- Serena Williams is expected to say farewell to a 25-year-old tennis career at this year’s US Open
- No. 1 seed Iga Swiatek is the favorite to win the 2021 US Open, despite a pedestrian record in New York
- Even the recent former champions have long odds to win it; read on for analysis and predictions
It’s Serena Williams’ final US Open.
But who will win the 2021 US Open women’s singles title?
As always with the women’s game these days, it’s a crapshoot. And it’s highly unlikely to be six-time champion Serena.
US Open Women’s Singles Odds
|||Iga Swiatek (POL)||+450|
|||Simona Halep (ROU)||+900|
|||Coco Gauff (USA)||+1600|
|||Caroline Garcia (FRA)||+1600|
|||Aryna Sabalenka (BLR)||+1800|
|||Jessica Pegula (USA)||+2000|
|||Elena Rybakina (KAZ)||+2000|
|||Emma Raducanu (GBR)||+2200|
|||Naomi Osaka (JPN)||+2500|
|||Belinda Bencic (SUI)||+2800|
|||Madison Keys (USA)||+2800|
|||Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA)||+2800|
|||Ons Jabeur (TUN)||+2800|
|||Leylah Fernandez (CAN)||+2800|
|[WC]||Serena Williams (USA)||+3300|
|–||Bianca Andreescu (CAN)||+3300|
|||Petra Kvitova (CZE)||+4000|
Odds as of Aug. 28 at BetMGM Sportsbook. Use this BetMSG Sportsbook promo code to bet on the US Open.
Recent history at the event has turned up unlikely champions – from lower seeds to last year’s winner, qualifier Emma Raducanu.
Only three of the last eight champions were among the top four seeds the year they won. And none of the active former champions at the event have odds better than Raducanu, who is still down at +2200.
Serena Williams, whose current ranking is No. 413 (based literally on one victory over the last year) is at +3300 and was the No. 1 seed when she last won it in 2014. Angelique Kerber was No. 2 when she took the title in 2016. But she announced her pregnancy just before this year’s tournament.
The queen and her court.
Serena Williams was putting in WORK this morning in Ashe. pic.twitter.com/yC45wMUqJ2
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 24, 2022
Naomi Osaka was No. 4 when she won her second US Open two years ago. But she’s a mere shadow of her former championship self at the moment.
If the seedings play out – that’s a huge “if” – these are the quarterfinals on paper.
In brackets are the players in each quarter who may upset the order of things.
– Swiatek vs.  Jessica Pegula (No. 21 Petra Kvitova; No. 24 Amanda Anisimova)
– Paula Badosa vs.  Aryna Sabalenka (No. 13 Belinda Bencic, No. 25 Elena Rybakina, Naomi Osaka)
– Maria Sakkari vs.  Simona Halep (No. 12 Coco Gauff, No. 17 Caroline Garcia)
– Anett Kontaveit vs.  Ons Jabeur (No. 14 Leylah Fernandez; No. 18 Veronika Kudermetova)
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Can 2021 Finalists Raducanu and Fernandez Repeat?
If the 2021 final between qualifier Emma Raducanu and unseeded Leylah Fernandez was a shocking outcome, it also speaks to the inability of the players at the top of the women’s game to be reliable performers week and week out.
The only one who has put together such a streak of consistency was No. 1 Iga Swiatek. And even she has struggled to win matches once her incredible 37-match win streak ended at Wimbledon.
She has had only one notable US Open result. And even then, it was only the fourth round last year.
The two are in opposite halves of the draw. So technically, a repeat is possible. But it’s extremely unlikely that Raducanu can get through her quarter.
She could even be out as early as the first round.
Her opponent is veteran French player Alizé Cornet, who just posted her 500th career WTA Tour win and has authored some mighty upsets in her career.
Fernandez has a much more workable road to at least the quarterfinals. With one big wild card: Serena Williams is in her quarter.
Previous US Open Women’s Winners and Finalists
|2021||(Q] Emma Raducanu (GBR)||Leylah Fernandez (CAN)|
|2020|| Naomi Osaka (JPN)||Victoria Azarenka (BLR)|
|2019|| Bianca Andreescu (CAN)|| Serena Williams (USA)|
|2018|| Naomi Osaka (JPN)|| Serena WIlliams (USA)|
|2017||[PR] Sloane Stephens (USA)|| Madison Keys (USA)|
|2016|| Angelique Kerber (GER)|| Karolina Pliskova (CZE)|
|2015|| Flavia Pennetta (ITA)||Roberta Vinci (ITA)|
|2014|| Serena Williams (USA)|| Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)|
The grand total of best results amongst the top eight seeds is .. three semifinals. Two of those came last year, with Simona Halep’s final-four appearance coming seven years ago.
And yet, the Romanian is the next-top favorite behind Swiatek to win the whole thing.
US Open Women’s Top Seeds – Best Results
|Player||Appearances||Main Draw Career W/L||Best Result|
| Iga Swiatek||3||6-3||R16 (2021)|
| Anett Kontaveit||7||10-7||R16 (2015, 2020)|
| Maria Sakkari||7||13-7||SF (2021)|
| Paula Badosa||5||1-3||2R (2021)|
| Ons Jabeur||9||10-8||3R (2019-20-21)|
| Aryna Sabalenka||6||10-4||SF (2021)|
| Simona Halep||11||20-11||SF (2015)|
| Jessica Pegula||9||10-7||3R (2021)|
First-Round Match Predictions
Naomi Osaka vs Danielle Collins (Osaka in Two Sets: +120)
Emma Raducanu vs. Alizé Cornet (Three-Set Match: +140)
Nadia Podoroska vs. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (Schmiedlova Outright: +135)
Danka Kovinic vs. Serena Williams (Over 10.5 Games, Set 1: +310)
Best Bet: Simona Halep (+900)
Longshot: Belinda Bencic (+2800)
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