The stakes have rarely been higher at a US Open. The ATP and WTA head to the hard courts of New York City (August 28 – September 10) with both no. 1 rankings up for grabs. Rafael Nadal has reclaimed the top men’s ranking but Roger Federer and Andy Murray could both snatch the top spot by winning the title.
Over on the women’s side, the field is wide open. Simona Halep, Garbiñe Muguruza, Elina Svitolina, Karolína Plíšková, Caroline Wozniacki, Johanna Konta, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Venus Williams all have a chance to finish the US Open as the top-ranked female player.
With the draw announced, let’s take a quick look at the men and women positioned to win at Flushing Meadows.
2017 US Open Odds
Roger Federer: 7/4
Rafael Nadal: 3/1
Alexander Zverev: 8/1
Andy Murray: 11/1
Nick Kyrgios: 20/1
Roger Federer is chasing his third Grand Slam win of the year, a feat he hasn’t managed since 2007, while Rafael Nadal is seeking his second. With Novak Djokovic out for the remainder of the year and Andy Murray struggling, Nadal and Federer have managed to reclaim their place at the top of men’s tennis.
But the battle between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal has recently been interrupted by the new kid on the block: 20-year-old Alexander Zverev. Zverev won this year’s Washington Open and, as Geoff Johnson discussed last week, went onto capture the 2017 Rogers Cup, a hugely significant tournament in the US Open build-up, by beating Fed in the final. He also owns a victory against Djokovic this season.
Former no. 1 Murray is having a disastrous year, and it doesn’t look like it’ll get any better. He withdrew from the Rogers Cup and Cincinnati Masters due to a hip injury, so it’s unclear whether he’ll be completely recovered for the US Open.
Karolina Pliskova: 7/1
Garbine Muguruza: 7/1
Simona Halep: 8/1
Elina Svitolina: 12/1
Angelique Kerber: 15/1
The WTA is locked in an unprecedented battle for the no. 1 ranking, with eight players in contention to claim the top spot at the US Open.
Current no. 1 Karolina Pliskova and recent Wimbledon-winner Garbine Muguruza are the slight favorites, benefitting from a bizarre draw. Simona Halep is the second-seeded player at the US Open, and would probably be the odds-on favorite, but she’s had the misfortune of drawing wild card Maria Sharapova in the first round.
Having just beaten the likes of Venus Williams, Garbiñe Muguruza, Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki to win the Rogers Cup, Elina Svitolina is riding high and looking to win her first Grand Slam. Meanwhile, returning champ Angelique Kerber is hoping to bounce back after a recent slump in form.
Alexander Zverev (8/1) and Elina Svitolina (12/1)
I’m inclined to pick the youngsters for this one. While Federer and Nadal are having a monumental resurgence, their form may wane as the aging stars head into the second half of the year. Even with a reduced schedule, Fed looked old and tired against Zverev in the Rogers Cup finale. At just 20 years old, we can rely on Zverev to stay strong over the entire two-week tournament. He’s looked amazing in the last few months, and this could well be his breakout moment.
Elina Svitolina also catapulted to the top of the tennis world this year. With the WTA in a state of flux, this could be her moment to break through and claim her first Grand Slam. At 12/1 odds, she’s as good a pick as there is on the women’s side, where it’s hard to trust anyone to play well from match to match, let alone tournament to tournament.