Now that qualifiers and wild cards have all been determined, the US Open Tennis 2018 is ready to start. With tens of exciting matches on display for the next couple of weeks, it’s hard to pick what to watch! As tennis enthusiasts, we couldn’t resist checking the winning odds and chat about who will win. So, in this column, we will come up with daily picks and predictions for the Men’s and Women’s singles matches that stand out, for one reason or the other. Note that this is just for fun and shouldn’t be used as a guide for anything more, other than making your US Open viewing experience a bit more interesting. It should definitely make ours 🙂
Write your own comments below and let us know what you think.
To keep track of scores and results, you can also check the live scores for the US Open here.
US Open tennis 2018 Daily picks September 6
It has been a weird run at the 2018 US Open so far, with only Nadal and Djokovic justifying they are the favorites to win this year. Characteristically, none of the women’s top 10 players has reached the semi-finals. Numbers don’t seem to play a role at this stage, but let’s move on with some analysis on today’s Women’s singles semi-final matches.
Serena Williams vs. Anastasija Sevastova
Serena Williams is a woman on a mission: to win her 24th Grand Slam. She is still not playing her best and she hasn’t played against a player as consistent and low-on-unforced-errors as Sevastova in this tournament. Sevastova, on the other hand, played her best match against an aggressive baseliner like Sloane Stephens in the previous round. There are 2 things that will determine the outcome in my opinion: Serena’s thirst for another major title and Sevastova’s drop shots. I wouldn’t rule out an upset if the latter works well enough, as it will be tough for Serena to chase after Sevastova’s smart shots. I wouldn’t bet on Serena tonight, even though she is the most likely 2018 US open champion at this stage.
Madison Keys vs. Naomi Osaka
Madison Keys has won both of their encounters so far, but head to head statistics hardly play a role at a Grand Slam semifinal. Plus, Osaka is a much more confident player now, particularly after her emphatic win against Tsurenko. The closest Osaka has faced to Keys in this tournament is probably Aryna Sabalenka. It is no coincidence that it was the toughest match for her. It will all come down to the unforced errors count and I think Keys is more mentally ready for this match, after her loss at last year’s final.
US Open tennis 2018 Daily picks September 3
Back at it today after a short weekend hiatus, during which the favorites prevailed, so we would have had little luck predicting upsets or risking with too close encounters. Let’s see the most ambiguous matches and our picks for today.
Marin Cilic vs. David Goffin
Marin Cilic and Alex De Minaur put on a great performance on Sunday, whereby Cilic came back from 2 sets down to turn the match around and win (4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5). Goffin had a much less tiring 3 set victory against Struff (6-4, 6-1, 6-7). Cilic has beaten Goffin in their two most recent encounters, the last one being in Rome in 2017. Goffin, however, has won in 3 out of 5 encounters overall. On top, fatigue might be an issue for Cilic against another fast, all court player like the Belgian. Their odds should have been more marginal (instead of giving Cilic such a clear favorite) and that is why our pick is Goffin.
Aryna Sabalenka vs. Naomi Osaka √
Sabalenka has enjoyed an incredible few weeks on the WTA tour, culminating to her knocking out Petra Kvitova from the 2018 US Open yesterday. Naomi Osaka is a force to be reckoned with, but the truth is she hasn’t faced a big challenge at the US open yet. It is a much tighter combat than what the odds suggest and, although Sabalenka will be playing with a lot of confidence, Osaka could win this one. Exactly because she is the underdog, against a player who hasn’t really had enough experience to be the favorite in a round of 16 match at a Grand Slam.
US Open tennis 2018 Daily picks August 31
It was a good day yesterday at the 2018 US Open (well, for us, not for Caroline Wozniacki). Alexandra Krunic beat Kirsten Flipkens quite emphatically and will face Madison Keys in the next round. Monfils and Nishikori didn’t get to battle it out in 5 sets, as Gael injured his wrist and had to retire in the second set. Till that point, it looked as if it would be a close contest, as predicted. Dominica Cibulkova had to play 3 sets in over 3 hours to finally get past Su-wei Hsieh but she finally did. Similarly, Jelena Ostapenko needed 3 sets to make her way to the third round, where she will face Maria Sharapova.
On other news, yesterday will be mostly remembered for the Lahyani-Kyrgios incident, as the Australian maverick seemed to get some mental toughness assistance from the chair umpire to get through his match.
Let’s see today’s picks, as encounters start to get more and more hard to predict.
Denis Shapovalov vs. Kevin Anderson
Shapovalov’s odds make him the underdog and, although the ranking justifies it, the current form and overall feeling don’t, necessarily. Anderson has had a great year, which also means a very tiring year, at 32 years of age. They’re never played before, but Denis Shapovalov has won against big servers like Raonic and Karlovic this year. Anderson has little in his game other than his serve and Shapovalov is a good returner. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins tonight, although that means going against the favorite. It has to at least be a tougher battle than suggested by the bookmakers.
Milos Raonic – Stan Wawrinka
Another match-up that is mostly evaluated based on ranking and not on current momentum. Stan might still be struggling to return to his normal level, but he has beaten Raonic in 4 out of the 5 matches they have played. Milos has lost to lesser opponents this year and Wawrinka is definitely one of the hungrier competitors in the field. I expect a close battle and believe Stan can make it to the fourth round.
Barbora Strycova vs. Elise Mertens
The two have never met before, but it doesn’t look like Strycova can threat Mertens at this stage. Strycova has had better luck in doubles this year and hasn’t scored a great win in a while. The odds are not good enough to bet on the favorite (Mertens), but still, she should be able to prevail.
Serena Williams vs. Venus Williams
This will be the 30th time the Williams sisters face each other in a tournament and it is getting weird. I mean, if you are Serena’s sister, I don’t know how you make it a point to be the one who stops her from getting her 24th Grand Slam title. Venus is a pro though and if she battles it out I think she has the best chances today. Regardless of form, there is a practical stat the drives me to that conclusion. Serena has only won less than 30% of her return games this season and converts less than half the break points she gets. Against Venus, she will have to do much better than that to win, if Venus serves well enough today.
Of the rest, I’m looking forward to the battle between Sloane Stephens and Victoria Azarenka. Sloane has the best chance, but it is a balanced encounter. And I would keep an eye on Wang Qiang against Svitolina, as she could do some damage.
US Open tennis 2018 Daily picks August 30
Not a great day yesterday, with only Venus Williams making it through among our picks for the second round of the US open. That and Thiem – Johnson ending up a 5-set match. The truth is the Steve Johnson was having issues with his right foot due to a fall in the third set. But Thiem managed to close out the game and make it to the next round.
Claire Liu was far from threatening Sevastova with an upset, as she seemed obviously nervous and prone to unforced errors. Against the consistent Sevastova, that was recipe for disaster. Finally, Julia Goerges’s serve was below her usual standards, causing her the match against Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets.
Today is another day, so let’s wipe the slate clean and move on swiftly to today’s matches and picks from the US Open.
Gael Monfils vs. Kei Nishikori
The match that stands out most in the Men’s Singles second round, between Nishikori (no. 21) and Monfils (no. 39). The two have only met 4 times in the past, with Nishikori winning 3 out of 4. Their battles often go to a deciding set and that might also be the case today. Neither has had a great year so far and it will probably come down to a mental toughness battle. Nishikori has the edge in that case and can outlast Monfils, despite the Frenchman’s athleticism.
Alexandra Krunic vs. Kristen Flipkens √
Krunic is a very interesting player who rarely lives up to the expectations surrounding her tennis career. She has been on the verge of a breakthrough for a while, but it never seems to come. She did win her maiden WTA title this year though, at the Libema Open in the Netherlands. Kristen Flipkens is past her prime and has a very predictable game style. It is a game style that requires patience from her opponent and Krunic rarely has any. Still, the Serbian has beaten Flipkens in all 3 of their matches, so I don’t think she should be the outsider here. Risky choice, but I will stick with Krunic.
Now there’s no point in discussing the rock-solid favorites like Federer or Djokovic. Of the slightly more ambiguous, I expect Kasatkina and Ostapenko to win today. And interested to see how Cibulkova fares, facing crafty Su-Wei Hsieh under the heat.
US Open tennis 2018 Daily picks August 29
The first round of the 2018 US Open came to a close yesterday, with most of the favorites making it through. Moreover, we’ve had a 100% success in yesterday’s predictions from this column! 3 out of 3 picks got through, one way or the other.
Frances Tiafoe made an incredible start, leading 2-0 against Mannarino before the French could understand what was happening. Mannarino got 1 set, but failed to build a momentum, eventually losing to the American (6-1, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4). Caroline Garcia prevailed against Johanna Konta more easily than expected, as Konta never showed any resistance (6-2, 6-2). Finally, as predicted, Bencic shouldn’t have been named the favorite in her clash against Alexandra Sasnovich. Although she claimed the first set, the Swiss couldn’t keep her consistency and Sasnovich deservedly won in 3 sets (2-6, 6-1, 6-2).
Moving on with today’s picks, which will be a little bit bolder -after all, it doesn’t really make sense to analyze the matches of solid favorites, unless it is to issue an upset alert.
Dominic Thiem – Steve Johnson
Thiem is named the favorite in this match, but that doesn’t seem to be well-justified. The two have played 3 times, with Thiem winning the 2 matches on clay and Johnson winning the one on a hard court. Dominic hasn’t been in great shape since the end of the clay season and Johnson will definitely have the support of his American compatriots. This could be a 5-set match, but Johnson can win it.
Claire Liu vs. Anastasija Sevastova
I swear I have nothing against Sevastova, in fact, I like her and her game a lot. But her game has not been stable enough this year to get the odds of such a clear favorite. Claire Liu is the youngest competitor to make it to the second round this year, yet she has shown some great potential. She was the only player (including Serena Williams) to take a set from Angelique Kerber in the Wimbledon 2018. Her game is well rounded and I think she will have a breakthrough moment sooner rather than later. She is the underdog today, but she can win.
Julia Goerges vs Ekaterina Makarova
Goerges seems to be a solid favorite in this clash and her odds are reasonable. She beat Makarova relatively easily (6-4, 6,2) a couple of weeks ago in New Haven, despite losing their 2 matches prior to that. But this is a new Julia Goerges at the peak of her game and she should prevail today.
Camila Giorgi vs. Venus Williams √
There’s a lot of hype lately about Camila Giorgi, mostly thanks to her Wimbledon QF run and her habit of winning against top 20 players. Giorgi relies a lot on her serve (winning approx. 70% of her service games vs. 39% of her return games). That might not be enough against an aggressive returner and big server like Williams. There is only one match between the 2, back at the 2015 AO, won by Venus in 3 sets. It looks more possible than not that Venus will repeat that feat, with the New York crowd by her side.
US Open tennis 2018 Daily picks August 28
The biggest news from the first day of the US Open 2018 was probably Simona Halep’s loss to Kaia Kanepi (6-2, 6-4). Halep’s early exit was an upset few had foreseen, although I had hinted to fatigue being an issue in Halep’s quarter draw analysis.
As far as the picks from yesterday are concerned, 2 out of 4 won, so that’s a 50% success rate (or 50% fail-rate, your call! 🙂 ). Wawrinka had an easier time, beating Dimitrov in straight sets (6-3, 6-2, 7-5), as the Bulgarian was well below his usual level. It did take 3 sets for Venus to prevail against Kuznetsova (6-3, 5-7 6-3), as predicted below. Donna Vekic was on the verge of turning her match against Sevastova around but only managed to take it to a decider. She showed little resistance in the third set (6-2, 2-6, 6-3). Finally, Andrey Rublev was a big disappointment, losing relatively easily to Jeremy Chardy in 4 sets (6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1). The Russian is far from proving he belongs to the next generation tennis elite, after all.
Now let’s see today’s picks and predictions for the remainder of the US Open 2018 opening round.
Frances Tiafoe vs. Adrian Mannarino √
Tiafoe and Mannarino have only played one match against each other, 2 years ago, in Washington DC. Mannarino won in two close sets (7-6, 7-5). The American has since become a much better player and he is one of the Next Gen hopes. He will have the support of his compatriots today, so I think he has the better chance to win.
Caroline Garcia vs. Johanna Konta √
A very tough opening round for Garcia, but only due to Konta’s sharp drop in ranking this year. That drop, however, is no coincidence, since the British player hasn’t lived up to the expectations in 2018. With little consistency this year, it is surprising bookmakers consider this an evenly balanced contest. Garcia should be a clearer favorite and is worth backing because of the current odds. That does not suggest Konta can’t win this match, but Garcia inspires more confidence at this stage.
Aliaksandra Sasnovich vs. Belinda Bencic √
Sasnovich has scores some important victories this year, most notably knocking Petr Kvitva out of Wimbledon. Lately, when she loses, it is only after a 3-set battle, even against Caroline Garcia in New Haven. Belinda Bencic is one of the most talented players on tour, but has struggled to get back into the game, both physically and mentally. I would love to see her get far in the 2018 US Open, but Sasnovich should be the favorite between the two, at this stage.
I’m afraid the rest of the matches today are either pretty unbalanced or the odds don’t make them worth picking apart.
US Open tennis 2018 Daily picks August 27
The opening round of the 2018 US Open will be underway in a few hours with many exciting matches waiting for us. Here are the four we have picked for today, along with some predictions for the winners.
Stan Wawrinka vs. Grigor Dimitrov √
Dimitrov is the seeded player here and the truth is Wawrinka has only had a few matches under his belt this year. For some odd reason, bookmakers are favoring Wawrinka in this clash, which doesn’t really make much sense. Their head to head is 4 (Dimitrov) against 3 (Stan) and Grigor lost in their most recent match in Wimbledon. Given Dmitrov’s poor form and Wawrinka’s thirst, we would also back Stan to win this match. However, he should have been an outsider, realistically speaking.
Jeremy Chardy vs. Andrey Rublev
Rublev has won all 4 of their matches on hard courts. Chardy might be more experienced, but the NextGen tennis star is posed for a proper breakthrough. Rublev has a good chance of making it a lot further than the second round at the US Open this year.
Donna Vekic vs. Anastasija Sevastova
Sevastova has won all 3 of their matches so far, the last one being in Doha, earlier this year. However, Vekic has started picking up some important wins, under the coaching of Torben Beltz. She reached the final in Washington DC in July and knocked out Sloane Stephens in Wimbledon 2018. Sevastova is not playing her best tennis, so Vekic could cause an upset here. Not what reason says, but somehow possible.
Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Venus Williams √
Kuznetsova has been slowly climbing the rankings again, but is still far from her best, aside from her recent run and title in Washington. She shouldn’t be the favorite in this clash against Venus Williams, yet bookmakers think differently. All the more reason to support Venus, even if it takes 3 sets for her to prevail.
Back tomorrow with a review of how we did and the next picks!
Featured image credit: Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com