Update September 4, 2018
We are moving onto the US Open 2018 Quarterfinals today and it’s time for an update, particularly after Roger Federer’s loss to John Millman yesterday (3-6, 7-5, 7-6, 7-6). You can still read the original piece on the 2018 US Open draw and predictions further below.
See also: The aftermath of the US Open tennis 2018 and an explanation of Serena’s meltdown.
US Open tennis 2018 men’s singles update
On the men’s side, Rafael Nadal is progressing as anticipated, having dropped 2 sets, against Basilashvili and Khachanov. Juan Martin Del Potro has had an even easier run so far, having won all his matches in straight sets. The Tower of Tandil is playing some of his best tennis in New York this year. Unless John Isner stops him today, he will get a rematch of the 2017 semi-final against Nadal. At the bottom of the draw, Federer’s shock upset clears the way for Novak Djokovic to the final. Neither Millman nor Cilic/Nishikori seem to be able to stop him. Nadal, Del Potro and Djokovic are the most likely contenders for the US Open 2018 title at this point.
Venturing a guess, if Nadal makes it past Del Potro, he will win the title. It is his chance to defend a Grand Slam other than the French and get a revenge for the Wimbledon semi-final loss against Djokovic. But Del Potro seems to be in the best condition we’ve seen him since his victory at the US Open in 2009. If he gets Nadal out, it will be harder for him to prevail against Djokovic in the final. Overall, the final matches will be on the balance and the conditions in New York will be key. Nadal still seems to have a slight edge against the rest.
US Open tennis 2018 women’s singles update
Simona Halep’s early exit turned the tables on the women’s singles’ brackets at the 2018 US open. I had predicted fatigue will be an issue for the world number 1, as well as Wozniacki failing to make it far. As a result, the top of the draw is wide open for Serena Williams to reach yet another US Open semi-final. With her return game improving match by match, I don’t think Karolina Pliskova can stop her. But Sloane Stephens could, in the next round. I mentioned below that Stephens is peaking at the right time of the year, to defend her Grand Slam title in New York. I wouldn’t be surprised if she does.
Carla Suarez Navarro pulled off a major upset, considering her recent form, to take out Maria Sharapova. I think this clears the way for Madison Keys to reach her second consecutive US Open final. Suarez Navarro and Tsurenko/Osaka will be on her way, but all of them will have already gone the extra mile by the time they face Keys. The chances of us seeing a rematch of last year’s US Open final between Stephens and Keys are high. If that happens, anything is possible. If Serena makes it to the final though, she won’t miss another chance for her 24th Grand Slam.
We can only predict one thing with some certainty: the US Open tennis 2018 Women’s Singles winner will be an American lady. Will it be the story of a 24th Grand Slam? The incredible achievement of a second US Open in row? Or a big revenge for last year’s tearful loss of the title?
A final thought: how incredible would it be if both Nadal and Stephens defend their titles this year? I don’t think it has ever happened in tennis history.
Read the original US Open tennis 2018 Draw and Predictions below, as published on August 24:
The US Open Tennis 2018 draw was released yesterday (August 23). Defending champions, Rafael Nadal and Sloane Stephens have had some luck with the draw. While others, such as Roger Federer and Serena Williams, will be challenged harder. The US Open Tennis 2018 is taking place from August 21 to September 9, in New York. It is the last major tennis tournament of the year and it is already underway. The prize money allocated for the US Open this year is USD 53 mil.
The 2017 US Open was marked by the injury plague in the men’s field. The women’s field had its own notable absentees. Following several anticipated comebacks in 2018, all the top players are now in New York, ready to compete. With all the tennis stars participating, the event is going to be one of the most exciting in recent years. So let’s have a look at the US Open 2018 Women’s and Men’s Singles Draws. While we’re at it, we’ll also venture some predictions about this year’s semifinalists.
US Open Tennis 2018 Women’s Draw and Predictions
The US Open Tennis 2018 Women’s draw was released yesterday and it is no surprise that you can hardly pick a favorite. Women’s tennis is definitely one of the most ambiguous sports to predict nowadays. Several top players have made their comeback, but haven’t managed to reach their peak level yet. Serena Williams’ return to tennis hasn’t been as quick or consistent as she would have liked. Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka are still trying to find consistency. The same goes for the younger, Belinda Bencic.
Of the last year’s protagonists, Ka. Pliskova, Vandeweghe, Keys and Muguruza have struggled with their form. Wozniacki seems to have run out of challenges, following her Australian Open victory. World number 1 Simona Halep is probably the most consistent player in 2018 so far, but fatigue might be an issue. Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitova, Elina Svitolina and Elise Mertens have had solid results in 2018. Finally, the defending champion, Sloane Stephens, seems to be peaking at the right time. But let’s see the quarters of the women’s draw one by one.
Women’s Singles US Open 2018 draw – Top Quarter
Top seed and World number 1, Simona Halep, leads the top quarter of the draw.
The draw hasn’t been particularly kind to the Williams’ sisters, nor to Garbine Muguruza and Karolina Pliskova. Aside from Halep, 18 seed Ashleigh Barty and rising Camila Giorgi pose a threat. Svetlana Kuznetsova hasn’t had an easy year but has improved her results in time for the US Open. Ukraine’s wonder girl Dayana Yastremska is someone to watch this year as well. Unless Serena Williams shows great improvement compared to her last appearances in San Jose and Cincinnati, I don’t see her making it further than the third round.
Top quarter prediction:
Simona Halep vs. Ashleigh Barty for a spot in the Semifinals. Fatigue from the recent tournaments might be a concern for Halep, but I think she can book that spot.
Women’s Singles US Open 2018 draw – Second Quarter
Defending champion Sloane Stephens leads the second quarter of the draw, which is probably the most interesting.
Elina Svitolina is also featured in this part of the draw. The Ukrainian has been quietly but steadily retaining her top 10 status. Still, she hasn’t really stood out in recent tournaments, following her victory in Rome, on clay. Seasoned players Azarenka and Radwanska are always a threat, although far from their best. Elise Mertens and Julia Goerges have had a fantastic year so far and are playing their best tennis. Donna Vekic is one to watch this year, as she is close to a great transformation, under Torben Beltz’s coaching. Finally, Ekaterina Makarova doesn’t impress but she gets results and can knock out some of the big names.
Second quarter prediction:
If Sloane Stephens continues playing with the form she has found recently, I see her advancing to the third round. There, she will likely face Mertens, whom she lost to in Cincinnati this year. It could be payback time. Svitolina or Goerges should be waiting for her at the quarterfinal, but I think Stephens can get through to the Semis.
Women’s Singles US Open 2018 draw – Third Quarter
World number 4 Angelique Kerber is in the third quarter of the draw, along with France’s Caroline Garcia.
Kerber might be facing her recent nemesis, Alize Cornet, as soon as the second round and that is not great news for her. If she gets past that, Americans Keys and Vandeweghe are lurking in the next rounds. Caroline Garcia has an extra tough first round against Johanna Konta, due to the latter’s sharp drop in rankings in 2018. Of the rest, Maria Sharapova and Jelena Ostapenko are always dangerous on their good day. I expect Andrea Petkovic to have a decent run this year as well. The third quarter is probably the most ambiguous part of the draw, as it’s hard to pick favorites before the matches start.
Third quarter prediction:
I will show some faith for Angelique Kerber, at least until the Quarterfinals, based on the following prerequisites: That a) she has warmed up to tournaments again, following her post-Wimbledon hiatus, b) she is still hungry enough and c) Keys and Vandeweghe don’t suddenly peak just in time for this tournament.
Women’s Singles US Open 2018 draw – Fourth Quarter
This is the quarter of Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova, among other interesting names.
World number 2, Caroline Wozniacki, hasn’t had the best year, since her Australian Open victory in January. With in-form Kiki Bertens in her part of the draw, I don’t see her making it past the 4th round. Unless of course Buzernescu or Kontaveit don’t stop her even before that. Petra Kvitova would have a relatively easy way to the quarterfinals, is it weren’t for her recent injury scare in New Haven. Aryna Sabalenka and Naomi Osaka can turn the tables on Kvitova. Daria Kasatkina doesn’t seem in top form right now, so I don’t see her getting very far.
Fourth quarter prediction:
Based on recent form and level of play, Kiki Bertens has the best chance for a spot in the semis. I doubt Sabalenka can carry what she has started -during the US Open series this year- much further in a major. But I would like to see if Petra Kvitova does have an injury problem before ruling her out.
US Open Tennis 2018 Men’s Singles Draw and Predictions
The men’s singles event is full this year at the US Open, after almost 2 years of injuries and important absentees. This makes the draw harder to figure out this year and the winner prediction nothing short of a wild guess. That being said, Rafel Nadal has a pretty good draw supporting his title defense in 2018. On the contrary, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will have to face off early in the tournament. Djokovic should probably have been seeded higher to avoid a quarterfinal clash with the Maestro, but what’s done is done.
It would be great to see Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka have a good run again, but their draws make it doubtful. On the other hand, Juan Martin Del Potro and Alexander Zverev have tough paths to the quarterfinals. Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and Denis Shapovalov are the ones to watch for potential upsets this year. Let’s have a closer look at the men’s draw.
Men’s Singles US Open 2018 draw – Top Quarter
World number 1 Rafael Nadal leads the Top quarter of the draw in 2018.
The draw couldn’t have been more graceful for Nadal, as his way to the semis is practically a stroll in the park. His first round match against his good friend David Ferrer stands out though. This will likely be Ferrer’s last Grand Slam match. Dominic Thiem is far from his best tennis at this point and Denis Shapovalov is yet to prove that he has what it takes to upset the World number 1. Kevin Anderson is there of course, but I have a feeling his run at the Wimbledon will be his highlight of the year.
Top quarter prediction:
Nadal, nothing more to add here.
Men’s Singles US Open 2018 draw – Second Quarter
Things get interesting in the second quarter. Juan Martin Del Potro leads the bracket, but there are many more names that stand out here. The Tower of Tandil might face Andy Murray in as soon as the third round. At the bottom, Wawrinka and Dimitrov will face-off in the first match of the tournament. In-form Stefanos Tsitsipas, Borna Coric and John Isner complete a very ambiguous bracket.
Second quarter prediction:
Del Potro is healthy and strong and that should be enough for him to get to the quarterfinals. I think Wawrinka might be able to upset Dimitrov in the first round, which will clear his way to meet Del Potro later on. Very tough quarter to predict.
Men’s Singles US Open 2018 draw – Third Quarter
World Number 4 Alexander Zverev and Marin Cilic are in the third quarter of the draw.
With the exception of Marin Cilic and David Goffin, this is probably one of the easiest draws Alexander Zverev could have at a major. His way until the semis is clear and it is his chance to prove he has what it takes for a Grand Slam tournament. Francis Tiafoe of the USA and Diego Schwartzman are dangerous but young, while Gael Monfils and Kei Nishikori are not at their best.
Third quarter prediction:
I would pick Zverev over Cilic for the semis, in spite of Marin’s recent confident statements. It is Sascha’s chance to prove things and his cooperation with Ivan Lendl is exactly what he needed to do that.
Men’s Singles US Open 2018 draw – Fourth Quarter
It is a game for two in the fourth quarter of the draw. There’s little standing between a Djokovic vs. Federer quarterfinal. Hyeon Chung, Fabio Fognini and Nick Kyrgios might stand out as potential threats, but I think the rematch of the Cincinnati final is unavoidable. What remains to be seen is whether Federer can stop Djokovic’s form at this stage.
Fourth quarter prediction:
Unless Nick Kyrgios stands in his way, Roger Federer will likely face Djokovic for a spot in the semis. If current form is anything to go by, Djokovic should prevail. But the Maestro doesn’t often lose twice in a row from the same opponent.
Who will win the 2018 US Open tennis?
There are only a few more chances for the tennis world to see a Fedal final, before either of them retires. in spite of Djokovic’s form, I think Federer could be Nadal’s opponent in this year’s US Open. There is one challenge Nadal’s has conquered yet and that is defending the title in New York. This year could be his chance, regardless of who his opponent is. I think he will make it to the final. The question is whether we will see the first Federer vs. Nadal US open final ever, or another epic battle between him and Novak Djokovic. Either way, great tennis ahead.
As far as the Women’s singles tournament is concerned, Simona Halep will have a hard time making it to the final. That being said, I don’t see why bookmakers have picked Serena Williams as the favorite for the 2018 US Open. The more I look at the draw the more it seems possible for a new player to reach the final. Kiki Bertens, Elise Mertens and Julia Goerges are good candidates. I might be little biased because of how much I enjoy watching her play, but if Sloane Stephens shows some consistency, she could be one of the finalists too. But that is only as far as one can go in venturing to predict the women’s winner.