Diving into the US Open with a Look at Serena's Chances and the Women's Favorites and Dark Horses

Diving into the US Open with a Look at Serena's Chances and the Women's Favorites and Dark Horses

4 min read

The women’s US Open trophy is very much up for grabs as a broad group of contenders gets set to start on Monday. While Universal Tennis INSIGHTS is helping separate the favorites from the rest, the New York field features many variables, including the likes of 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.

Let’s take a closer look at the women’s draw.


(1) Iga Swiatek — 22%

(5) Ons Jabeur — 14%

(7) Simona Halep — 13%

(10) Daria Kasatkina — 5%

(24) Amanda Anisimova — 3%

(8) Jessica Pegula — 3%

Marie Bouzkova — 3%

Naomi Osaka — 3%

(28) Ekaterina Alexandrova — 2%

(21) Petra Kvitova — 2%

Most Likely to Win the Title

(1) Iga Swiatak (UTR Rating 13.29)

While all eyes will be on Williams (UTR Rating 12.03) as she says her goodbye to tennis, the INSIGHTS favorite is Swiatek at 22%. After her incredible 37-match win streak ended in the third round of Wimbledon, the 21-year-old Pole has gone 4-3. She opens against Jasmine Paolini (12.31) and could face 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens (12.38) in the second round.

Iga Swiatek returns a shot to Madison Keys, of the United States, during the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in Mason, Ohi.
Iga Swiatek is the highest player in the field by WTA ranking and UTR Rating. (AP Photo: Aaron Doster)

Meanwhile, Williams has gone 1-3 in her handful of appearances in 2022, most recently dropping a 6-4, 6-0 contest to Emma Raducanu (12.47) in Cincinnati. The 40-year-old opens against Montenegrin Danka Kovinic (12.03)

Most Likely to Go Deep

(5) Ons Jabeur (UTR Rating 13.10)

Jabeur landed in the bottom of the draw and starts her fortnight against tricky American Madison Brengle (12.18). Since the Tunisian reached the Wimbledon final, falling to Elena Rybakina (12.81) in three sets, she hasn’t put together a deep run on hard courts.

Like Swiatek, she’s hoping to turn her late summer around in New York. Her best performance has been the third round, which she's reached three times. Her quarter of the draw is busy with the likes of Shelby Rogers, Leylah Fernandez, Daria Kasatkina, Anett Kontaveit, and Serena, but Jabeur is favored in head-to-head contests against each of them.

(12) Coco Gauff (UTR Rating 12.85)

It’s hard not to hype Gauff up as the teenager continues her hunt for her first Grand Slam. She came close in Paris, losing in the final to Swiatek. The 18-year-old arrives in New York City as the WTA No. 1-ranked doubles player in the world and starts her singles campaign against a qualifier. She could have a battle with 2017 finalist Madison Keys next and might get another look at No. 7 seed Simona Halep (13.11), who recently beat her in Toronto.

Gauff’s mindset lately certainly seems ripe for success.

"For me I needed these matches leading up into the US Open," Gauff said after beating Aryna Sabalenka (12.72) in Toronto. "I think you guys can see on my forehand and my serve there’s definitely been a drastic improvement. I think that right now I feel like I'm rising to the occasion, whereas before I felt like I was almost crumbling to the pressure because I was trying to deflect it.”

Dark Horses

Marie Bouzkova (UTR Rating 12.83)

Bouzkova won the junior US Open in 2014, and eight years later, she’s got a real chance at going far in the big leagues. This summer, the 24-year-old enjoyed a thrilling run to the Wimbledon quarterfinals, followed by her first WTA title in front of a home crowd in Prague. While her WTA ranking is a career-high No. 41, her UTR Pro Tennis Tour ranking (based on UTR Rating) is actually up at No. 15.

Naomi Osaka (UTR Rating 12.84)

Osaka is still unseeded, so despite her four Grand Slams (including two US Opens), she falls into the dark horse category. Her first match will be a blockbuster against No. 19 seed Danielle Collins (12.66), against whom she is 3-0 in career meetings. According to INSIGHTS, Osaka is favored at 62%. She’s also in the same section as defending champion Raducanu, who has found her winning rhythm again this summer.

Bernarda Pera (UTR Rating 12.56)

Arguably no player has had a better two months than Pera. The 27-year-old put together a dream week to win the WTA 250 in Budapest as a qualifier and kept rolling for 16 total wins with a title in Hamburg and a runner-up finish in Concord, losing to a resurgent Coco Vandeweghe (12.23). Her road in New York will be challenging but not impossible as she opens against Anhelina Kalanina (12.52) and could face Cincinnati finalist No. 21 seed Petra Kvitova (12.76) in the second round.

Stay tuned for more from INSIGHTS, and to learn more about Universal Tennis, click here.

•UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities as of 9 a.m. EST, August 26, 2022.

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