Can anyone derail Serena Williams as she looks at a 22nd Grand Slam title at the US Open? Here we look at some outside bets that have a reasonable shot, if unlikely, to win the coveted prize.
Serena Williams has exacted a complete and utter domination over the WTA Tour over the last three seasons since ascending back to the top of the ranking’s tree. If that’s not intimidating enough, she’s got a stranglehold over the Grand Slam podium having won the last four titles in row since clinching the 2014 US Open title.
Consider her stellar season, underscored by a keen sense of her place in the history books as she looks to clinc her 22nd Grand Slam title and equal Steffi Graff, she’s the indisputable player to beat. Thus, it might seem a futile exercise to try to spot some outside tennis picks for the 2015 US Open title.
Nothing is written in stone, yet. No matter how convincing a player is or how strongly favored they might be on the tennis odds board, things don’t always go to plan. It’s only prudent then to consider alternative tennis picks. So here goes..
Petra Kvitova +2000
Two-time Grand Slam champion Petra Kvitova is always a player that is on the radar. She may have only won twice at Wimbledon, but there’s no doubting her talent, skill and quality. She’s yet to string together a solid run at the US Open. To date her best is a R16 appearance. The muggy weather and the overwhelming city of NY have been some of the reasons why she’s never felt comfortable at Flushing Meadows. Still, there’s no reason why she can’t overcome those surmountable obstacles. Plus, she can beat Serena. So that makes her a tempting tennis pick at +2000.
Belinda Bencic +2200
Belinda Bencic, who won the Rogers Cup this summer, strikes an attractive pose as an outside tennis pick. Mainly, down to the way she beat Serena in the semis in Toronto, coming from behind to win in three sets. It’s not easy to beat Serena on any given day, never mind when you are down a set to the great American. That said, Belinda is a bright-eyed teenager that still has a long way to go and hasn’t won many significant titles in her career. Actually, she’s won just two titles overall. So it would be a real long shot for her to come through at the US Open, much longer than the tennis odds suggest.
Caroline Wozniacki +3300
Commonly referred to as the slam-less former World No. 1, Wozniacki is a player that is listed as a contender at +3300 tennis odds. She’s always threatened to win one of these major titles, but never could quite get it done. She comes into the US Open with a losing 3-4 record, but let it not take anything away from her. Towards the end of the US Open Series she started to find form, meaning she could be in good stead for a good run. Wozniacki is last year’s runner-up to Serena Williams. It marked her second US Open final since 2009 (l. to Clijsters).
Garbine Muguruza +4000
An up-and-coming player, Garbine Muguruza is certainly destined to win major titles. She recently reached the Wimbledon final, only to lose to Serena Williams in straight sets. She has a big game and has beaten Serena previously as well. Still, a long shot for your tennis picks to win what would be her maiden Grand Slam title. Recent form is nothing to write home about with a 0-2 record after early exits in Toronto and Cincinnati, which takes the shine off her tennis odds.
Lucie Safarova +4000
Lucie Safarova is up to a career-high World No.6 ranking going into the US Open. Most recently, she’s after reaching the New Haven final (l. to Kvitova). Safarova is 31-16 on the season in singles, which includes a runner-up finish to Serena Williams at the French Open. (She won the doubles title with partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands). In Wimbledon, she reached the R16 and she’s strung together a 6-3 record in the US Open Series.
Ana ivanovic +5000
Former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic is a soft touch on this list at +5000 tennis odds. Nevertheless, as a player that has proven her merit on the major stage she warrants some consideration. Her form has been patchy of late, but a really good run at Flushing Meadows would make it all a moot point. She’s one of few players to have beaten Serena Williams at a major in recent seasons. And last week she took it to the American in Cincinnati before losing in three sets 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Madison Keys +5000
Madison Keys made headlines when she reached the Aussie Open semis earlier this season. Playing at her home slam might work one of two ways: the crowds could motivate her or the pressure could get to her. She’s still a lovely outside tennis pick, if not this season in the coming seasons definitely.
Sloane Stephens +6600
Sloane Stephens is another American to shine Down Under, only to struggle since. She’s shown flashes of brilliance recently and if she can get out of her own head and out of her own way and play as freely as she did two years ago in Melbourne, when she upset Serena Williams in the quarterfinals, she might get it done eventually on the major stage.
Karolina Pliskova +6600
Czech Karolina Pliskova is a player that is probably flying under the radar In most tennis betting circles, but she’s a player with a big serve and a power game that is great for hard courts. She just needs to sort it out mentally at the majors. It’s worth mentioning, she won the US Open Series Challenge with 150 points, edging Serena (145 points) and Halep (140) points.
So there you have it, a list of players to spot on your tennis picks for the 2015 US Open. They might not win the title but they are sure to shake things up in the draw.