Of the last eleven US Open singles tournaments, six have been won by queen bee Serena Williams or the born again Belgian hardcourt legend Kim Clijsters. The current title will not be defended however as veteran Flavia Pennetta beat her compatriot Roberta Vinci in straight sets to put a dazzling flourish of an end to her career.
Name on Silver
Below are all the winners of WTA/Major tournaments since the championships at Wimbledon:
Rio de Janeiro – Monica Puig (34)
Rogers Cup – Simona Halep (5)
Western & Southern Open – Karolina Pliskova (11)
Bank of the West Classic – Johanna Konta (14)
Ladies Championship Gstaad – Viktorija Golubic (65)
BRD Bucharest Open – Simona Halep (5)
Ericsson Open – Laura Siegemund (28)
Citi Open – Yanina Wickmayer (38)
Brasil Tennis Cup – Irina-Camelia Begu (22)
Jiangxi Open – Ying-Ying Duan (103)
Simona Halep is the only player to have won two titles since the transition from grass. She’s been on fire since her defeat in the QF’s at Wimbledon again felled by Kerber. She appears to be the form player at the moment though and anything less than the last four at flushing meadows would be disappointing considering her level of play at present. Monica Puig didn’t seem particularly impressive
Always the Bridesmaid
Angie Kerber may have won the other hardcourt slam of this year but has had some awful luck in closing out finals in the second half of the season. Runner-Up to Serena at Wimbledon, beaten by Puig for the most sought after Olympic gold at Rio and once again second best in Cincinnati losing out to Karolina Pliskova. Whether it is a lack of mental toughness or just outplayed, Angie has a lot prove out on court in New York this time round mainly to herself. The spotlight might be on Williams, Muguruza and home favourite Keys, though winning the US would guarantee Kerber claims a no.1 ranking for the first time ever, a spot that Williams has held for a whopping 184 weeks.
Off the Boil
A number of players are just not hitting the right chords at the moment. Belinda Bencic springs to mind, not having recorded consecutive wins since early June. The Swiss prodigy has a lot of work to do in order to reclaim the potential she exhibited at the beginning of her WTA career. Sloane Stephens is another young talent who is yet to back up her early exciting style of play. The American is very much in danger of slipping under the radar due to fellow American Keys’ success of late. Finally we must mention the group of consistent under-achievers which seems to be snowballing in size. Jankovic, Bouchard, Wozniacki, Lisicki, Petkovic and Errani have all struggled to recapture the form that once made them great. It’s almost a sense of now or never for some of these ladies, it’s a ruthless world women’s tennis (see “Dinara Safina” now just a very good trivia answer). Stosur isn’t too far away from joining this group; a few good wins could restore confidence and help her climb back into the top 10 however.
Who do you thinks got a shot at the US open trophy this year? Will Serena make it seven? What do you eat with your Bagel…? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook!