Starting this Monday, the final grand slam event of the 2021 tennis season gets underway when US Open begins at Flushing Meadows in New York City.
While we are all set to enjoy two weeks of first class tennis, the first thing we need to accept is that the men’s side of the draw could be over before it begins.
An extraordinary run of bad luck has befallen the rivals of world number one Novak Djokovic who consequently looks to have been dealt a truly great hand.
Knee surgery has put an end to the season for Roger Federer while the only other player of that level, Rafa Nadal is still struggling with the foot injury that cost him his French Open title and saw him miss out on Wimbledon and the Olympics altogether.
Andy Murray And The Big Three
This, along with the absence of Andy Murray, has opened up the field considerably. Murray, now ranking at 105 in the world following a string of injuries in recent years, has often been regarded as the only other player that could rival tennis’ big three dominators.
Nadal had been back on court in Canada last week but has since returned to Spain and announced that he will not play again in 2021.
When the Serb won Wimbledon in July, he drew level with the top two most successful men’s tennis players of all time, Federer and Nadal. But, with them now out of the picture, there is nothing to stop Djokovic from running clear of the rest.
The amazing thing is that all three players, the greatest trio of all time, have all played in the same era.
Golden Grand Slam Dream Is Over
After winning the Australian Open, French Open and the Wimbledon Championships, Djokovic had been hoping to emulate Steffi Graf’s achievement of winning the Golden Grand Slam in 1988. This is where tennis players win all four majors plus the Olympic gold.
Djokovic lost in Tokyo at the Ariake Tennis Park, but the Calendar Grand Slam is still very much on, and he is the clear leader in the pack. He should be well rested too after taking a week off and skipping the Western & Southern Open, the first event since the Olympics where he lost to world number five Dominic Thiem who is the reigning Flushing Meadows champion.
However, even Thiem has withdrawn from the US Open with a wrist injury meaning he wont be in town to defend his Flushing Meadows title.
In the end the Olympic gold went to Germany’s Alexander Zverev, and he will now fancy himself to land a first major slam following a decent year where he won the Mexican Open and made the last four at the French Open.
World number two Daniil Medvedev is still hunting for his first grand slam win, and he looks well suited to this event where he has saved his best form in recent seasons. The Russian giant has made the final four here for the past two seasons, losing in the final to Nadal two years ago.
He comes to New York off the back of success in National Bank Open which should lift his spirits after bowing out at the Olympics at the quarter-final stage.
Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas has, at the age of 23, already made numerous Grand Slam semi-final appearances and reached the final of the French Open this year.
The Athens born racketsman looks like being one of the new stars of the next generation and it is surely only a matter of time when he goes one better than he did in Paris and picks up his first grand slam win.
He will need to lift his New York form though at a venue where he has struggled and has never made it past the third round.
Our US Open betting odds are favouring Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas to run the Serb the closest and Tsitsipas does look like he could run deep just as he did in Paris, but there can be little doubt that this is Djokovic’s tournament to lose.
Expect the world number one win at the Arthur Ashe Stadium on the 12th of September and overtake Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal by landing a 21st major title and becoming the most successful men’s player in history of the Grand Slams.
US Open Women’s Singles Betting
On the ladies side of the draw, Naomi Osaka will lead the betting.
Osaka has had a bit of a troubled year, given her well documented absences from the tour as well as her straight sets defeat by the Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova while representing her native Japan as the hosts of the Olympics.
She also just recently crashed out of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati when she lost to Swiss wildcard Jil Teichmann in the third round which suggests not is all yet well with the world number two.
She does enjoy this course and its hard surface though and won here in both 2018 and 2020.
Despite her form here, she is a tough one to predict and could well suffer from lack of competitive elite action which has been balanced against her mental resistance and, while wishing her well and hoping to see her return to her best soon, we would look elsewhere.
Like Australia’s Ash Barty.
Don’t Stop The Barty
World number one, Barty has grand slam wins at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon as well as being a semi-finalist at the Australian Open and is also now an Olympic bronze medallist after winning in the mix doubles with John Peers.
In short, it has not been a bad couple of years for the 25 year old Aussie.
However, at the US Open she is yet to progress past the fourth round so will need to pick up her form on her return to a tournament she missed last year due to concerns about Covid.
Her form is not perfect either, showing she can be got at during the Tokyo Olympics where she lost to Sara Sorribes Tormo in straight sets in the first round. If she can bring the form she showed in SW19 to the North American hard surface, she could well be looking at another Grand Slam title.
2021 US Open Tennis Betting Odds
2021 US Open Men’s Singles Betting
- Novak Djokovic – 4/6
- Daniil Medvedev – 18/5
- Alexander Zverev – 13/2
- Stefanos Tsitsipas – 9/1
- Matteo Berrettini – 18/1
- Andrey Rublev – 25/1
- Denis Shapovalov – 40/1
- Milos Raonic – 50/1
2021 US Open Women’s Singles Betting
- Naomi Osaka – 18/5
- Ashleigh Barty – 5/1
- Serena Williams – 9/1
- Aryna Sabalenka – 9/1
- Iga Swiatek – 11/1
- Bianca Vanessa Andreescu – 11/1
- Simona Halep – 12/1
- Karolina Pliskova – 12/1