The Betway ambassador looks ahead to the men’s and women’s singles at the US Open, and discusses the current state of men’s tennis in America.
Visit Betway’s tennis betting page.
I can’t wait for the US Open, my home Slam. It’s been 20 years since I lifted that trophy, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it.
As an event, it’s just second to none with the night matches under the lights and the energy of New York City.
Hard to see past Alcaraz and Djokovic
I assumed we were going to be watching Novak go for the calendar year Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows.
If anything, I thought Carlos Alcaraz might sneak one at Roland Garros, and that Novak was a lock to win Wimbledon.
I’m curious to see how Novak comes back to it. We forget that he hasn’t played in the United States in a couple of years. Seeing him at those lead-up tournaments and the cadence that he has going into the Open should tell us a bit more.
I don’t think defending a major will affect Alcaraz too much. He might not win it again, but he won’t be coming in worried about expectations. He’s handled everything that’s come his way so far, so I don’t think he ticks that way.
It’s probably between those two guys on the men’s side.
All to play for in the women’s
As proven at Wimbledon, the women’s side is wide open.
Iga Swiatek is the most predictable player that we have as far as always playing at a high level.
We’ll see how Elena Rybakina looks coming in. She didn’t play great after Wimbledon last year and then found it early in the spring on the hardcourts. She’ll be dangerous.
I have to give huge credit to Aryna Sabalenka because she had the yips on her serve last year, it was a serious issue. To go back, break it down, be very honest about what was going wrong, and then come back and win a Grand Slam in Australia was great to see.
Marketa Vondrousova went under the radar for most of the fortnight but played some unbelievable tennis to win Wimbledon.
It didn’t look like there were any nerves going out there for the final on Saturday at the All England Club. She looked like she belonged, she was comfortable in the situation – maybe a little bit more than Ons, who had been there before.
Then you throw in Jabeur’s quest for a Grand Slam. Can Coco Gauff improve in the latter stages? Will Emma Raducanu come back?
There are so many great storylines on the WTA Tour at the moment.
US tennis is in a great place
The conversation around US men’s tennis at the moment centres on how long it’s been since I won in 2003, but there are a million US players who were way better than I was.
When I was breaking through, it almost felt like an entitlement for US players to be in the business end of a Grand Slam, to the point where I could change my preference based on who was still in.
At that point, we’d hardly gone two, three years without having a men’s Slam winner – Agassi, Sampras, Chang – and I certainly felt their shadows.
There’s just been this weird gap in between, but I think American men’s tennis is actually in a really good spot at the moment.
Taylor Fritz is the most consistent at this point, but is yet to make a long run in one of the Slams.
Francis Tiafoe loves the big stage. He’s shown the upside that he has in reaching the semi-finals last year, as has Tommy Paul.
I’m so happy for Chris Eubanks after his run at Wimbledon. I’ve worked with him a little bit at the Tennis Channel, and he’s the most natural broadcaster I’ve ever seen go from the court to the booth. We’re going to see a lot of him, regardless of how well he plays on the court.
We’ve got the most players of any country in the top 100 right now, and I’m excited to see what happens.
Hopefully someone can break into the top five and win a big one. I would love to no longer be the answer to a trivia question!