US Open 2016 Preview – Women’s Singles

The race for the number 1 ranking in the women’s game has become incredibly tight. Angelique Kerber currently sits less than 200 points behind world number 1 Serena Williams and with 650 points less to defend at the US Open, it is very likely that we could have a new number 1 in a fortnight. Serena Williams will have to most likely win the tournament to hang onto her ranking, or at very least have a significantly better result than that of Kerber. Aside from the top 2, there are a several other genuine contenders including the likes of Garbiñe Muguruza, Agnieszka Radwańska and Simona Halep who will fancy their chances this year at Flushing Meadows. Here are the seeds and my predictions for the women’s draw…

The Top Seeds

  1. Serena Williams (USA) – A 6 time winner at the US Open. Hasn’t played a great deal at all since her Wimbledon title with a disappointing showing at the Rio Olympics being her only appearance. She withdrew from tournaments in Montreal and Cincinnati recently but you feel that Serena saves her best for the majors these days. Will be hard to beat.
  2. Angelique Kerber (GER) – Has had a brilliant year so far. She won in Australia and was runner-up at Wimbledon. Closing in on the number 1 ranking and in some very good form. Also collected a Silver Medal recently in Rio.
  3. Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP) – Hasn’t quite been able to re-capture the form that saw her win the French Open back in June. The warm conditions and the hard courts of Flushing Meadows should suit her, however she doesn’t have a great record at the US.
  4. Agnieszka Radwańska (POL) – Hasn’t produced great results at the US Open in the past and this season has been mediocre by her standards. A seeding of 4 however should help her but she will need to improve on her recent form.
  5. Simona Halep (ROU) – Halep has been in solid form recently. She took out the title at the Rogers Cup in Montreal and was a semi-finalist in Cincinnati. Made the semis at the US Open last year. A definite contender.
  6. Venus Williams (USA) – Just keeps on climbing up the rankings and out of seemingly nowhere is sitting at number 6 in the world. Twice a winner at the US Open but her most recent title was way back in 2001. Will probably need a few results to go her way in order to repeat her semi-final appearance at Wimbledon last month but she is certainly not without a chance.
  7. Roberta Vinci (ITA) – Has produced her best results at the US Open and fell just short in the final here last year. Has also made the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows on two separate occasions. Hasn’t had great results this year at the majors but the US Open seems to be her favourite major based on past form.
  8. Madison Keys (USA) – One of the most exciting young talents in the women’s game. Keys gets a crucial 8th seed which gives her a favourable path to at least the quarterfinals. Gets a chance at her home major and if she withstands the pressure she could produce some very impressive results. Having seen her draw, a semi-final appearance could be on the cards provided she plays well.
  9. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) – A past winner of the US Open back in 2004 and a finalist in 2007. She has had some fairly consistent results this year but her seeding could make it tough for her to repeat some of her previous US Open performances.
  10. Karolína Plíšková (CZE) – Brings some great form to the US Open with a recent win at Cincinatti over Angelique Kerber. Is yet to progress beyond the 3rd round at any major tournament but her seeding and recent form gives her an excellent chance to progress to the second week.

Top Aussies

Sam Stosur – Definitely prefers the hard courts over the grass of Wimbledon. She is also a previous winner here at the US Open when she sensationally defeated Serena Williams in straight sets back in 2011. Crucially she is seeded 16 which gives her a favourable path to the second week of the tournament. Is perhaps an outside chance but will need to play extremely well for 2 weeks.

Daria Gavrilova – Unseeded at this year’s event. This will be her second appearance in the US Open main draw after losing in the first round last year. ‘Dasha’ has only made the main draw once previously where she was knocked out in the first round. Has a tough assignment first up where she faces Lucie Šafářová.

My Tips

Winner: Angelique Kerber

It’s a big call to go against Serena at her home tournament but I believe Kerber is in better form and will not only win the US Open but go on and take the Number 1 ranking. She has had a great year and is in good form leading into the tournament.

Runner-up: Serena Williams

Has played very little tennis since winning Wimbledon and withdrawn from two major tournaments leading up to the US Open. I think she will battle her way through to the final but for me Kerber is currently playing the better tennis.

Dark Horse: Petra Kvitová

Kvitová is seeded 14 at this year’s tournament but knows what it takes to win at the highest level. She is twice a Wimbledon champion and brings some good form into the tournament with a Bronze Medal from the Rio Olympics. Has a powerful left-handed serve and big groundstrokes that can take down any opponent on her day.

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