Flushing Meadows in New York provides the perfect backdrop for the tournament to be held. The finals take place in the Arthur Ashe stadium where up to 24,000 fans will cheer on their favourite players. The stadium is named after the inaugural winner of the first open era men’s title in 1968. Let’s take a look at who holds the aces and may be in with a chance of etching their name on the trophies for the men’s and women’s singles titles in 2022.
US Open Men’s Singles 2022
Novak Djokovic: Serbia (US Open winner 2011, 2015, 2018)
Three-time US Open winner Novak Djokovic had a mentally straining start to the year at the Australian Open. He travelled to Australia only to have his visa revoked and was sent home because he refuses to be vaccinated against Covid, having tested positive in December 2021. Since then, he lost his world number one ranking, a ranking he held for a record 369 weeks but regained his position after Daniil Medvedev lost at Indian Wells in the third round this year. Recent form includes a semi-final defeat by up-and-coming world number six Carlos Alverez, at the Madrid Open. He has recently won the Italian Open on clay without losing a set, beating world number five Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final. By playing in Rome, Djokovic passed an historic landmark reaching 1,000 wins in tour level matches.
Daniil Medvedev: Russia (US Open winner 2021)
It’s a case of watch this space with Daniil Medvedev. The player knocked Djokovic off his perch earlier this year as the number one ranking, only for Djokovic to regain it. It all depends on how many tournaments he can play. At Roland Garros he will feature but he is not allowed to play at Wimbledon. Will the US Open permit his qualifications as a tennis player, especially being the current champion. Only time will tell but the Russian invasion of Ukraine is not helping the career of a talented Russian born tennis star.
Alexander Zverev: Germany (US Open runner-up 2020)
The 25-year-old German is currently ranked world number three. At the time of writing his most recent tournament saw him beaten on clay in the semi-final of the Italian Open by Greek, Stefanos Tsitsipas. Alexander Zverev has played in one grand slam final and that was in 2020 at the US Open. It was a famous and epic battle with Dominic Thiem over five sets that made history. Zverev was winning by two sets, only for Thiem to come back and win the final three sets. This was the first time a player had come back from two sets down to win in the US Open since 1949 and the first time in the open era. It was also the first time this had happened in any of the grand slam finals since 2004. As he gains more experience does he have the nerve to win the US Open?
Carlos Alcaraz: Spain (US Open Quarter-Finalist 2021)
What a year it has been for Carlos Alcaraz, the new kid on the block and potential next generation tennis star as the current greats reach their twilight years. He is the first teenager since Andy Murray in 2007 to move into the ATP top ten world rankings. He already has four titles to his credit in 2022 and a record of 22 wins and 3 losses. With wins in the Rio Open, Miami Open and Barcelona Open, Alcaraz recently won the Madrid Open beating Rafael Nadal and Nowak Djokovic back-to-back, the first player to ever achieve this on a clay court. He went on to beat world number three and second seed Alexander Zverev in the final.
US Open Women’s Singles 2022
Iga Swiatek: Poland (US Open 4 round 2021)
Since the retirement of Ashleigh Barty earlier this year, Iga Swiatek has stepped up her game and dominated female tennis in 2022. Now the world number one since April 2022, Swiatek is Polish and only 20-years-old making her the youngest player in the world top ten ranked female players. Her win at the Italian Open was her fifth successive title, continuing her winning streak of 28 matches. Her victory in Italy saw her defeat Victoria Azarenka (world ranking 15) and Aryna Sabalenka (world ranking 7) on the way to the final against Ons Jabeur (world ranking 6). Winning in straight sets, Swiatek had not dropped a set during the whole tournament ending Ons Jabeur eleven match winning streak. Ons Jabeur won the ATP 1000 in Madrid the previous week, making her the first African to win such a title.
Iga Swiatek, the former French Open champion of 2020, will have her eye on the grand slams in 2022. She will certainly be looking to better her best performance in the US Open when she was knocked out in round four last year. If she continues her great form and at such a young age, Swiatek has a chance to become a great.
Barbora Krejcikova: Czech Republic (US Open Quarter-Finalist 2021)
The 26-year-old will soon be trying to retain her French Open grand slam win of 2021 at Roland Garros. Currently ranked as world number two her form is not overly convincing this year with nine wins and four losses. With three career titles Krejcikova has reached the last 16 of both the Qatar Open and Dubai Duty Free tournaments. In Qatar Krejcikova was beaten by Latvian world number 13 Jelena Ortapenko and in Dubai by Ukrainian world number 80, Dayana Yastremska. Can Krejcikova do better in the US Open this year and improve on her quarter-final appearance of 2021? You may also want to look out for Krejcikova in the women’s doubles. She has had success with her Czech partner Katerina Siniakova having won four grand slam doubles titles. Only the US Open women’s doubles title has eluded them.
Paula Badosa: Spain (US Open 2 round 2021)
Paula Badosa will be seeking to better her best efforts in the US Open and go further than the second round in 2022. In 2021 she made the quarter final of the French Open and won the Indian Wells Masters. With three career titles to her name at the age of 24, her record in 2022 is 22 wins and 11 losses. Recent form has seen an exit from the Madrid Open in the round of 32, beaten by former world number one Simona Halep. In the round of 16 at the Italian Open Badosa was beaten by world number 20 Daria Kasatkina. Badosa reached the semi-final of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix this year only to be knocked out by world number seven Aryna Sabalenka.
Naomi Osaka: Japan (US Open winner 2018, 2020)
There have been some turbulent times for Naomi Osaka but the hope is she will start to find her peak form again. She has won her four grand slams all on hard courts and is still only 24-years-old. The former world number one took some time out from the game and returned in 2022 with a world ranking as low as number 85. Despite not winning any titles so far in 2022, she does have a record of 12 wins and four losses. She recently finished as runner-up in the Miami Open, beaten by in-form Iga Swiatek. On her way to the final, Osaka beat world number 14 Belinda Bencic and world number 9 Danielle Collins. At that time Naomi Osaka was world number 77, making her the lowest ranked female player in the tournaments history to reach the final. Unfortunately, her progress has been interrupted at the Madrid and Italian Open due to an ankle injury. In the meantime, Osaka is back in the top 50 of the ATP world rankings currently standing at number 38.
It is clear that the US Open will be as hotly contested as ever this year and it is impossible to predict who will be victorious. However, if you are going to bet on the tournament then you will find all that you need here at mr.play. Just remember to always gamble responsibly and if you feel you are need in support, turn to organisations such as gambleaware.co.uk.