Serena Williams (13/8 Bet365) is back on form winning the WTA title in Cincinnati last week, only really being tested by Caroline Wozniacki. The world number 1 has had very poor 2014 Grand Slam results though and will want to make amends at Flushing Meadows. She will be super confident and just needs to put those Slams behind her. Her serve is working well on hard courts and her powerful play will make it difficult for her opponents. Is her price a little too short though? Other USA players can do well at Flushing Meadows, including the resurgent Venus Williams (33/1 Bet365) who has returned to the WTA Top 20 and Sloane Stephens (40/1 Bet365) who has been in poor form most of the year. Youngster Madison Keys (50/1 Bet365) may cause an upset or two, though I still think she lacks experience and fitness is still an issue.
Simona Halep (7/1 Bet365) has had a fantastic last 18 months on the WTA tour which has moved her up to number 2 in the world. She reached the final of the French Open and will be a tough opponent at the US Open as she moves so well and the crowd will no doubt get behind this very likeable tennis player. Can she deal with the power of some players? An early loss in New Haven this week is nothing to worry about.
Maria Sharapova (11/2 Bet365) has already won a Grand Slam in 2014 and is in solid enough form for the final Slam of the season in the USA. She lost to Ivanovic in Cincinnati, but the Russian is showing great fight and determination and will not fear any of her opponents, the exception being Serena who Maria has a very poor record against.
Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova (10/1 Bet365) looks like she is struggling again to live in the limelight after a big title. Losing early in Cincinnati and Montreal has given her no confidence at all however Svitolina and Makarova are solid enough players to lose to. Petra has a poor record at the US Open and lost to Alison Riske last year winning just 3 games. I doubt she will figure this year either
Genie Bouchard (9/1 Bet365) struggled in the Wimbledon final and has struggled in the US hard-court season too. She will look to do well in the New Haven event this week and pick up some form. She is ultra-consistent at the Grand Slams this year and with a top 8 seeding should progress to the later stages quite comfortably. Let’s hope Eugenie learns from her Wimbledon final experiences and gains confidence that she can win these tournaments.
No one knows what to expect from Vika Azarenka (10/1 Bet365) She is obviously very capable of winning this tournament, but long injury layoffs and lack of matches make her very doubtful for a strong run. She may well need to wait until next year to re-start her tennis success
Aga Radwanska (22/1 Bet365) won in Montreal a few weeks ago, thrashing Venus in the final. The Pole hasn’t had the best Grand Slam performances in 2014, but is usually very consistent and should give a good account of herself. Unfortunately she will need to mix up her play to compensate for her lack of power and will probably find a few too good at Flushing Meadows
Garbine Muguruza (40/1 Bet365) has caused many surprises this year already and took out Serena at Roland Garros. The Spaniard had surgery this time last year and now is back and very strong. Garbine has power and confidence and expect another bold show, depending on the draw
Angelique Kerber (40/1 Bet365) has been consistent all year. She has power and determination, but lacks the killer instinct to win these types of tournaments. The German played well at Wimbledon and this may give her confidence at Flushing Meadows. Should be the best of the German contingent.
Serbians Ana Ivanovic (33/1 Bet365) and Jelena Jankovic (100/1 Bet365) should be consistent enough and make the 4th round comfortably, but I still don’t see them threatening for a Grand Slam title, they have meltdowns too often. Ivanovic did well in Cincinnati last week so could cause a surprise.
Caroline Wozniacki (22/1 Bet365) has been showing some improvement in form recently and has been fighting well with Serena Williams on the US hard-court season. The Dane has had a troublesome personal life in the last 6 months and her game has suffered. However Caro seems to have turned a corner and I expect to see further improvement at Flushing Meadows. She is a former finalist back in 2009 and she is capable of getting their again.
Dominika Cibulkova, Flavia Pennetta, Sam Stosur all are capable of good runs at Slams but none are in the sort of form that they will need to be to win here in New York.
At the moment it is hard to see anyone challenging Serena Williams in Flushing Meadows, but will poor results in all 3 2014 Grand Slam events so far mentally she may be a little fragile. Her experience though and recent good form should enable Serena to block out any mental issues. Sharapova, Halep and Radwanska will be dangerous, while Caro Wozniacki if she continues her improvement may cause a few surprises.