Belinda Bencic vs. Bianca Andreescu, US Open SF Preview

🇺🇸🗽🍎 US OPEN, SF match preview
🇨🇭 (13) Belinda Bencic vs. 🇨🇦 (15) Bianca Andreescu

A pair of maiden Grand Slam semi-finalists will go head-to-head for the second spot in the 2019 US Open final when the 13th seeded Belinda Bencic comes up against the 15th seeded Bianca Andreescu. This will be the first career meeting between Bencic and Andreescu, it will be interesting to see how this matchup pans out with so much at stake. Andreescu’s strong recent form means she heads into this match as the favourite but Bencic is the more accomplished player and will fancy her chances here.

Belinda Bencic navigated her way through the first week of the tournament quite easily, Bencic cruised past Mandy Minella in 2 sets before winning a topsy-turvy 3 set clash with Alize Cornet. Bencic received a walkover into the fourth round when Anett Kontaveit withdrew from their third round match. The 13th seed has stepped up her game in the last few matches to reach the final 4 at a Grand Slam for the first time, a 7-5 6-4 win over the top ranked Naomi Osaka followed by a 7-6 6-3 win over Donna Vekic suddenly gives Bencic a very real chance to go all the way in New York.

Bianca Andreescu continues to get the job done. Andreescu has become a third set specialist in 2019, she has won 11 consecutive matches that went the distance. The Canadian’s latest third set triumph booked her a spot in a maiden Grand Slam semi-final when she came from a set down to defeat Elise Mertens 3-6 6-2 6-3. Andreescu has won a couple of 3-time matches in a row in New York having defeated Taylor Townsend in 3 in the fourth round. It was a simple progression for Andreescu through the first week of the event with straight set wins over Katie Volynets, Kirsten Flipkens and Caroline Wozniacki.

I’m going to side with Belinda Bencic. I think Bencic has what it takes to end Andreescu’s winning streak. Mertens outplayed Andreescu in the opening set of their quarter-final clash, the strong, disciplined, flat hitting of Mertens got the better of Andreescu as she was able to move Andreescu side-to-side and open up the court, Bencic can execute a similar game and should be able to sustain a high enough level to get the job done. Bencic is slightly more solid off both sides of the court and seems to be in better shape physically heading into this match. Andreescu’s backhand can be exposed and her fitness may also be exposed by Bencic.

Prediction: Belinda Bencic to defeat Bianca Andreescu in 2 sets

Elina Svitolina vs. Serena Williams, US Open SF Preview

🇺🇸🗽🍎 US OPEN, SF match preview
🇺🇦 (5) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇺🇸 (8) Serena Williams

A blockbuster semi-final encounter at Flushing Meadows sees the 5th seeded Elina Svitolina come up against 23-time major winner Serena Williams. Svitolina enters this clash full of confidence, the Ukrainian is playing the best tennis of her career right now and will be eager to reach her first Grand Slam final. Svitolina has beaten Williams before but will be coming up against a formidable opponent on Thursday evening, Williams is on a mission and is approaching her best level. Can Svitolina pull off the upset victory?

Elina Svitolina is through to back-to-back Grand Slam semi-finals thanks to some fantastic victories. Svitolina also enters this semi-final clash on the back of some stunning performances. The 5th seed played scintillating tennis to defeat Madison Keys and Johanna Konta in straight sets to advance to the final 4. The consistency and movement of Svitolina overwhelmed Keys and Konta, a pair of big hitters, Svitolina will be hoping to execute a similar game against Williams Svitolina has moved through the entire draw without dropping a set having defeated Whitney Osuigwe, Venus Williams and Dayana Yastremska in straight sets during the first week of the event.

Serena Williams is once again on the verge of capturing that elusive 24th Grand Slam title. Williams is yet to win a major since returning from giving birth despite reaching the later stages on numerous occasions. Williams is seemingly desperate to make this the tournament she goes all the way, the 8th seed enters the semi-final stage on the back of her most dominant performance of the tournament where she thrashed China’s Wang Qiang 6-1 6-0 in a near-flawless display of power hitting. Williams has dramatically improved her level since she played some scratchy tennis in a 3-set win over Caty McNally in the second round, straight set wins over Karolina Muchova and Petra Martic preceded Williams’ domination of Wang.

Williams holds a 4-1 head-to-head record over Svitolina. It was Svitolina who won the most recent match between the pair, a 6-4 6-3 victory at the Rio Olympics on a hard court. Much has changed since their last meeting, both are in totally different places right now so it will be interesting to see how this matchup unfolds.

I’m going to go for the upset here and side with Svitolina. It feels like this is Svitolina’s time to breakthrough and claim her first career major title. Svitolina is playing amazing tennis at the moment, her movement and defensive skills are the best on tour and that could spell trouble for Williams. Williams has consistently struggled at this stage of Grand Slams since her return from giving birth, specifically against top level counter-punchers, Svitolina falls into this category. If Svitolina’s serve holds up, she has a great chance at winning this match. Svitolina’s first serve has improved dramatically, if she lands enough first serves and gets involved in enough rallies on the Williams serve she should find a way a fight through this one.

Prediction: Elina Svitolina to defeat Serena Williams in 3 sets

Belinda Bencic vs. Donna Vekic, US Open QF Preview

🇺🇸🗽🍎 US OPEN, QF match preview
🇨🇭 (13) Belinda Bencic vs. 🇭🇷 (23) Donna Vekic

A spot in a maiden Grand Slam semi-final will be up for grabs when Belinda Bencic and Donna Vekic go head-to-head at the 2019 US Open. This is a huge opportunity for both players looking to take the next step in their respective careers. Bencic and Vekic are good friends and are very familiar witch each other’s games, it will be interesting to see how this matchup pans out with so much at stake.

Belinda Bencic heads into this quarter-final clash on the back of a huge win over the top seed and defending champion. Bencic booked her spot in a second career Grand Slam quarter-final with a 7-5 6-4 victory over Naomi Osaka. Bencic has won more matches over top 10 and top 5 opponents than anyone else on tour in 2019, clearly she likes the challenge of playing a top player, can she bring the same attitude into this quarter-final clash with Vekic?

Donna Vekic is through to the quarter-final stage of a Grand Slam for the very first time. The 23rd seed cruised through the first week with straight set wins over Richel Hogenkamp, Kaia Kanepi and Yulia Putintseva. Vekic claimed her most notable win at the fourth round stage where she battled from a set and a break down to defeat Julia Goerges 6-7 7-5 6-3. Vekic has won multiple matches in 2019 from similarly precarious positions, a testament to her fighting spirit.

Bencic holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Vekic. However, it was Vekic who won their most recent match, a surprisingly comfortable 6-4 6-1 victory at Roland Garros earlier this year.

I’m going to side with Bencic here. Simply, I believe that Bencic is superior to Vekic in every aspect, she is the better player. Bencic heads into this match full of confidence after a big win over Osaka and should be smart enough to execute her game and get the better of Vekic on a surface that favours the Swiss player.

Prediction: Belinda Bencic to defeat Donna Vekic in 2 sets

Elina Svitolina vs. Johanna Konta, US Open QF Preview

🇺🇸🗽🍎 US OPEN, QF match preview
🇺🇦 (5) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇬🇧 (16) Johanna Konta

Elina Svitolina and Johanna Konta will both be aiming to reach a second Grand Slam semi-final in 2019 when they go head-to-head in Tuesday’s first quarter-final at Flushing Meadows. Svitolina and Konta both enter this match in great form, both took down quality opposition in the previous round and will be full of confidence. It is Svitolina who holds a dominant record over the Brit, can the British number 1 flip the script on this occasion?

Elina Svitolina has cruised into her first US Open quarter-final without dropping a set. Svitolina moved through the first week with easy wins over Whitney Osuigwe, Venus Williams and Dayana Yastremska. Svitolina’s most impressive performance came at the fourth round stage where she defeated an in-form Madison Keys 7-5 6-4. Svitolina did not face a single break point against Keys, in fact she wasn’t even taken to deuce in a service game or behind in a service game at any point.

Johanna Konta is through to a third consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final, an outstanding effort from the British number 1. Konta’s pathway to the final 8 hasn’t been easy. The 16th seed required 3 sets to get through a tricky opening round matchup with Daria Kasatkina before thrashing Margarita Gasparyan and Shuai Zhang. Konta’s biggest win also came at the fourth round stage where she fought from a set and a break down to defeat the 3rd seeded Karolina Pliskova 6-7 7-5 6-3, a gutsy win by Konta over one of the pre-tournament favourites.

Svitolina holds a perfect 4-0 record over Konta. The most recent meeting between the pair took place at the Rogers Cup last year where Svitolina won 6-3 6-4.

I expect Svitolina to maintain her unbeaten record over Konta. The head-to-head record doesn’t lie, this is a good matchup for Svitolina and a bad matchup for Konta. Svitolina’s tenacity and consistency from the baseline will make life very tough for Konta, especially given how well Svitolina has served of late. If Svitolina serves well then she will win this match, she will win the majority of the baseline exchanges. The 5th seed is currently looking like the player that won the WTA Finals last year, on that form she is so hard to beat. Konta usually stumbles at this stage of a major.

Prediction: Elina Svitolina to defeat Johanna Konta in 2 sets

Elina Svitolina vs. Madison Keys, US Open R4 Preview

🇺🇸🗽🍎 US OPEN, R4 match preview
🇺🇦 (5) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇺🇸 (10) Madison Keys

A blockbuster round of 16 clash at the US Open sees the 5th seeded Elina Svitolina take on the 10th seeded Madison Keys. This is a huge match for both women, Svitolina and Keys are two of the most accomplished players on tour yet to win a Grand Slam, both have what it takes to go all the way. Keys holds a slight 2-1 head-to-head advantage over Svitolina but it was the Ukrainian who came out on top in their most recent match earlier this year, who will prevail in this critical meeting at Flushing Meadows?

Elina Svitolina has cruised through the first week in New York. Svitolina booked her spot in the fourth round with straight set wins over Whitney Osuigwe, Venus Williams and Dayan Yastremska. Importantly Svitolina has played 3 big-hitters so she is very much prepared to face Keys, granted Keys will be her toughest test yet.

Madison Keys is one of the form players on tour right now. Keys is on a 9-match winning streak having arrived in New York fresh from winning the title in Cincinnati. Keys moved through the first week in New York without dropping a set, straight set wins over Misaki Doi, Lin Zhu and Sofia Kenin saw her through to the round of 16. The bad news for Keys is that she was struggling physically during her 6-3 7-5 win over Sofia Kenin, it’s hard to know what to expect from Keys in the next round.

Madison Keys has won 2 of the 3 meetings between the pair, one of which was via retirement. Keys defeated Svitolina at the US Open in 2017, a 3 set victory. Most recently it was Svitolina who prevailed 6-2 1-6 6-1 at the round of 16 stage at the Australian Open earlier this year.

I’m going to side with Svitolina here. Svitolina has cruised through her 3 matches and seems to be in perfect shape heading into the second week of the tournament. Keys may be on a 9-match winning streak but it seems this is where her run comes to an end, Keys was suffering physically in her latest match and seems due for a bad match. This is a bad matchup for Keys, the American generally struggles against the best counter-punchers on tour, Svitolina falls into this category. I don’t think Keys will be able to produce a clinical enough performance to get the better of a rock-solid Svitolina.

Prediction: Elina Svitolina to defeat Madison Keys in 2 sets

Ashleigh Barty vs. Lauren Davis, US Open R2 Preview

🇺🇸🗽🍎 US OPEN, R2 match preview
🇦🇺 (2) Ashleigh Barty vs. 🇺🇸 Lauren Davis

The second seeded Ash Barty continues her US Open campaign on Wednesday with a second round clash against Lauren Davis. Barty will be hoping for an improved performance after she was forced to come from a set down against Zarina Diyas in her opening round match at Flushing Meadows. Davis will have other ideas and has proven to be a player capable of causing big upsets at majors.

Ash Barty made a less than convincing start to the final major of the season. The reigning Roland Garros champion was rusty in a 1-6 6-3 6-2 win over Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas. Barty arrived in New York fresh from a semi-final showing in Cincinnati where she also had to battle from a set down on multiple occasions, it’s good that the Aussie is able to come through these tough situations but she would certainly like to be playing better tennis.

Lauren Davis is through to the second round at the US Open for the third time in her 7th main draw appearance at the event. Davis has never made it past the second round in New York and will need to claim a huge upset win to change that in 2019. Davis started her campaign with a 7-5 6-2 win over Swedish qualifier Johanna Larsson but will face a far stronger challenge against the second ranked Ash Barty. Davis can take confidence from her big upset win over Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon earlier this year.

Barty won the only previous match between the pair, a 2-6 6-3 7-5 win in Acapulco in 2014. That win was considered an upset win for Barty, since then Barty is one of the most improved players on tour whilst Davis has made little ground.

I expect Barty to produce an improved performance here after a bit of a scare in her opening round match. This should be a comfortable match-up for Barty, the hard courts of New York suit Barty’s game perfectly and she has the game to handle Davis. Barty has the power to punish Davis and the versatility to unsettle the American. Barty is simply far more reliable and mentally tough.

Prediction: Ashleigh Barty to defeat Lauren Davis in 2 sets

Serena Williams vs. Catty McNally, US Open R2 Preview

🇺🇸🗽🍎 US OPEN, R2 match preview
🇺🇸 (8) Serena Williams vs. 🇺🇸 (wc) Catty McNally

Serena Williams continues her quest for Grand Slam title number 24 when she takes on Catty McNally at the second round stage of the 2019 US Open on Wednesday. Williams made a huge statement in an opening round demolition of Maria Sharapova and is widely considered the favourite to lift the trophy at Flushing Meadows.

Serena Williams extended her winning streak of Maria Sharapova to an incredible 19 matches with a comprehensive 6-1 6-1 victory over the Russian on Monday evening. Williams looked extremely sharp, she moved well, served well, hit with authority from the baseline and is seemingly on a mission in New York. Williams is probably playing her nest tennis since giving birth at the moment, it will be interesting to see if she can sustain that level over the next two weeks, something she has struggled to do over the last few years.

Catty McNally will be playing in the biggest match of her young career when she takes to the court against Serena Williams. The 17-year-old wild card advanced to the second round in New York with a 6-4 6-1 win over Timea Bacsinszky, her first ever win in the main draw of a Grand Slam. McNally is a player on the rise, it will be interesting to see how her game matches up against the best.

This will be the first career meeting between Williams and McNally, a huge mismatch on paper, a 23-time Grand Slam champion against a player that has only won 1 main draw match at a Grand Slam. Williams was in ominous form in her opening round win over Sharapova and I expect her to show no mercy here. This should be a very comfortable win for Williams over a very inexperienced opponent.

Prediction: Serena Williams to defeat Caty McNally in 2 sets

Sofia Kenin vs. Laura Siegemund, US Open R2 Preview

🇺🇸🗽🍎 US OPEN, R2 match preview
🇺🇸 (20) Sofia Kenin vs. 🇩🇪 Laura Siegemund

The 20th seeded Sofia Kenin continues her 2019 US Open campaign with second round clash against Germany’s Laura Siegemund on day 3 at Flushing Meadows. Kenin is one of the form players on tour at the moment and is one of many players outside the top 10 that have a legitimate shot at causing some major damage over the next fortnight. Can Kenin navigate safely past the tricky Siegemund?

Sofia Kenin arrived in New York fresh from back-to-back semi-final showing in Toronto and Cincinnati. Kenin is certainly full of confidence right now and she needed to draw on some of that confidence in a hard-fought 7-6 6-3 victory over CoCo Vandeweghe in her first round match on Monday. A tough early test for Kenin which should serve her well moving forward as she attempts to reach the third round at Flushing Meadows for the third consecutive year.

Laura Siegemund is still scrapping away. The 31-year-old has overcome several injury obstacles over the last few years and has done well to re-establish a spot in the top 100. Siegemund kick-started her US Open campaign with a typically gutsy 5-7 6-4 6-3 win over Polish qualifier Magdalena Frech. Facing Kenin in the next round will be a big step up in opposition.

This will be the first career meeting between Kenin and Siegemund, two feisty competitors. The pair have somewhat similar games, both move well and like to mix up play, neither are afraid to get into a long grind. The difference is that Kenin has more firepower and is simply much stronger and more reliable at the moment. I expect Kenin to come through this quite comfortably, she does most things better than Siegemund and is in much better form the surface also favours the American. Ultimately this seems like a bad matchup for Siegemund, Kenin can match the German’s tenacity whilst Kenin has many more weapons.

Prediction: Sofia Kenin to defeat Laura Siegemund in 2 sets

Serena Williams vs. Naomi Osaka, US OPEN Final Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: Final Preview
🇺🇸 (17) Serena Williams vs. 🇯🇵 (20) Naomi Osaka

Serena Williams is now 1 win away from claiming a record breaking 24th Grand Slam title. Standing in the American’s way is Japan’s Naomi Osaka who will be competing in her very first Grand Slam final. This is a battle of the generations. An all-time great against a future star, an exciting match-up between a pair of explosive hitters. Will Serena claim a 7th US Open title? Or is this the moment Osaka shakes up the sport and becomes the first Japanese women to win a Grand Slam title?

Serena Williams of the United States in action during her third-round match at the 2018 US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Serena Williams enters Saturday’s final in supreme form. Williams cruised past Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 6-0, winning 12 of the last 13 games to book her spot in a 9th US Open final Williams has only dropped 1 set on route to the final and has generally looked very sharp throughout the event. Williams has come up against several powerful opponents this tournament, great preparation for taking on Osaka, granted Osaka is a class above Serena’s previous victims.

S. Williams route to the final:

R1 def. Magda Linette 6-4 6-0
R2 def. Carina Witthoeft 6-2 6-2
R3 def. Venus Williams 6-1 6-2
R4 def. Kaia Kanepi 6-0 4-6 6-3
QF def. Karolina Pliskova 6-4 6-3
SF def. Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 6-0

N. Osaka route to the final:

R1 def. Laura Siegemund 6-3 6-2
R2 def. Julia Glushko 6-2 6-0
R3 def. Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-0 6-0
R4 def. Aryna Sabalenka 6-3 2-6 6-4
QF def. Lesia Tsurenko 6-1 6-1
SF def. Madison Keys 6-2 6-4

Naomi Osaka of Japan in action during the fourth round at the 2018 US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Naomi Osaka has reminded the tennis world that her best is as good as it gets over the last few weeks at Flushing Meadows. Osaka produced her most impressive performance of the tournament at the semi-final stage as she fended off all 13 break points faced to claim a 6-2 6-4 win over Madison Keys. Osaka was incredibly clutch under pressure in her semi-final win and has generally stormed through her matches this event. Clearly, Serena will be Osaka’s greatest test, but there is reason for Osaka to be very confident heading into this match.

The only previous meeting between the pair ended in a commanding 6-3 6-2 win for Osaka earlier this year in the opening round at the Miami Open. Osaka entered that match on a high having just won the title at Indian Wells whilst Serena had only just returned to the tour after giving birth. The circumstances are very different heading into Saturday’s final.

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here

Serena Williams vs. Anastasija Sevastova, US Open SF Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: SF #1 Preview
🇺🇸 (17) Serena Williams vs. 🇱🇻 (19) Anastasija Sevastova

Thursday’s first semi-final sees a 6-time former US Open champion take on a first time Grand Slam semi-finalist. On paper, this is a big mismatch as Serena Williams and Anastasija Sevastova go head-to-head for the fist time. Williams is 2 wins away from creating more history as she seeks a record-breaking 24th Grand Slam title whilst Sevastova is playing to reach a maiden Grand Slam final. Sevastova will be no pushover, the Latvian is in career best form and has an awkward game that can trouble anyone, can Sevastova pull off a big upset?

Serena Williams of the United States in action during her quarter-final match at the 2018 US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Serena Williams has had her doubters over the last month, myself included. But, she is again set to prove everyone wrong as she looms as a strong favourite heading into the semi-final stage of the tournament at Flushing Meadows. Williams rolled through the first week with commanding straight set wins over Magda Linette (6-4 6-0), Carina Witthoeft (6-2 6-2) and Venus Williams (6-1 6-2). Serena dropped her only set of the tournament thus far in a topsy-turvy 6-0 4-6 6-3 win over Kaia Kanepi, Williams rebounded strongly with a 6-4 6-3 win over Karolina Pliskova to book her spot in the final 4. Serena looked particularly sharp in her win over Pliskova after a slow start.

After a pair of quarter-final appearances in New York over the last few seasons, Sevastova had gone one step further in 2018 to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final. Sevastova started her run to the final 4 with wins over Donna Vekic (6-2 2-6 6-3) and Claire Liu (6-3 6-1). The 19th seed enters the semi-final stage in great form having beaten 3 quality opponents in a row. Wins over Ekaterina Makarova (4-6 6-1 6-2), Elina Svitolina (6-3 1-6 6-0) and Sloane Stephens (6-2 6-3). Sevastova’s commanding win over the defending champion was particularly impressive, an even better performance will be required to get the better of Serena Williams.

This will be the first career meeting between Williams and Sevastova. This is a match-up that features a fascinating contrast in styles. Serena has the explosive power but Sevastova has the delicate touch. Serena has struggled in these types of match-ups in the past, on the big stage too, think loses to Alize Cornet at Wimbledon and Roberta Vinci at the US Open. Will history repeat itself?

To view my analysis / prediction for this match: Click here