When Serena Williams is healthy and in the draw, I would pick her to get to the final nine times out of ten; however, I do not think she is currently healthy enough to compete at the level she needs to go deep in a major draw. Last year’s finalist will be tested immediately as she will have to face a familiar opponent, Maria Sharapova, in the first round.
The defending champion, Naomi Osaka, is not a sure thing either because she recently retired from a tournament because of a left knee injury; thus, I am not sure how her knee will hold up. Sadly, I don’t think Osaka is fit enough to defend her title, no matter how badly she may want to repeat as the US Open champion. Yet, I remember one year, an injured champion pulled it off, so never say never when desire is strong, and adrenaline is flowing. Can Ashleigh Barty win her second major here? Sure, but her form has also dipped a bit recently.
I have noticed that the young players when thrown into the fame that comes along with winning a major struggle to cope and their game suffers. Therefore, I am not as confident in declaring a winner from the women’s draw as I was on the men’s side. Also, the lack of dominance at the top makes the draw wide open to anyone with the belief they can win a major (and there are plenty of hungry players who feel that way).
Karolina Pliskova has shown that when much is expected of her, she is unable to deliver; yet, she could finally put it all together and win her first major title. Let’s not forget about Simona Halep. A healthy and fully committed Halep is dangerous, but also it comes down to her mental attitude.
Which Young Talent Will Shine?
There is plenty of younger talent; however, do they have what it takes physically and mentally to stay the course for the entire tournament. That is the test that many unseasoned players fail, so while there is a lot of younger talent, I do believe that the finalists will come from amongst the veterans. However, I would not be surprised if there was an upset 2019 champion simply because of the lack of dominance on the WTA tour and injury to the veterans who have the game to potentially make it all the way.
Is Coco Gauff ready to step up? All eyes are on the teenager since her run at Wimbledon earlier this season. At a career high of one hundred and forty, will she pull off another Wimbledon and go deep in the draw? While the talent is there, she is not seasoned enough yet to go all the way; however, I am curious to see what she brings to the final major of the season.
Will A Veteran Steal The Show?
Is there one more left in Venus Williams or Victoria Azarenka? What about Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki? They all can do damage, but can they sustain the level to do damage and get to the final? Injury and lack of confidence has impacted their games of late; however, there is nothing like a major to inspire belief and potentially revive their season/career.
US Open Dark Horse
Anastasija Sevastova seems to enjoy playing in the US Open. In 2017 she made it to the quarterfinals and lost to the eventual champion. In 2018 she made it to the semifinals and lost to one of the finalists. Can she take it one step further this year and get to her first major final? She has the game, no doubt about that; however, mentally she falters. She gets so negative in matches at times and loses her focus, which ultimately causes her to lose. If Sevastova can leave the attitude in the closet and stay focused one match at a time, she could surprise us.
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