2019 US Open Expert Picks: The Women—Andreescu, Keys trendy selections

2019 US Open Expert Picks: The Women—Andreescu, Keys trendy selections

The contenders, pretenders and dark horses for this year's US Open title.

View the entire women's bracket at our US Open tournament page.


Champion

MATT FITZGERALD: Serena Williams
She won the decade’s first Slam in Melbourne. A New York bookend for Serena, after three major final disappointments, is a fitting storyline in her journey to elusive number 24.

STEVE FLINK: Ashleigh Barty
She hasn’t been at her best since winning Roland Garros, but I have a feeling Barty will come through to win her second major. The danger for the No. 2 seed might be a round of 16 meeting with Kerber.

CALE HAMMONDBianca Andreescu
Andreescu hasn't been beaten on the court since March. She won Indian Wells, retired in Miami, retired in Paris, then won Toronto. Bibi is a beast, and no one has played better on hard courts this year.

ED MCGROGAN: Simona Halep
The Wimbledon champion is at the peak of her powers and has a draw she can ease into. Whomever she faces in the quarters—Kvitova, Stephens, Andreescu—will be a trendy pick in this half, but don't overthink it. And should she face Serena in the final? Well, you watched Wimbledon, right?

ASHLEY NDEBELEBianca Andreescu
By winning Indian Wells and the Rogers Cup, she’s shown she can perform on the big stage. If healthy, no one can stop the 20-year-old Canadian on hard courts.

NINA PANTIC: Madison Keys
Her win in Cincinnati put her back in the Top 10, and the 2017 finalist is as comfortable in Flushing as anyone.

JORDAAN SANFORD: Serena Williams
Although she retired from back spasms in the Toronto final, her game is coming together—and after last year’s controversial final, she will be hungry to capture her 24th Grand Slam in New York.

STEVE TIGNOR: Madison Keys
She flipped a switch in Cincy; it she can keep it flipped, she might take herself off the “best players never to win a major” list, at last.

JOEL DRUCKERSerena Williams
This at last becomes her return-to-glory breakthrough. Why not at the Slam where it all started for her 20 years ago? 



Dark Horse (Seeded No. 20 or lower)

MATT FITZGERALD: Maria Sakkari
The Greek has played quality hard-court tennis this summer, earning three Top 10 wins. A chance for Cincinnati redemption against Barty could play out in the third round.

STEVE FLINK: Sofia Kenin
The 20-year-old isn't seeded No. 20 by accident. She could topple No. 10 seed Keys in the third round and go deep into the draw.

CALE HAMMONDDayana Yastremska
It’s just a matter of time for the 19-year-old Ukrainian, who has won three singles titles in the past year.

ED MCGROGAN: Sofia Kenin
Not going out on a limb here, but the No. 20 seed would be Top 10 based on current form. The No. 3 and No. 5 seeds are in her quarter, but they're Pliskova and Svitolina—hardly guarantees. Look for a routine win over the returning Vandeweghe to start, followed by more victories.

ASHLEY NDEBELESvetlana Kuznetsova
The Russian veteran won here in 2004, and her Cincy wins over Barty, Pliskova and Stephens give her plenty of good vibes.

NINA PANTIC: Svetlana Kuznetsova
As her out-of-nowhere finalist run in Cincinnati proves, you can never count a motivated former champion out. 

JORDAAN SANFORD: Su-Wei Hsieh
The Taipei native has a crafty game and has recorded wins over Sabalenka, Osaka and Wozniacki this year. Anything is possible with her.

STEVE TIGNOR: Anett Kontaveit
The 21st seed has played good tennis this summer, is due to go deeper at a major, and has a draw that might let her do it.

JOEL DRUCKER: Dayana Yastremska
Plenty of game and a reasonable draw. 


Bust (Seeded No. 10 or higher)

MATT FITZGERALD: Aryna Sabalenka
Azarenka, Putintseva and Vekic as a potential path to week two? That’s a tall order for one of the WTA’s streakiest players, and one who has flamed out at the majors this season.

STEVE FLINK: Naomi Osaka
The top seed and defending champion is fighting a knee injury, and despite her ranking, her self esteem isn't where it needs to be.

CALE HAMMOND: Sloane Stephens
Not even Kamau Murray can salvage Stephens’ dismal summer of tennis. Something’s not right with the 2017 champion.

ED MCGROGAN: Elina Svitolina
She could face Venus in the second round, yes, but the No. 5 seed first has to get by another hard-hitting American, Whitney Osuigwe. Oh, and Kenin in nearby, who Svitolina lost to in Toronto and Cincinnati.

ASHLEY NDEBELE: Aryna Sabalenka
Her high-risk, high-return game is suited to these hard courts, but she hasn't found her form this season. Also, she faces two-time Grand Slam champion Azarenka in the opener.

NINA PANTIC: Aryna Sabalenka
She was a USTA Breakout Performance winner last year, but her summer hasn’t gone according to plan and she opens against her experienced compatriot Azarenka.

JORDAAN SANFORD: Elina Svitolina
The Ukranian hasn't had have the most stellar hard-court season thus far, and her draw is filled with early-round obstacles.

STEVE TIGNOR: Sloane Stephens
Sloane’s had a slow summer, she just split with her coach, and she could face Kuznetsova in the second round. Kuznetsova beat her easily last week.

JOEL DRUCKER: Kiki Bertens
She's a meager 2-6 at the US Open, and her only summer hard-court win came against a player ranked No. 152.


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