The US Open gets underway today at Flushing Meadows. Join us as we weigh in on the women’s draw and serve up predictions to win each quarter along with choice tennis picks.
First Quarter: Serena Williams Favored
Top Seeds:  Serena Williams and  Karolina Pliskova
Top favorite Serena Williams falls leads the charge in Flushing Meadows, headlining the first quarter as the runaway favorite at -300 to win the first quarter. The quarter, however, boasts several potential stumbling blocks: from rising American stars Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys – potential third and fourth round opponents, respectively – to Venus Williams, Belinda Bencic, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Karolina Pliskova, anyone of which looking at a possible quarterfinal showdown with Serena, amongst several others.
Serena is vying for a possible 22nd Grand Slam title, but with Belinda Bencic (+800 to win quarter), Agnieszka Radwanska and Madison Keys (both at +1400), Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova (both at +2000 to win quarter) and, finally, big sister Venus (+2500) all in her section, winning the quarter let alone getting to the final isn’t going to be straightforward.
Top Picks: Serena Williams -300
Outside Tennis Picks: Belinda Bencic +800, Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova +2000.
Second Quarter: Ana Ivanovic Favored
Top Seeds:  Ana Ivanovic and  Carla Suarez Navarro
This would have been Maria Sharapova’s section of the draw, but the Russian starlet is after withdrawing from the event with a leg injury that has hindered her ability to compete since sustaining it at Wimbledon. On the heels of her unfortunate exit, this section bursts wide open. Players that benefit are those in the immediate vicinity of where Sharapova would have been in the draw, such as last year’s semi-finalist Ekaterina Makarova, priced at +400 to win the second quarter at William Hill, two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, an in-form Elina Svitolina, who is a promising tennis pick at +600 to spot, and a dark horse Kristina Mladenovic at +2000.
That said, Ana Ivanovic emerges as the bookies’ favorite at +250 to win the quarter. Her section is by no means a walk in the park with a tough opening match against Dominika Cibulkova, then a potential clash with Eugenie Bouchard in the third round, and either Jelena Jankovic or Carla Suarez Navarro in the fourth round, amongst several others.
Tennis Picks: Ana Ivanovic +250
Outside Tennis Picks: Makarova +400, Carla Suarez Navarro +1600 and Mladenovic +2000
Third Quarter: Petra Kvitova Favored
Top Seeds:  Caroline Wozniacki and  Petra Kvitova
The third quarter is wide open with a whole slew of players that could shake things up in this section. Petra Kvitova (+200 to win the quarter) is coming off a title win in New Haven last weekend. She has the game to win on this surface but, historically, she hasn’t played well at the US Open. It’s touch and go with her. Not to mention her section is loaded with threats such as Garbine Muguruza (+450), Caroline Garcia (+1600) and Andrea Petkovic (+1600), to name a few.
Caroline Wozniacki, seeded higher than Kvitova, emerges as the second favorite at +275 to win this section. Contrary to Kvitova’s corner, hers appears manageable with Samantha Stosur, Sara Errani and Flavia Pennetta as the seeded threats in her section.
Tennis Picks: Kvitova +200, Wozniacki +275
Outside Tennis Picks: Garbine Muguruza +450 and Flavia Pennetta +2200
Must Read: WTA Us Open Day 1 Tennis Odds & Top Plays
Fourth Quarter: Simona Halep Favored
Top Seeds:  Simona Halep and  Lucie Safarova
Simona Halep comes into the US Open riding solid form, prompting many to dub her Serena’s biggest threat for the title. Obviously, she’s favoured to win her section at +175 tennis odds on the US Open odds board at William Hill. That said, her section is stacked with big hitters and dangerous floaters, and she might not find it an easy traipse towards the quarterfinals, never mind emerging into the final to challenge Serena.
Lucie Safarova may be the highest seed after Halep in this section, but 2012 US Open finalist and two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka instead emerges as the second favorite at +250 to win outright. In fact, Safarova is snubbed by the odds makers somewhat and emerges as the fourth favorite at +800 tennis odds.
Halep’s section contains Timea Bacsinszky (+1600), Alize Cornet (+3300) and Sabine Lisicki (+2200 to win the quarter). As well, dangerous floater Camila Giorgi (+3300) lurks in her immediate way along with a couple of American hopefuls Shelby Rogers and Sachia Vickery.
Top Tennis Pick: Simona Halep +175 and Victoria Azarenka (+250)
Outside Tennis Pick: Lucie Safarova (+800) and Timea Bacsinszky (+1600)