US Open Tennis 2021: Odds, Predictions for Key Players in Draw

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 27, 2021

Stefanos Tsitsipas, of Greece, hits a forehand to Alexander Zverev, of Germany, during the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, in Mason, Ohio. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Stefanos Tsitsipas might have avoided Novak Djokovic's side of the men's singles bracket at the U.S. Open, but he still ended up with a less-than-ideal draw. 

The third-seeded Greek will face 2012 U.S. Open champion Andy Murray in the first round of the tournament, which begins on August 30. 

The Scot is far from the player who won three Grand Slam titles, but he is still a tough opponent and will have the New York crowd behind him in what could be one of the first night matches inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. 

If Tsitsipas gets past Murray, he should have a clear path in front of him to make a deep run at the tournament and set up a semifinal showdown with Daniil Medvedev. 

The No. 3 seed in the women's bracket carries a larger Grand Slam resume into New York. Naomi Osaka is the reigning champion and a four-time Grand Slam winner on hard courts. 

The 23-year-old would not meet up with top seed Ashleigh Barty until the final, but she has a few significant hurdles to clear to reach that point.


U.S. Open Odds

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Men's Singles

Novak Djokovic (-125; bet $125 to win $100)

Daniil Medvedev (+400)

Alexander Zverev (+600)

Stefanos Tsitsipas (+1200)

Matteo Berrettini (+4000)

Denis Shapovalov (+5000)

Jannik Sinner (+5000)

Andrey Rublev (+6000)


Women's Singles

Ashleigh Barty (+330)

Naomi Osaka (+600)

Aryna Sabalenka (+1400)

Simona Halep (+1600)

Barbora Krejcikova (+1700)

Karolina Pliskova (+1700)

Iga Swiatek (+1700)

Coco Gauff (+2000)


Predictions for Key Players

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Tsitsipas drew the toughest first-round matchup of the four players who should be considered contenders to win the U.S. Open.

The 23-year-old has never played Murray in a singles match and has not made it out of the third round at the U.S. Open. 

Murray is going to give Tsitsipas his best shot. If the match takes place at night, the three-time Grand Slam winner will have the backing of the boisterous crowd in New York.

That could put Tsitsipas under pressure from the start, but he is still the better player at this point and should find a way past the 34-year-old. 

After that, the Greek player could be on cruise control to reach the quarterfinals. 

Two-time U.S. Open quarterfinalist Andrey Rublev should await Tsitsipas in the last eight, but there is also a chance Felix Auger-Aliassime makes a deep run and sees off the Russian. Tsitsipas owns a 4-3 record over Rublev and a 5-2 mark against Auger-Aliassime. 

If he backs up his No. 3 seed and lands in the semifinals, a third Grand Slam meeting of the season with Medvedev should await. 

The Russian owns a 6-2 edge over the Greek and defeated him in straight sets at the other hard-court major, the Australian Open, earlier this year. 

Medvedev carries a 5-1 record against Tsitsipas on hard courts and he enters New York in the better form of the two players. The second-seeded Russian won in Canada and made the semifinals in Cincinnati. 

Unless Tsitsipas make some major adjustments to the way he plays the 25-year-old, he will come up one match short of the final.

Prediction: Semifinal exit


Naomi Osaka

The parity in the women's game over the last few years allows for more Grand Slam champions to be strewn across the bracket. 

There is a scenario in which Osaka is forced to get through three major winners just to set up a final with Barty.

Angelique Kerber is the other top-16 player in her portion of the draw, and Simona Halep is a potential quarterfinal foe. French Open winner Barbora Krejcikova and Victoria Azarenka could be semifinal opponents. 

Osaka has three matches to fine-tune her hard-court form before a potential showdown with Kerber in the fourth round. 

The 33-year-old owns a 4-1 head-to-head edge over Osaka, but the No. 3 seed's lone win in the matchup occurred at the U.S. Open. 

Since the former world No. 1 won the tournament in 2016, she has not made it out of the fourth round, which is a promising sign for Osaka. 

Halep is working her way back to full strength after an extended injury absence, but she could be a dangerous opponent if she reaches the round of 16. The Romanian is 4-1 in her career versus Osaka. 

The more favorable situation for Osaka would be for Elina Svitolina to emerge from that section of the bracket. She is 3-3 versus the No. 5 seed and won both major meetings on the Australian Open hard court. 

If she gets into the semifinals, Osaka should be the favorite against whoever she faces. Aryna Sabalenka is the No. 2 seed, but she is still unproven at that stage of major tournaments and Krejcikova's game may be better suited to clay than the fast-paced hard courts. 

The dream final would pit Osaka against Barty. The two U.S. Open favorites have split their four career meetings but have not met in the last two years. Osaka owns the victory from their lone Grand Slam clash. 

Osaka has the edge in New York from her two titles there, but the Australian is 14-1 against top-20 players this season. 

Barty might be the favored player in that matchup because of her great record and as No. 1 seed, but Osaka has controlled the New York courts lately and that could give her the deciding edge.

Prediction: Champion


Statistics obtained from ATPTour.com and WTATennis.com.