US Open Tennis 2021: Latest Odds and Predictions for Top ContendersAugust 28, 2021
The 2021 U.S. Open will be missing some of the biggest stars in tennis when it gets underway on Monday. Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have all withdrawn from the tournament with injuries. Their absence will be felt, but there are still plenty of talented players ready to compete, and one big name is on the verge of history.
Novak Djokovic will be looking to complete a rare calendar Grand Slam after winning the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon this year. It's no surprise then that he's the odds-on favorite to be the last man standing at Flushing Meadows in New York City.
On the women's side, Ashleigh Barty is the top pick to win the tournament, but she's not nearly as big of a favorite as Djokovic. All of the major tournaments this year have been won by a different competitor. Naomi Osaka won the Australian Open, Barbora Krejcikova won the French Open, Barty took Wimbledon and Belinda Bencic brought home a gold medal at the 2020 Sumer Games in Tokyo.
Any one of them could break through and grab a second piece of major hardware, or another top player could come through and scoop up a title. On the men's side, it feels like it's the field vs. Djokovic considering how dominant he's been this year.
Let's take a look at the latest odds.
2021 U.S. Open Odds (via DraftKings)
Novak Djokovic -145 (bet $145 to win $100)
Daniil Medvedev +400 (bet $100 to win $400)
Alexander Zverev +600
Stefanos Tsitsipas +800
Andrey Rublev +2500
Matteo Berrettini +2500
Jannik Sinner +2800
Denis Shapovalov +4000
Ashleigh Barty +330
Naomi Osaka +600
Aryna Sabalenka +1400
Simona Halep +1600
Barbora Krejcikova +1700
Iga Swiatek +1700
Karolina Pliskova +1700
Coco Gauff +2000
Petra Kvitova +2500
Belinda Bencic +2500
There's little reason to pick against Djokovic at the U.S. Open. The 34-year-old Serb is simply a cut above the rest of the competition, and the other two members of the "Big Three" won't be there to trip him up. Dominic Thiem, winner of the 2020 U.S. Open, is also out of the tournament. The stars do seem to be aligning for Djokovic, who is eyeing his fourth U.S. Open title.
"I can't wait. Honestly, I'm very motivated to play my best tennis," said Djokovic, per ESPN.com's D'Arcy Maine. "But I have to hit one ball at a time, as they say, try to be in the moment, have a guiding star in a way, a dream to win a Slam here which would obviously complete the calendar Slam. I'm hugely inspired and motivated by that, no doubt."
Sure, Djokovic is fallible; he failed to medal at the Summer Games after losing to Alexander Zverev in the semis and Pablo Carreno Busta in the bronze-medal match, but he wasn't completely healthy. He pulled out of the mixed doubles competition in Tokyo with a shoulder injury, saying that the relentless tennis schedule had taken its toll.
As long as Djokovic is locked in and his body isn't betraying him, he should at least make the final. Daniil Medvedev, in fine form and searching for his first Grand Slam, could pose a threat to Djokovic, as could Zverev, who took home the gold at the Tokyo Games. They would have to play their best tennis while Djokovic's intensity drops. Don't count on it.
As for the favorite in women's singles, world No. 1 Barty is having a career year. The 25-year-old Australian is coming off a win at the Western & Southern Open earlier this month, and she leads all players on the WTA Tour with five titles and six finals appearances. She's never advanced past the fourth round at the U.S. Open but is determined to keep plugging away as she eyes a deep tournament run.
"Each time we've played here in New York I've felt like I've played well. I just haven't been able to quite get over that hurdle of the fourth round," Barty said, per the Sydney Morning Herald's Scott Spits. "This year's no different. We try and do the right things right from the start and try and put ourselves in a position where we can go deep in the tournament."
Aryna Sabalenka, the world No. 2, is also one of the favorites to win the U.S. Open. The 23-year-old Belarusian is 38-14 this season and is coming off a semifinals appearance in Wimbledon. While she's struggled at the U.S. Open in the past, she did make the semifinals of the hardcourt National Bank Open in Montreal earlier this month.
Osaka will draw plenty of attention this year. She's the defending U.S. Open champion and playing in her first Grand Slam since withdrawing from the French Open to focus on her mental health. Osaka did represent her country at the Summer Games, but struggled to find her serve and lost to Marketa Vondrousova in the third round.
Sabalenka is on Osaka's side of the draw, and could be in a position to upset her if Osaka hasn't rounded into top form. Barty also has a particularly difficult draw on her side, so look for Sabalenka to possibly meet her in the final and break through for her maiden Grand Slam title.
Prediction: Djokovic wins the men's tournament, Sabalenka wins the women's tournament
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