Sunday, August 26, 2018

2018 US OPEN: Draw Preview and Tournament Predictions

The 2018 US Open, the last major of the year, starts tomorrow on Monday August 27. I will be attending the tournament, as I often do, in the middle weekend this Saturday to Monday. I'm looking forward to seeing the new Louis Armstrong stadium. Hopefully neither roof will be necessary while I'm in New York.

The defending champions are Rafael Nadal and Sloane Stephens. Interestingly, both reached the final of the French Open this year, with Nadal winning his 11th title in Paris and Stephens losing her first ever tour final against Simona Halep. Halep is the #1 player in the world and the #1 seed, as is Nadal.

Women's Draw (Preview and Predictions)
Serena Williams was seeded #17 and is in the same quarter as her sister Venus, which could lead to a 3rd round match-up. I doubt that will happen though, because Venus, who reached the semifinal last year before losing to the eventual champion, will face an in-form Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first round. Other first-round matches to watch are Garbine Muguruza versus Zhang Shuai (who upset Venus in the French Open first round this year), Johanna Konta versus Carolina Garcia, Maria Sharapova versus Patty Schnyder (blast from the past!) and Andrea Petkovic versus Jelena Ostapenko. The expected  women's quarterfinals (if seedings hold) are:

  • Simona Halep ROU [1] versus Karolina Pliskova CZE [8]
  • Sloane Stephens USA [3] versus Elina Svitolina UKR [7]
  • Angelique Kerber GER [4] versus  Caroline Garcia [6] 
  • Carolina Wozniacki DEN [2] versus Petra Kvitova [5]
However, I am picking my semifinalists to be Halep versus Stevens, and Ostapenko versus Kiki Bertens, with a Halep-Ostapenko final and a Halep win.

Men's Draw (Preview and Predictions)

The men's side should be exciting with all of the Big 4 (or 5) competing in the same tournament for the first time in nearly two years. Andy Murray will be playing his first grand slam match since Wimbledon 2017 against Jamie Duckworth of Australia. Amazingly, for the second major in a row, Stan Wawrinka will meet Grigor Dimitrov [8] in the first round. This time when the Swiss wins it will not be considered an upset, because his level of play has risen since Wimbledon while Dimitrov's has fallen. Other mouthwatering first-round matchups include: Frances Tiafoe against Adrian Mannarino, Felix Auger-Aliassime versus Denis Shapovalov, and two all-Spanish matchups: Nadal versus David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez versus Fernando Verdasco.

The expected men's quarterfinals (if seedings hold) are:

  • Rafael Nadal ESP [1] versus Kevin Anderson RSA[5]
  • Juan Martin del Potro ARG [3] versus Grigor Dimitrov BUL [8]
  • Sascha Zverev GER [4] versus  Marin Cilic[7] 
  • Roger Federer SUI [2] versus Novak Djokovic [6]
My predictions are for the semifinals to be Nadal versus Del Potro (like last year!) and Cilic versus Djokovic, with a Nadal-Djokovic final and a Djokovic victory.

MadProfessah championship predictions: Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep.

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