Three down, one to go. We’ve already seen astonishing tennis played at Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon, leaving us with only US Open on our Grand Slam calendar.
With the Nord-American hard season already on the way, we should take a look on who’s on the driving seat to win the fourth Grand Slam title of the 2019 campaign in both the men’s and the women’s competitions.
ATP Favorites and Odds 2019
The fact that Novak Djokovic won in Melbourne his 16th Grand Slam title was no surprise, considering that the 32-years old Serbian leads the pack in the men’s rankings.
He has been
Nole is the defending champion at Flushing Meadows, having won the trophy last year for the 3rd time in his career. Not exactly his main cup of tea, with the US Open surface more suitable for big hitters, but Djokovic knows exactly with what intensity to play every point. He’s our main guy going into the last Grand Slam of 2019.
Rafael Nadal is seen as the best player to have ever played on clay. And more often than we would expect, he has been the victim of his own success. That’s because tennis specialists tend to undermine his value on hard surfaces.
But Rafa is a beast to look out for at every major tournament and will be our second
The Spaniard reached the final in AO, losing in straight sets to Djokovic, won his 12th French Open title and got to play against Roger Federer in the Wimbledon semifinals. Their first meeting on the London grass after that incredible 2008 final, seen by many as one of the most entertaining tennis matches in history.
The “King” has his birthday this August, turning 38, but Roger Federer plays with the same joy as he did in his youth. Not as mobile as back then, yet the Swiss legend has had some aces down his sleeve to help overcome the aging process.
Unfortunately, although he entered Australian Open as the two-time defending champion, he got eliminated in the fourth round by Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas. He returned to Roland Garros for the first time in four years and did a pretty good job, reaching the semifinals, where he lost to Nadal in straight sets.
Federer’s hopes were high for Wimbledon, a tournament he previously won eight times before. And he didn’t disappoint, reaching the final, but losing in a five-set thriller against Djokovic.
From the new generation, we think that Stefanos Tsitsipas is the player to watch out for.
The 20-years old Greek got eliminated in the second round last year at Flushing Meadows, but his progress this season has been outstanding. He must be our “dark horse” for this competition, considering that Dominic Thiem is not phenomenal on hard surfaces, while Alexander Zverev has always choked in Grand Slam tournaments.
WTA Favorites and Odds 2019
US Open reigning champions must be our number one pick for this year’s edition. Naomi Osaka also went to win 2019 Australian Open, making sure to demonstrate critics that her win last year wasn’t a fluke. The young Japanese will most likely approach Flushing Meadows as the number one position in the women’s rankings.
Naomi may not have had the best Roland Garros (3rd round) or Wimbledon (1st round), but she will want to overcome that little bit bittersweet moment in last year’s final against Serena Williams when the crown’s reaction made her cry.
Simona Halep is best known for her plays on clay, having won the 2018 Roland Garros. But the Romanian took everyone by surprise and destroyed Serena Williams in this year’s Wimbledon final, winning her second Grand Slam title. And that’s in a season where she lost in the 4th round at Melbourne and quarterfinals at the French Open.
The 27-years old player showed that she’s capable of surpassing any opponent on any surface, so maybe she has what it takes to steal the spotlight in New York.
You give up tennis in order to play cricket just because you felt it didn’t make you happy anymore. You then return to the game you’ve once loved and win a Grand Slam title three years later. It may sound like the plot of a movie, but it’s real life. And Aussie Ashleigh Barty went through all of this.
To make things even more unbelievable, she won her Grand Slam title on clay, at Roland Garros 2019. For a short period of time this year, the 23-years old Aussie even led the women’s rankings. Not to make bold predictions, but we can see her holding up the trophy at the end of an incredible run at Flushing Meadows.
Even at 37 years of age, Serena Williams can’t be ignored when it comes to a US Open presence. Especially when she needs one more Grand Slam to make history. Karolina Pliskova and Kiki Bertens could also make a deep run here.
But the season’s biggest tournaments don’t end up with US Open. We have more Masters competitions and, of course, the Tour Finals, which brings up together the best eight men and women players in 2019. Although the prestige is not the same as on Grand Slams, prizes are huge and the opportunity to play among the best that year is breathtaking.
And this wraps it up! Here
Main picture: unSplash