The last Grand Slam tournament of the season starts on Monday, August 30. Two weeks later, we will know the winners of this event, and we will get the answer to the most asked question in tennis this summer. Moreover, this tournament without Williams sisters, Federer and Nadal will be the first in a new era. The era of young and hungry players taking over the world of tennis.
No Williams sisters, No Federer, No Nadal. Hard to not call it the “new era”. The new era of tennis just begins.#USOpen
— Tennis Pro Guru (@tennisproguru) August 26, 2021
Here is our preview of the tournament with predictions of winners in both singles draws.
US Open 2021 Men’s Singles draw
The most asked question of these days is the one about Novak Djokovic. Can he win the season Grand Slam? He already won Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon and is just one tournament win from achieving something unique.
Will Djokovic win US Open 2021?
- Yes (63%, 229 Votes)
- No (37%, 136 Votes)
Total Voters: 365
The last time Rod Laver won all four Grand Slams in one season, I was not even born. It was 52 years ago, in 1969. Moreover, if Djokovic wins US Open, it will be his twenty-first Grand Slam tournament trophy. Nobody achieved this number yet (Nadal and Federer have 20 Grand Slams).
Novak Djokovic is the biggest favorite of the tournament, but nothing is granted. He played just one tournament after his Wimbledon success. The Olympics were not a success for him after finishing in fourth place.
The good thing about his absence is that he will be physically prepared and mentally rested. And the second one is the most important. I do not doubt his tennis skills that are above all others. But can he handle it mentally?
With all respect, I think that he is mentally superior to all other players on tour. But the burden of winning season grand slam can be extra hard to handle.
There are four main challengers to Djokovic’s reign with the absence of defending champion Thiem, Federer, and Nadal. Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Zverev and Rublev. We had the chance to see them all in Cincinnati a week ago.
They all reached the semifinals and played against each other. Rublev defeated Medvedev and Zverev defeated Tsitsipas in the semifinals. The trophy went to Zverev who easily defeated Rublev.
That automatically does not mean he is the biggest favorite of these four. In my personal ranking, I have Medvedev as the first, Zverev at the second place, with Tsitsipas and Rublev at third and fourth place on hard courts.
The question is if they can handle the pressure if they reach the finals or play Novak Djokovic. The best of five matches are different from regular tour matches. The pressure is extremely high, and we already saw Medvedev and Zverev in the US Open finals.
Medvedev lost in 2019 to Nadal (5:7 3:6 7:5 6:4 4:6) and Zverev had the same fate against Thiem in 2020 (2:6 4:6 6:4 6:3 7:6). To win in the fifth set is not so easy as you would think.
And that makes me wonder if it is time for them to beat Djokovic. I think all four of them have a better chance to defeat Novak in the tournament’s earlier stages. However, at the time of the semifinals or finals, Djokovic will be absolutely focused beast. Therefore, he is my choice for the win.
My winner pick: Djokovic Novak
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US Open 2021 Ladies Singles draw
Osaka, Krejcikova, and Barty are the names of Grand Slam tournament winners this season so far. So who will take the last Grand Slam?
I always wrote that guessing the winner of the ladies’ tournament right is impossible. However, you can pick any one of WTA Top 50, and you have a pretty good chance to be correct.
This time I see it differently.
There are just a few names with a chance to win US Open 2021. Barty, Osaka, Pliskova, Krejcikova are my picks.
Now I see the roar among my readers. Where do you have Serena Williams, Swiatek, Muguruza, Sabalenka, Kenin, Svitolina or even Pegula with Brady.
Well, I am not saying we will not see someone out of my four to hold the trophy on Saturday, September 11. But I see my four as the best of the moment.
Krejcikova plays absolutely fantastic tennis since May. The only thing that drags her down is her commitment to doubles. She is especially good with Siniakova (Olympics gold and three Grand Slam wins in the past), and she will not put doubles back.
That means she will face an extraordinarily tough schedule during the second week. As we saw in Tokyo and Cincinnati, it is not easy to handle.
Karolina Pliskova had a great run in Montreal (lost in finals with Giorgi) and Cincinnati (lost in semifinals with Teichmann). She was without coach Sascha Baijin who did not get a US visa at the time, but that does not impact her game. Pliskova was in the US Open finals in 2016 (lost with Kerber) and in this season’s edition of Wimbledon. She has all the keys to a successful run in New York, and I rank her even higher than Krejcikova.
Naomi Osaka is a great tennis player, but her current mental issues take their toll. That is the reason I am very skeptical about her chances in New York. The media pressure will be twice as high as at other tournaments, and she will need extra strength to resist it.
That leaves me with Ashleigh Barty, who won the last big tournament at Cincinnati. She also won Miami Open in April, and that shows how good she is at hard courts. Of course, she also won Wimbledon in June, which puts her at the top of my list. That means my pre-tournament winners pick is the same as the pre-season pick.
My winner pick: Ashleigh Barty