Who will take the title within the wide-open ladies’s subject? Can Rafael Nadal discover a strategy to win regardless of damage? Or will Daniil Medvedev defend his crown? And will Serena Williams defy the percentages in her ultimate Grand Slam?
Our consultants try to reply these questions and make their very own predictions because the 2022 US Open kicks off on Monday.
Who will win the ladies’s singles title, and why?
Luke Jensen: Coco Gauff is my decide. I’ve been impressed with how she has developed her on-court expertise together with dealing with off-court distractions. She has been to 2 main finals in doubles that has her sitting at No. 1 on the planet, and a singles ultimate at Roland Garros that reveals she will be able to compete for seven singles matches over two weeks. With a powerhouse serve constantly within the 120-mph vary and foot pace to cowl all areas of the tennis planet, I’ve large confidence within the American teenager.
Pam Shriver: Caroline Garcia can win, as a result of, since profitable the Roland Garros doubles title in early June, she has gained three singles tournaments on three completely different surfaces, together with a win over No. 1 Iga Swiatek. Garcia’s aggressive recreation is ideal for the US Open courts. She is attacking weak serves constantly, and has nice perception in her all-court recreation.
Cliff Drysdale: Swiatek. She gained the 2 largest hardcourt occasions, Indian Wells and Miami. She must get again to her floor recreation consistency to do it.
Tom Hamilton: Regardless of withdrawing from Cincinnati with a thigh damage, I am going for Simona Halep. If she’s absolutely recovered, then she’ll carry her type from Toronto into the US Open, and following the draw, she ought to have the ability to ease herself again in over the opening three rounds. A possible match-up with Gauff within the fourth spherical could be a box-office match. Then she may face Maria Sakkari within the quarters, however Halep is in type, and I really feel may go all the way in which.
Invoice Connelly: The ladies’s recreation has been broad open in recent times, and we’re getting used to heading right into a Slam figuring out that, at any given time, 15-20 gamers have the sport to make a giant run. (And as final yr’s US Open confirmed us, we do not even know the names of all of these 15-20 prematurely.) However this may be essentially the most wide-open Slam I can bear in mind. So most of the names we have been rising to belief essentially the most have hit some bumps in the summertime hardcourt tour — Swiatek, Ons Jabeur, Paula Badosa and Sakkari misplaced 11 of 18 matches between them — and the once-dominant Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams misplaced 5 of seven. It appears like Jessica Pegula has been about as constant as anybody, and she or he’s solely gone 6-3 since Wimbledon.
Regardless of the tough draw and up to date withdrawal, I am agreeing with Tom and going with Halep. She took down Pegula and Gauff in Toronto, and she or he’s enjoying brilliant and optimistic tennis. And never together with three walkovers/retirements (that are actually a priority), she’s 19-2 since Roland Garros.
D’Arcy Maine: This draw feels so broad open, it is exhausting to really feel assured with a prediction right here. There’s pretty much as good an opportunity as any for somebody beneath the radar to take dwelling the title, however for now, I am going to play it barely protected and agree with Tom and Invoice. Halep’s run in Toronto was spectacular, in opposition to a slew of high quality opponents. She has already gained the 2018 French Open and Wimbledon in 2019, so if she’s capable of keep wholesome, she actually may full the elusive profession Floor Slam in New York.
Aishwarya Kumar: She’s had slightly little bit of a tough patch since Wimbledon, however I am nonetheless going to go together with Jabeur. She made it to the ultimate of Wimbledon, changing into the primary African or Arab participant to succeed in the ultimate of a Grand Slam within the Open period. She earned her career-high rating of No. 2 in June after profitable the Madrid Open. Her recreation is flexible — she slices, she serves large and she or he likes to volley. She can be on Serena Williams’ half of the courtroom, and would face No. 2 seed Kontaveit or maybe, Williams, solely within the quarterfinals, giving her sufficient time to get again to her A-game.
Ohm Youngmisuk: As final yr’s all-teen sensation ultimate between Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez confirmed, anybody can get scorching and are available out of the ladies’s aspect, irrespective of how younger or inexperienced. There are many contenders, however one thing tells me to go together with expertise this Open. That’s the reason I’m leaning towards Halep.
She just lately returned to the highest 10 for the primary time in a yr following her win in Toronto. She hasn’t made it to the US Open ultimate earlier than and hasn’t made the quarters right here since 2016. However she ought to enter with confidence after Toronto and her semifinal exhibiting at Wimbledon. Halep could must undergo Gauff and Sakkari to get to a potential semifinal showdown with both Kontaveit or Jabeur. Robust highway to the ultimate however nothing unattainable.
Who will win the boys’s singles title, and why?
Jensen: I am rockin’ with American Taylor Fritz. A winner in Indian Wells earlier this spring and a terrific run to the quarters of Wimbledon, Taylor has the attention of the tiger proper now. Confidence is mission vital when strolling on these large phases, and if Fritz serves successfully he can maintain the Tiffany trophy on the finish.
Shriver: Daniil Medvedev will defend his title, as a result of his type is ideal for exhausting courts and his success on the US Open the previous couple of years makes him really feel assured and cozy. Medvedev stands to realize essentially the most by Novak Djokovic’s absence.
Drysdale: Carlos Alcaraz. It was his popping out occasion final yr, and robust constant outcomes have adopted, with a yr of studying experiences.
Maine: I am unable to resist, I am going with Nick Kyrgios. His run at Wimbledon proved to the world, and maybe extra necessary, himself, that he was able to reaching a Grand Slam ultimate. Since then, he gained the title on the Citi Open, as properly the doubles title there and in Atlanta, and got here again after dropping the primary set to defeat Medvedev in Toronto and enhance to 3-1 in opposition to the present world No. 1. The 2 may doubtlessly meet within the fourth spherical, however momentum appears very a lot on Kyrgios’ aspect.
Kyrgios seemed considerably drained in Cincinnati final week, and admitted his “tank [is] attending to the top” for the season, however Kyrgios thrives on the large stage with a crowd and, properly, that’s sort of excellent for the US Open.
Hamilton: With Djokovic absent, the event is there for Nadal to finish the yr like he began it. Although Medvedev heads in as high seed, if Nadal can keep match — after he was compelled to withdraw from Wimbledon with an stomach damage — then his favorable draw means he’ll have the ability to play his means into type. That is what he did in each Melbourne and Paris and ended victorious there, and the attract New York means it may very well be the quarterfinal when he’ll meet his first top-10 seeded participant.
Connelly: I am going with Medvedev. He was so very, very near taking down Nadal in Australia, and whereas he has misplaced three-setters to Stefanos Tsitsipas and Kyrgios just lately, he appears to be at his greatest in New York — he is 18-2 there during the last three US Opens — and he is essentially the most constantly sturdy hardcourter within the event.
Kumar: I am choosing Alcaraz. He’s a once-in-a-generation sort of a participant, and as we come nearer to watching the Massive 4 say goodbye to tennis, I’ve been excited to look at his unimaginable expertise and his rise. He gained his first ATP 500 title on the Rio Open in February and adopted it up with two Masters 1000s wins and one other ATP 500 win on the Miami Open, Madrid Open and Barcelona Open. He’s in Nadal’s half of the event — and he already has expertise with beating the 22-time Grand Slam champion (he turned the primary teenager to beat Nadal on clay on the Madrid Open). Age, confidence and up to date success are all with him as he begins his journey at Flushing Meadows.
Youngmisuk: He could must get previous Hubert Hurkacz or Jannik Sinner and/or Borna Coric to get into the semis the place Nadal may very well be ready, however Alcaraz’s Grand Slam time is coming. He has the huge star recreation, unimaginable poise for a teenager and rising confidence to win this Open. And if all that is not sufficient, he might be a crowd favourite after his quarterfinal exhibiting final yr. If Alcaraz will get by way of to the semis — and he could must discover a strategy to get previous Sinner, who beat him at Wimbledon and within the ultimate at Croatia — his potential showdown with Nadal may very well be a pivotal second in males’s tennis. If he faces Nadal, it’ll really feel like a ultimate. And that may very well be the one large hurdle Alcaraz has to move with a view to win his first slam.
Which participant may shock right here?
Jensen: Coco Vandeweghe … yeah the OG Coco. Semifinals in singles on the US Open 2017 and has a US Open doubles title with Ash Barty. I am teaching her, so she has to beat that! I actually consider in her. She is coming off an superior summer time, profitable the double on the WTA Harmony occasion in singles and doubles. On the way in which she beat Tauson, Wang and Pera who had a 16-match profitable streak. Clutch Vandeweghe misplaced a really shut first spherical match at Wimbledon to Rybakina who ended up profitable the title.
On the boys’s aspect I like Tommy Paul. The child is sneaky good and performs along with his thoughts greater than anybody I do know. Sensible gamers get the very most of their skill, and Tommy brings the brains to the large strain factors.
Shriver: Shelby Rogers may very well be this yr’s shock. She has had some memorable comebacks in recent times over Ashleigh Barty, and a number of match factors all the way down to Kvitova but pulled off one other upset. Rogers’ serve plus one recreation loves the situations on the Open. She is a crowd favourite with a terrific hardcourt recreation. Additionally her seed (31) is my present fortunate quantity.
Fritz is able to make a run and attempt to finish the 19-year main drought by U.S. males. Fritz has grown loads in perception since final yr’s Open by profitable Indian Wells and being near a Wimbledon semifinal, so he is aware of what it takes to problem for a serious within the second week. His SoCal recreation is Taylor-made (pun supposed) for exhausting courts. All the opposite up-and-coming US males are pushing one another to raised outcomes. It is time for US male success at a serious once more.
Drysdale: Sinner may shock. His recreation combines energy and management. In contrast to some energy servers, his floor recreation is rock stable. It is a deadly mixture.
Hamilton: Coric has the run of type to make a dent on this yr’s event, however his draw means he’ll be up in opposition to Alcaraz within the third spherical. Regulate Coric — who swept all earlier than him in Cincinnati. For an additional outsider, take a look at Jack Draper. The younger Brit is enjoying brilliantly and knocked over Tsitsipas within the Canadian Open. He additionally has a current win over Dominic Thiem, so identify and fame are clearly no barrier for him. The draw is difficult for him, nonetheless, with Emil Ruusuvuori first up and a possible assembly with Felix Auger-Aliassime within the second spherical.
Connelly: On the ladies’s aspect, I do not even know what would qualify as a shock at this level. You possibly can speak me into so many alternative gamers making a giant run. However let’s throw some love towards Bianca Andreescu right here. She has proven hints of type on a wide range of surfaces in current months, and whereas she has a tough draw — she may play Toronto finalist Beatriz Haddad Maia within the second spherical and Cincinnati winner Garcia within the third — that can both imply an early exit or an excessive increase of confidence. The 2019 US Open champ is at her greatest in New York, and if she pulls a few early upsets, we’ll act like we noticed it coming all alongside.
On the boys’s aspect, give me Seb Korda. He seemed good in each Washington and Cincinnati, and he beat potential second-round opponent Tommy Paul of their solely ATP assembly. It has been a grind of a yr for the 22-year-old, however he has the instruments to compete with nearly anybody.
Maine: I am with Invoice right here. Is there such a factor as a shock on the ladies’s aspect on the US Open? 5 of the earlier seven ladies’s champions have been first-time main winners and it may be a fair larger shock if a extra veteran participant, like Halep or Swiatek, have been to win right here at this level. Nevertheless it’s enjoyable to consider which ladies may have a breakthrough in New York, and I am holding an extra-close eye on Daria Kasatkina, Garcia and Individuals Pegula and — await it — Rogers. The 29-year-old Rogers is enjoying a few of the greatest tennis of her profession recently. She reached the ultimate on the Silicon Valley Traditional and climbed to a career-high rating consequently. She additionally proved she is able to beating anybody on the largest stage final yr when she defeated then-No. 1 Ashleigh Barty within the third spherical on Arthur Ashe.
Kumar: I will put all my eggs within the Ben Shelton basket. A 19-year-old Florida native, Shelton introduced that he’s going professional per week earlier than the US Open, after success on the ATP tour. He’s coming off of a giant win in opposition to Casper Ruud in Cincinnati, after profitable his first APT match early on in the summertime in Atlanta in opposition to India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan. That is after he gained the 2022 NCAA males’s singles championship and helped Florida win the staff championship the yr earlier than.
He’s tremendous athletic, has a giant serve and he would not get scared to stand up to the web. And two different enjoyable info: Shelton has by no means left the U.S. to go play tennis abroad! And, he’s the son of former American tennis participant Bryan Smith (who was ranked No. 55 on the planet).
Youngmisuk: Coric is available in off a dream run in Cincinnati. There he beat the likes of Nadal, Roberto Bautista Agut, Auger-Aliassime, Cameron Norrie and Tsitsipas. He gained all his matches there in straights outdoors of his three-setter over Nadal. Coming into that event at 152, Coric turned the lowest-ranked participant to win a Masters 1000 title. After all, Coric is making a comeback after reaching No. 12 on the planet earlier than lacking a lot of 2021 with a shoulder damage. He could must beat Alcaraz within the third spherical but when he does, Coric’s run will solely get hotter.
How do you assume Serena Williams will fare right here?
Jensen: I’m actually impressed with what Coach Stubbsy (Rennae Stubbs, additionally an ESPN tennis analyst) is doing with Williams. A great deal of observe units with varied types of play. Stubbsy is an excellent tactician and recreation planner. Placing this sort of tennis thoughts into the Williams machine might be extraordinary! I see her making a deep run!
Shriver: Williams may lose within the first spherical or struggle her means into week two. Clearly her summer time type has not been sturdy, however she is working exhausting to have some wins in her final event. Sadly, her vary and talent to cowl the courtroom is restricted by age and accidents, however Williams nonetheless has the ability and serve to win matches. I want No. 24 could be potential, however I do not see it occurring. Williams will proceed to evolve, and bravo on a GOAT profession.
Drysdale: Everyone seems to be pulling for a Williams miracle. She has accomplished it earlier than. However the strain and lack of match play make a deep run unlikely, even with a pleasant draw.
Maine: Regardless of her age, restricted current schedule and lackluster ends in Toronto and Cincinnati, we’re nonetheless speaking about SERENA WILLIAMS — insert a GOAT emoji right here — and nobody has gained extra US Open singles titles than she has. Williams spoke to Meghan Markle on her just lately launched podcast in regards to the feelings she was anticipating when strolling onto the courtroom on the US Open figuring out it may very well be her final match ever, and it is clear these emotions are going to be robust to cope with and probably a much bigger hurdle than any opponent she may face. Whereas it might be an incredible story if she may win a record-tying twenty fourth main title in New York, it is exhausting to see her getting out of the primary week.
Hamilton: It is a fiercely difficult opener in opposition to Danka Kovinic, and it will take one monumental effort from Williams to get by way of it. But when anybody can, she will be able to. It is going to be a tough balancing act for her of the blending emotion of what seems to be more likely to be her final Grand Slam and that unimaginable aggressive fireplace in her as she seems to be for one final run in a Main.
Connelly: She deserves one final nice run, and she or he goes to have the gang behind her. Her first-round opponent (Kovinic) is 6-9 all-time in hardcourt Slams, and her seemingly second-round opponent (Kontaveit) does not have a No. 2 seed’s monitor document in Slams. The desk is ready for at the least a few superior wins, however except she rediscovers her second serve, it is exhausting to really feel assured that she’ll get multiple.
Kumar: By no means rule her out, proper? I believe it is realistically going to be tough. The 27-year-old from Montenegro, Kovinic, has had some large wins this yr. She turned the primary participant from Montenegro to succeed in the third spherical of a Grand Slam with wins over US Open champion Raducanu and former world No. 1 Halep. She additionally beat Karolina Pliskova, Petra Kvitova and Jabeur this yr.
However, let’s not neglect that Kovinic is enjoying Williams at her dwelling slam, and she is going to seemingly play in entrance of the largest crowd of her profession. I can think about Williams powering by way of the primary spherical, through which case she would doubtlessly face the No. 2 seed Kontaveit. And, it’ll solely get tougher from that time on.
Youngmisuk: Williams could also be prepared for retirement, however the New York crowd will do the whole lot in its energy to not let her go quietly. Her first-rounder on Monday night time may very well be difficult however nobody has been higher beneath the lights on the Open. Williams has 44 night time match wins on the Open, essentially the most since 1980. Roger Federer is second with 36. Williams is 20-0 in opening matches on the Open. I anticipate New York and the gang to get her to 21-0. After that, although, it’s exhausting seeing Serena getting previous Kontaveit. Maybe Williams has one magical Jimmy Connors-like run in her with the gang getting what they got here for. For nonetheless lengthy this lasts, take pleasure in each single level.
Can Rafael Nadal attain Grand Slam No. 23 on the US Open?
Jensen: He has gained right here earlier than however I do not belief any participant getting back from an stomach problem. Nadal has been very quiet in regards to the damage from Wimbledon and he is probably not exhibiting something in his observe periods … If he’s one hundred pc I can see him profitable main quantity 23!
Shriver: Nadal has proved this yr greater than ever that something is feasible at a serious, however I really feel that the foot damage and stomach pressure make it unlikely he’ll attain 23 right here. Having mentioned that, I by no means imagined he would attain 21 at this yr’s Australian Open given he missed a lot of the second half of 2021 with the foot damage and a December bout with COVID. Whereas Nadal is an unlikely winner, it makes me uneasy to say it, as a result of he has accomplished the unbelievable so many instances.
Drysdale: Nadal has pretty much as good a shot on the title as anybody. With Alcaraz in his half, it helps his possibilities.
Hamilton: Completely. I picked him earlier and I am going to stand by that right here. Nadal has extra Grand Slam expertise this yr than his nearest rival Medvedev, and with out Djokovic within the subject, the Spaniard can one hundred pc win the US Open. A lot will rely upon how his physique holds up. Whereas the foot is seemingly behaving itself after the process post-Paris, it waits to be seen how his stomach copes. But when anybody can play by way of ache, it is Nadal and he’ll be determined so as to add a fifth US Open title to his assortment.
Connelly: There’s completely little doubt that he can. He has come again from too many accidents, and he has gained too many best-of-five grinds to ever rely him out. I would not name him the favourite, although. I do assume that is Medvedev’s event to lose, and Alcaraz must be a severe risk. But when he wins all of it, it would not be even barely shocking.
Maine: I actually love everybody’s optimism right here and agree that he can, I am simply undecided that he’ll. Nadal has performed only one match — a loss in opposition to Coric final week in Cincinnati — since having to retire forward of his semifinal match at Wimbledon. And that efficiency wasn’t overly convincing that he’s able to win seven straight matches. His well being stays the largest query mark and it is unclear if he’ll have the ability to maintain the extent he wants on the hardcourt to take dwelling the trophy.
To not point out, he’ll have some robust opposition en route. He may doubtlessly face No. 14 seed Diego Schwartzman within the fourth spherical, No. 7 seed Norrie within the quarters and No. 3 seed (and 2021 US Open breakout star) Alcaraz within the semifinals. However, with all that mentioned, if anybody can defeat the percentages and discover some additional late-season magic, it is Nadal. So rely me in as a stable perhaps.
Kumar: Unquestionably! With Djokovic out of rivalry, and with Nadal positioned in a much more straight-forward half of the draw, that is Nadal’s event to lose. The one two issues in his path: Fellow Spaniard Alcaraz, who has had a breakthrough season with Masters 1000 titles in Miami and Barcelona, and rose to a career-high No. 4 in rankings. The second factor: his well being. Nadal should work actually exhausting to remain wholesome all through the event, specializing in ensuring he would not play three-plus hour matches within the first week of the event.
Youngmisuk: Vamos! After all, Nadal can win this Open. As at all times, it is about his well being holding up. With no Djokovic to cope with right here, Nadal is a fair larger risk. There are some well-known names Nadal could must get by however from a seed perspective, it is a good draw to the semifinals the place he may face the longer term in Alcaraz. If he is feeling sturdy late within the event, it is exhausting envisioning Nadal wilting beneath the strain of constructing historical past right here — like Djokovic did final yr — and never profitable his twenty third main, which might match Williams’ mark for many main titles within the Open Period.