US Open 2016 Predictions

By Britwatch Team & Special Guests

  • The Britwatch Tennis team fight for their tennis honour
  • Special Guests: Giulio Gasparin, Rene Denfeld, Marianne Bevis
  • Who will win the ultimate Britwatch bragging rights?
NEW YORK, USA – The City that never sleeps gives rise to the writers who never sleep! Here are the thoughts of the Britwatch Tennis team, and a few special guests!

 

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  ATP WTA  
  Champion Dark Horse Shock Exit Champions Dark Horse Shock Exit Brits
Ros

(3)

Murray Del Potro Wawrinka Kerber Keys Serena Murray: W

Evans: R2

Edmund: R1

Bedene: R1

Konta: QF

Watson: R3

Broady: R1

Robson: R2

Giulio

(3)

Murray Del Potro Ferrer Kerber Vandeweghe Bencic Murray: W

Evans: R2

Edmund: R1

Bedene: R1

Konta: QF

Watson: R2

Broady: R1

Robson: R2

Marianne

(4)

Murray Del Potro Wawrinka Kerber Bouchard Radwanska Murray: W

Evans: R3

Edmund: R1

Bedene: R1

Konta: QF

Watson: R3

Broady: R1

Robson: R4

René

(3)

Murray Dimitrov Wawrinka Keys Vesnina Vinci Murray: W

Evans: R2

Edmund: R1

Bedene: R1

Konta: QF

Watson: R2

Broady: R2

Robson: R1

Chris

(3)

Murray Thiem Tsonga  Williams McHale Pliskova  

Murray: W
Evans: R2
Edmund: R1
Bedene: R1
Konta: QF
Watson: R2
Broady: R2
Robson: R1

Britwatch Tennis Team
Michael

(3)

Murray Del Potro Kyrgios Halep Pavlyuchenkova Stosur  

Murray: W
Evans: R2
Edmund: R1
Bedene: R1
Konta: QF
Watson: R3
Broady: R1
Robson: R2

Tom

(5)

Murray Kyrgios Thiem Kerber Pliskova Serena Murray: W
Evans: R2
Edmund: R1
Bedene: R1
Konta: R4
Watson: R3
Broady: R1
Robson: R2
 Jake

(2)

Murray Cilic Wawrinka  Kerber Keys Kvitova Murray: W
Evans: R1
Edmund: R1
Bedene: R1
Konta: R4
Watson: R2
Broady: R1
Robson: R2

 

 

Ros Satar – Chief Tennis Scribe, Britwatch Sports

Champion: Andy Murray

The stars seem to be aligning for the World No. 2, British No. 1 and all-round good egg! Just how much of this is down to the return of the inscrutable Ivan Lendl? Actually who cares! Murray has made every Slam final this year so far, won a second Wimbledon title, defended his Olympic Gold – I predict his Midas touch will continue in New York.

 

Dark Horse: Juan Martin Del Potro

Yes, yes, I am a sucker for a heart-warming story. Stunning Roger Federer in 2009 to win his first Grand Slam title, the wrist injuries almost left him on the side-lines permanently. Come on, be honest no-one saw his trumping of Novak Djokovic in the Olympics coming, and that Olympic final may not have been the most attractive tennis – but it had heart. If he has no ill-effects from Rio, anything is possible.

 

Shocker: Stan Wawrinka

Injury struck the second Swiss just before the Olympics and he may have some lingering effects after a poor showing in Cincinnati. His opener is against Fernando Verdasco who can be tricky if he is on form. He also has ATP Next Generation’s Alexander Zverev in his way – he could be an early casualty

 

Brits

Andy Murray: Title

Dan Evans: R2

Kyle Edmund: R1

Aljaz Bedene: R1

With Murray as the tip to go all the way, Edmund and Bedene have horrible starts against seeds that are just too consistent for them. Evans might hand American wild-card Rajeev Ram a lesson, but he gets Zverev in the next round.

 

Champion: Angelique Kerber

This is Kerber’s chance to shine. She has made two Slam finals, won a maiden Slam and is within scratching distance of the World No. 1. It did not happen for her in Cincinnati, but with Serena Williams defending semi-final points and nursing an injury – the door is wide open.

 

Dark Horse: Madison Keys

I was going to go for Simona Halep, but I have been impressed with how Keys has improved this year. Granted she needs to have a good injury free run, and picking up a niggle in New Haven was a blight, but she could surprise many, and in front of a home crowd too.

 

Shocker: Serena Williams

Williams is just too under-cooked coming into this tournament. From the highs of finally drawing level with Steffi Graf’s 22 Grand Slam titles, 23 will elude her.

 

Brits

Johanna Konta – QF

Heather Watson R3

Naomi Broady – R1

Laura Robson – R2

Konta could easily go one better than her run to the fourth round last year (and don’t forget she had three rounds of qualies before that) and Watson could well advance for the first time in the main draw. Robson has the big-stage experience.

 

Giulio Gasparin – Tennis Writer, SportFace.it

Champion: Andy Murray

The form of the two time Olympic gold is the most shining one of the group of contenders. The doubts around Djokovic’s form might have been noisier than they really are – a loss to Del Potro is not as big of a warning, but it feels like the Scot is in a better place at the moment.

 

Dark Horse: Juan Martin Del Potro

Yes, it is a giveaway, but how can one look at someone else more worthy of this name? His silver medal in Rio was one of the best Olympic memories for many and his game is without a doubt one of the most stunning when it works.

 

Shocker: David Ferrer

The sturdy Spaniard is one of these players that you must defeat a few times before you actually take home the win. He has as many lives as a cat, but he may be running out of them a lot earlier than he generally does.

 

Brits:

Andy Murray: Title

Dan Evans: R2

Kyle Edmund: R1

Aljaz Bedene: R1

Even if Murray might go on to take the title, I don’t see a lot more of glory for the Brits on the hard courts of New York: their draws aren’t too favourable, but their form does not help either.

 

Champion: Angelique Kerber

New York City is where her rise started and it feels like the momentum is there for her to make it two in the season. Her form is there and the confidence too, the draw is tough with a possible fourth round against Petra Kvitova, but the German must be the favourite to make it to the final and I am not sure it will be once more against Serena.

 

Dark Horse: Coco Vandeweghe

The American suffered a bad injury just at the beginning of the hard court swing, but she achieved her Olympic dream and it seems like she’s building the momentum back. Her natural power and improved net game could do the trick if it all clicks. The third round against Keys will be a joy for the lovers of hard hitting.

 

Shocker: Belinda Bencic

The Swiss is still struggling with form after the injuries that hampered her season so far. Having fallen from top 10 to risking her place into the top 30, she does not have the best momentum heading towards Flushing Meadows. Her early opponents don’t seem unstoppable, but it will depend a lot on Bencic’s form.

 

Brits:

Johanna Konta: QF

Heather Watson: R2

Naomi Broady: R1

Laura Robson: R2

Winning the US Open Series hasn’t been the best lucky charm in the last few years, but the draw is smiling for Konta. She seems so much in the zone that I see her as the favourite to get to the last 8, even ahead of French Open champion Muguruza. The rest of the Brit squad is far from their best form and could easily bomb out early.

 

Marianne Bevis – Chief Tennis Writer, The Sport Review

Champion: Andy Murray

With Federer missing, and Rafael Nadal and Djokovic apparently not in tip-top condition, the door has opened up. Andy is a former champion, has performed superbly since Roland Garros — the Lendl effect? — and appeared to be in prime fitness to hold off strong challenges in Rio and Cincinnati. In the latter, he was particularly impressive. He keeps ticking off milestones, and that No. 1 ranking beckons… His draw could be worse, too

 

Dark Horse: Juan Martin Del Potro

After his sterling performance in Rio, Delpo showed signs of both the stamina and strike-power that won him the title here all those years ago, even against the best that the Olympics had to offer. He has paced himself through the year too, and missing Cincinnati was an astute move. Not a bad draw, either, with neither Wawrinka nor Ferrer playing at their best since Wimbledon.

 

Shocker: Stan Wawrinka

He looked below par in Cincinnati, fading badly against Grigor Dimitrov, and he struggled with concentration in Toronto. How fit is he after missing Rio? With Verdasco in his opener, who beat him earlier this summer, and a slew of dangerous young players in Zverev, Nick Kyrgios and Dominic Thiem in his quarter, The Man needs to rediscover his mojo.

 

Brits:

Andy Murray: Title

Dan Evans: R3

Kyle Edmund: R1

Aljaz Bedene: R1

Murray has an intriguing opener against Lukas Rosol, and his first seed Gilles Simon will test him. It’s a tough quarter, but one he can negotiate. Edmund, though, will have his work cut out against the classy No. 13 seed Richard Gasquet in his first match.

Bedene is in the hands of Nick Kyrgios in his opener, and unless the temperamental Australian has a melt-down, it’s hard to see a British win. Evans may well beat Ram, but is likely to meet Zverev next, followed by Wawrinka. Evans has just won a Challenger, but even so, this is a tough segment.

 

Champion: Angelique Kerber

She looked exhausted by the end of Cincinnati, but there is no doubting this has been a break-through year for Kerber. She seems to thrive on the big stage and in these hot, hard conditions, too, so with her confidence at an all-time high, she will be tough even for the likes of Kvitova and Dominika Cibulkova—though there’s no denying it is a tricky draw. But like Murray, she can taste the No. 1 ranking—and we are yet to see the state of Serena’s form.

 

Dark Horse: Eugenie Bouchard

Yes, I know she hasn’t stood out in a while, and it’s tempting to put Brit Johanna Konta here, but after Bouchard’s misadventure here last year, perhaps she has a point to prove. She has all the weapons, has looked increasingly confident, and is sure to regain her 2014 form soon. It would take a few upsets elsewhere in her half, but Agnieszka Radwanska may be starting to tire, and she can’t meet Venus before the quarters. As with Kerber, though, much will then depend on Serena.

 

Shocker: Agnieszka Radwanska

She won the final in New Haven so how much will she have left in the tank by Tuesday? Her record at the US Open is her worst at a Major, too, and she has some stern competition in her quarter. She may surprise, but she may already be looking forward to the indoor season.

 

Brits:

Johanna Konta: QF

Heather Watson: R3

Naomi Broady: R1

Laura Robson: R4

Konta may get a step further than her fourth round here last year and make the quarters: She has certainly arrived here full of enthusiasm and energy, and her first seed, Bencic, is yet to prove whether she is fully fit again. Watson could win a match or two, but then bumps into Halep.

As luck would have it, Robson has qualified only to meet Broady in the first match. Robson has thrived in New York before her extended wrist problems, so could make a run here to the third or fourth round if she is fit.

 

René Denfeld – Freelance Tennis Writer, The Tennis Island

Champion: Andy Murray

There are very few data points when it comes to Djokovic ahead of the US Open. He won the title in a depleted Toronto, then suffered a rough loss in Rio. His wrist still isn’t 100%.

Murray won Queen’s, Wimbledon, Gold in Rio, runner-up in Cincinnati.

It’s sensible to pick the person who seems in better shape and comes into the tournament on a good wave. Recent bias doesn’t count, unless you think “recent” goes back all the way to early May.

 

Dark Horse: Grigor Dimitrov

AKA We cannot just all pick Del Potro until he returns to the Top 20 in 2017. A certain much hyped Bulgarian seems to be slowly rounding back into something vaguely resembling some sort of a form. Dimitrov has had a horror of a season culminating in his Istanbul defaults at his own hands.

But after Wimbledon the former Top 10 player have been able to notch up some good results in Toronto and Cincinnati — however, I’m still cautious with regards to reading too much into the results of the two big Masters 1000 events this summer. A packed schedule like this year’s is bound to produce the odd outlier result — whether Dimitrov’s runs in Canada and Ohio were just that will become apparent over the next fortnight.

 

Shocker: Stan Wawrinka

Surely Stan Wawrinka has to be a solid pick here – the Swiss comes into the US Open massively undercooked, having pulled out of the Olympics and looking mediocre at best in Cincinnati. To top it all off he’s got a tough as nails first round against Verdasco, possibly Zverev in Round 3 and maybe Kyrgios in Round 4 just to make the quarter-finals. Bonne chance, Stan. You’re going to need it.

 

Brits:

Andy Murray: Title

Dan Evans: R2

Kyle Edmund: R1

Aljaz Bedene: R1

 

Champion: Madison Keys

Honestly, this feels like throwing darts with a blindfold on. Kerber has proven that she will get to the business end of the big tournaments regularly but is her tank going to be full after her packed schedule this summer? Garbiñe Muguruza continues to be slightly up and down and then there’s a dozen women who could theoretically lift the trophy.

But all of it stands and falls with Serena (‘s first round match against Ekaterina Makarova) – is the American ready to kick into a high gear from the get-go? Has her shoulder recovered? We shouldn’t questions Williams’ ability to turn up when it matters but that’s exactly what her body didn’t allow her to do in Rio. Lack of match-play has never been an issue before Slams for Williams – if she’s healthy that is.

So I’ll go with Keys who might have pulled out of the tournament in New Haven but her consistency outside the Slams will probably lead to another big run at Major sooner or later – so why not in New York?

 

Dark Horse: Elena Vesnina

I don’t think it’s entirely inconceivable for Vesnina to make a second deep run at a Slam in succession. She’s in a packed top half – but also one where it’s not a given that its two biggest names, Williams and Halep will be able to make it through tricky opening rounds. Also – what is Monica Puig going to do? She’s scheduled to meet Muguruza in the third round once again, just like in Rio. Revenge or Repeat?

 

Shocker: Roberta Vinci

As much as it pains me to say it but I can see last year’s finalist go out as early as Round 1 against Anna-Lena Friedsam or Christina McHale in Round 2. It’s a painfully obvious pick but that doesn’t make it any less sensible.

 

Brits:

Johanna Konta: QF

Naomi Broady: R2

Laura Robson: R1

Heather Watson: R2

 

Chris Oddo – Tennis Writer, Tennis Now

Champion: Andy Murray

His draw is certainly tricky, and I think he’s due for a come-down of sorts, but I think that Murray pushes through any lingering fatigue, stays scorching-hot and capitalises on the fact that Djokovic is not quite at 100% in New York. But to do it Murray will have to be all business in week one. He’s had a week off after Cincinnati, but he’s had a taxing season physically and can ill afford back-to-back five-setters like he had in Paris.

 

Dark Horse: Dominic Thiem

I’d like to preface my dark horse picks by asking the question: What even is a dark horse? Okay, I’ll let you all discuss that while I tell you my dark horse pick on the men’s side… it’s Thiem. Yeah, I get it – he’s the 8th seed, but he’s not being regarded as a potential factor in New York by most for a few reasons. One, his health is in question and, two, he’s not the best hard-courter at this stage of his career. But I like his draw, his attitude and his chances.

 

Shocker: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Robin Haase over Tsonga in the second round. The Dutchman makes a thrilling run to the Round of 16.

 

Brits:

Andy Murray: Title

Dan Evans: R2

Edmund: R1

Bedene: R1

Tough draws all around for the British men, but the nation has no complaints when Murray wins the title.

 

Champion: Serena Williams

Prognosticating could be hazardous to one’s health on the women’s side as well, because we really don’t know that status of Williams’ right shoulder. That’s the $100m shoulder, which is responsible for her $100 trillion serve. She’ll need that serve to get through this deep and talented field. So this pick is essentially speculation that Williams has taken the time she needed to get her health up to snuff.

 

Dark Horse: Christina McHale

The Teaneck, New Jersey native will cross the Hudson River with purpose and begin a career-changing run to the 2016 U.S. Open quarterfinals. Her run will pick up steam with a thrilling three-set win over Vinci in the second round, and after she stuns Cibulkova to reach the quarterfinals she will break down in tears and propose, on live television, to former New York Yankee catcher Jorge Posada.

During her quarterfinal match, McHale will conduct not one but two in-match interviews with ESPN’s Pam Shriver, including one while she’s about to serve on match point. She will eventually double-fault on match point and fall to Kerber in three sets, ending a run for the ages in New York.

 

Shocker: Karolina Pliskova

Pliskova finally makes the second week of a major!

 

Brits:

Johanna Konta: QF

Heather Watson: R2

Naomi Broady: R2

Laura Robson: R1

 

Michael Stafford-Jones – Writer & Editor, Britwatch Sports

Champion: Andy Murray

In some of the best form of his life and, with Djokovic struggling, looks like the number one player in the world right now. He has faced considerable challenges recently and passed almost all of them. He finally beat Djokovic on clay, coped with the pressure of being the favourite at Wimbledon after Sam Querrey beat the world number one and won some difficult matches on his way to winning his second Olympic title in a row. The only blip for Murray in recent months is the loss to Marin Cilic in the Cincinnati final. But that might just make his resolve stronger.

 

Dark Horse: Juan Martin Del Potro

Now he has recovered form and fitness, his current world ranking of 141 seems ridiculous. Facing Steve Johnson in round two at Flushing Meadows could be a tricky task, but as long as he comes through, he should be well-placed to reach possible clashes against  Thiem (R4), Wawrinka (QF) and Murray (SF).

 

Shocker: Nick Kyrgios

He has a lot of talent, but clearly does not have the necessary work ethic to back it up and, consequently, does not seem to be improving as quickly as other up and coming players on the ATP tour. With all the criticism that has been flung his way, and his relative lack of matches in the past couple of months, an early exit seems likely.

 

Brits:

Andy Murray: Title

Dan Evans: R2

Kyle Edmund: R1

Aljaz Bedene: R1

 

Champion: Simona Halep

Recovered from a lacklustre start to 2016 to win titles in Madrid, Bucharest and Montreal and reach the semi-final in Cincinnati. Has always looked capable of winning a Grand Slam and, after a strong performance at Flushing Meadows last time, could win her first major at this year’s US Open.

 

Dark Horse: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

She was identified as a talented player while on the junior circuit, but her quarter-final appearance at Wimbledon was only the third in Grand Slam. However, it was also her first for five years, and it really seemed like something clicked in her game. She also has a favourable draw in New York and could reach the quarter-final again. She may even reach the last four.

 

Shocker: Sam Stosur

Her run to the semi-final at Roland Garros had the feeling of a last hurrah for the 32-year-old Australian and she has struggled since then. Camila Giorgi could end her stay in New York as early as round one and rising star Daria Kasatkina will surely beat her if she makes it to round three.

 

Brits:

Johanna Konta: QF

Heather Watson: R3

Naomi Broady: R1

Laura Robson: R2

 

Tom Dodd – Writer and resident live-blogger, Britwatch Sports

Champion: Andy Murray

Without doubt the man in form, the Cincinnati blip against Cilic (which ended a 22 match win streak) will be quietly forgotten once play gets underway in New York.

Since this tournament last year only Djokovic has got the better of the Scot in a best of five contest, and with the Serb seemingly on the ropes it would take a herculean effort to derail the Scot from a fourth Grand Slam title.

 

Dark Horse: Nick Kyrgios

The unpredictable Australian is set to appear in his fourth US Open at the age of 21, and shouldn’t face any meaningful competition until the last 16 against Wawrinka. Atlanta champion Kyrgios didn’t hit the heights in Canada or Cincinnati but is starting to turn up at the majors. A first quarter-final in New York is well within his reach.

 

Shocker: Dominic Thiem

Going into the French Open, the young Austrian had one of the best records on Tour – and backed up that stat with a fantastic run to the semi-finals in Paris. But results have dried up of late, since reaching the final in Halle, Thiem has only reached one quarter-final in Cincinnati. The draw is relatively kind to begin with, but it may be one big tournament too far for the eighth seed.

 

Brits:

Andy Murray: Title

Dan Evans: R2

Kyle Edmund: R1

Aljaz Bedene: R1

Murray may look good for the Championship match, but the draw hasn’t been kind to the other three Brits in the draw. Much like Bedene at Wimbledon, Edmund will struggle against 13th seed Gasquet, while the Bedene will more than likely find Kyrgios too hot to handle.

Evans, who made the last 32 in 2013, should see off Ram in the first round, but will run into teen sensation Zverev in Round two.

 

Champion: Angelique Kerber

Three finals in her last three events have put ‘Angie’ on the brink of world number one and victory in New York would be enough for the German to summit the world rankings. The form player of the Tour has proven her Australian Open triumph was no flash in the pan with her performances this summer, and she’ll have enough to get across the line in the Big Apple.

 

Dark Horse: Karolina Pliskova

An obvious choice given her stunning victory in Cincinnati last time out, but the Czech’s biggest trophy to date came off the back of a strong summer. She may have never been past the third round of a slam, but there will never be a better opportunity and should she get there, she won’t fear Venus Williams in the last 16 either.

 

Shocker: Serena Williams

Unthinkable a few weeks back, but the American looks genuinely vulnerable and has had her New York preparation blighted by injury. The number one seed must at least reach the quarter-final to retain her number one ranking should Kerber lift the title but all good things must come to an end and it could be another US Open-less season for Serena.

 

Brits:

Johanna Konta:  R4

Heather Watson: R3

Naomi Broady: R1

Laura Robson: R2

There will be at least one Brit in round two with Robson and Broady squaring off in the first round, but the winner of that one won’t find a way past Radwanska next time out. Watson’s path should give her hope, but Halep will prove too tough in round three.

Konta too should be optimistic and barring any major hiccups could well be set for a fourth round meet with French Open champion Muguruza or Olympic gold medallist Puig.

 

Jake Davies – Tennis Writer, Britwatch Sports

Champion: Andy Murray

Murray is playing some of the best tennis of his career. He has made the final in all of his last seven tournaments dating back to Madrid at the beginning of the clay court swing. Murray has a decent draw and I think he will make the most of it this time around.

 

Dark Horse: Marin Cilic

A former US Open champion in his own right that has just won his first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati. He starts his campaign against Brazil’s clay courter Rogerio Dutra Silva, and I feel he might just take advantage of that section if Djokovic suffers a surprise shocker like at Wimbledon.

 

Shocker: Stan Wawrinka

Wawrinka has one of the toughest openers out of the top seeds as he comes up against Fernando Verdasco in the first round. I have a feeling Verdasco might show some of his better, explosive tennis in this match, which will be extremely hard to contain if you’re on the other side of the net.

 

Brits:

Andy Murray: Title

Dan Evans: R1

Kyle Edmund: R1

Aljaz Bedene: R1

 

Champion: Angelique Kerber

Kerber has had a rocky road to the higher tier of the women’s game. Firstly, she found it tough to deal with her new-found status as a grand slam champion and now she’s struggling to light up the court when competing for the World No.1 ranking. I think she has had the necessary time to handle the next step in her development, and I like the section of the draw that she falls in.

 

Dark Horse: Madison Keys

The eighth seed has improved exceptionally in 2016. A player that has traditionally been very hit and miss during the yearly struggles of the tour, but now has started to deliver consistent results in back-to-back tournaments. In Keys’ last four tournaments she has won the Aegon Classic, entering the Top 10, made the final in Montreal and narrowly missed out on a medal in the Olympic Games. Keys could surprise a few making the final four.

 

Shocker: Petra Kvitova

The two-time Wimbledon champion suffered a heavy defeat in New Haven last week, which is a tournament she usually wins pretty handily. Her first round opponent, Jelena Ostapenko, has an abundance of talent and already has a win over Kvitova this year.

 

Brits:

Johanna Konta: R4

Heather Watson: R2

Naomi Broady: R1

Laura Robson: R2

 

The US Open begins on 29 August.

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2 Replies to "US Open 2016 Predictions"

  • comment-avatar
    Patrica Moren
    September 3, 2016 (12:06 pm)
    Reply

    You are a pessimistic bunch of predictors. Have faith!!

    • comment-avatar
      Britwatch Team
      September 3, 2016 (12:19 pm)
      Reply

      Pessimistic how, exactly? Think we have a lot of faith!


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