 11-2

Stefanos Tsitsipas: 8-1

Alexander Zverev: 16-1

Milos Raonic: 25-1



Naomi Osaka: 6-1

Karolina Pliskova: 10-1

Sofia Kenin: 10-1

Aryna Sabalenka: 12-1

Petra Kvitova: 12-1


Predictions For Men's Singles  

Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Novak Djokovic is the clear favorite entering the tournament, and it's not hard to see why.

The world No. 1 won in Melbourne, and he will undoubtedly be motivated to win his second consecutive Grand Slam and 18th overall while also challenging Nadal (19) and Federer (20) for the most of all time.

That said, it will be interesting to see what kind of physical condition the 33-year-old Serb is in over the next few weeks.

Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19 in June after hosting an exhibition circuit in Croatia. While he has since had multiple months to round into shape, it is still an interesting factor should he show signs of fatigue in the early rounds. 

Daniil Medvedev pushed Nadal to five sets (7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4) in a thrilling final last year, and he should be motivated to reach the mountaintop this time around.

Dominic Thiem is the next-highest ranked player (No. 3) in the draw, and he was narrowly defeated 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 by Djokovic in Melbourne. 

Stefanos Tsitsipas, 22, and Alexander Zverev, 23, have made noise as promising stars of the future, and Milos Raonic may have the firepower to make a deep run.

Four of those players—Djokovic, Medvedev, Raonic and Tsitsipas—are also in the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open, currently being held on the same grounds as the US Open. Success on these courts this week might serve as a confidence-booster for each player. Or, perhaps these guys will succumb to fatigue after being asked to play a lot of tennis in a short period of time.

Ultimately, though, it's hard not to like Djokovic's chances, especially in a field without Nadal and Federer.


Prediction's For Women's Singles Field   

Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Like Djokovic, it comes as no surprise that Serena Williams is the favorite on the women's side.

The 38-year-old has won the U.S. Open six times, including three straight years between 2012 and 2014. She has also reached the finals in consecutive years, though she lost the 2018 final to Naomi Osaka before falling to Andreescu last year.

Nonetheless, Williams will be chasing Grand Slam title No. 24 as she looks to end a three-year drought. 

Osaka's victory in 2018 makes her another favorite, though she was stunned in her 6-3, 6-4 loss to American teenager Coco Gauff in the third round in Melbourne in her last Grand Slam appearance.

Speaking of Gauff, how might the fan favorite fare without the support of the crowd? The charismatic 15-year-old said earlier this month players will have to be their own "cheerleader," which might serve her well given her intense energy and fiery competitiveness. 

While Gauff might have the notoriety, Sofia Kenin has arguably the best chance of any American-born player in the field. The 21-year-old captured her first Grand Slam title by winning the Australian Open in February, and she also made it to the quarterfinals of last year's French Open.

However, Williams, Kenin and Petra Kvitova were all beaten in the Round 2 of the Western & Southern Open, while the likes of Osaka and Johanna Konta continue to build momentum as they head to the quarterfinals.

The women's field sometimes displays more parity in Grand Slam championships. But despite her loss on Tuesday, Williams' track record of success at Flushing Meadows and eagerness to avenge previous losses might help her recapture the U.S. Open title.


All stats obtained via ATP or WTA websites, unless otherwise noted.