US Open 2022: Women's draw analysis, preview and prediction

(From L-R): Iga Swiatek, Cori Gauff, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Emma Raducanu
(From L-R): Iga Swiatek, Cori Gauff, Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Emma Raducanu

The 2022 US Open women's singles draw showcases the current competitive depth on the WTA Tour. Six previous singles champions at Flushing Meadows are a part of the 2022 US Open draw. Six-time champion Serena Williams will enter the final Major of her career as she will make one final valiant attempt to equal Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles.

It will be the 63rd consecutive Slam appearance for Alize Cornet, which will now be an all-time record. World No.1 Iga Swiatek leads the field with Anett Kontaveit, Maria Sakkari, Paula Badosa and Ons Jabeur completing the top 5 seedings. Defending champion Emma Raducanu is the 11th seed and last year's runner-up Leylah Fernandez will be seeded 14th.

US Open main draw. Notable 1R matches:Serena Williams vs. Danka KovinicNaomi Osaka vs. Danielle CollinsEmma Raducanu vs. Alizé CornetVenus Williams vs. Alison Van Uytvanck#USOpen

The final Slam of the year is all set to commence on Monday. Let's take a look at the potential match-ups deeper into the draw on what is expected to be a delicacy of mouth-watering tennis clashes for the upcoming fortnight.

1st quarter: Three former World No.1s and early challenges for Swiatek

Top seeded players: (1) Swiatek, (8) Pegula, (9) Muguruza, (16) Ostapenko

Dark Horse: Petra Kvitova

Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek

Swiatek hasn't had the ideal preparation leading up to the 2022 US Open. A potential second-round clash against 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens would be a rematch of their 2022 Cincinnati round-of-32 match; an encounter won by Swiatek in straight sets. Threats will also be posed to the World No. 1 by 28th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova, who defeated the Pole in their lone previous meeting at the Gippsland Trophy in 2021.

Jelena Ostapenko, who has lost three of her last five tour-level main draw matches, will have to get past Qinwen Zheng and potentially Amanda Anisimova before setting up a fourth encounter against Swiatek. The 16th seeded Latvian has won all their previous meetings and has dropped only one set till date against the Pole.

The bottom half of this quarter hosts five qualifiers. Ninth seed Garbine Muguruza, who has won only one match at a Slam this year and is yet to win consecutive matches since February 2022, will be challenged in the first career meeting against Danish teen Clara Tauson. World No. 8 Jessica Pegula, who is enjoying one of the finest seasons of her career, could find herself preparing for a third-round meeting against Elise Mertens. Mertens has won both their previous meetings.

Jessica Pegula shares secret to remarkable consistency ahead of US Open homecoming…

2022 Cincinnati Open runner-up Petra Kvitova is one to watch out for in this quarter. It is no surprise that when on song, the Czech can be one of the hardest players to overcome. The US Open is the only Major where Kvitova has not made it past the quarterfinals. Kvitova has a positive head-to-head record against all the top seeded players from this quarter except Swiatek (0-1). Based on current form, Kvitova or Pegula are likely to face Swiatek in the quarterfinals.

Prediction: Pegula defeats Swiatek

2nd quarter: An all-Belarusian clash on the cards

Top seeded players: (4) Badosa, (6) Sabalenka, (11) Raducanu, (13) Bencic

Dark Horse: Naomi Osaka

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka

The top half of the second quarter features two former US Open runner-ups, whereas the bottom half highlights three former US Open singles champions. Fourth seed Paula Badosa, who has won only one match in her three previous main draw appearances at the US Open, will possibly face three-time US Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka in the third round. The 26th seed won the latest of their matches at the 2022 Adelaide Open, thereby leveling their head-to-head record at 1-1.

2016 US Open runner-up Karolina Pliskova, who found form in the nick of time in Toronto, will be challenged early on by compatriot Marie Bouzkova and later by 13th seed Belinda Bencic. Considering their current form, Azarenka and Bencic seem to be on a collision course. Raducanu's title defense could involve a potential third-round clash against two-time US Open champion Naomi Osaka. Both players have not faced each other previously.

Sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka, 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina and two-time US Open champion Venus Williams find themselves in the same competitive cluster. Rybakina is 4-3 since winning Wimbledon, Venus is 0-3 in 2022 and Sabalenka enters the US Open after a last-four finish in Cincinnati. With Osaka struggling with her form and a potential back injury, Raducanu and Sabalenka might set up their first meeting.

Prediction: Sabalenka defeats Azarenka

3rd quarter: Breeze for Halep, opportunity for Garcia

Top seeded players: (3) Sakkari, (7) Halep, (12) Gauff, (15) Haddad-Maia

Dark Horse: Caroline Garcia

Simona Halep
Simona Halep

The US Open is the only Slam where Simona Halep has not made the finals. The 2015 semi-finalist is seeded seventh and has a pretty favorable path up until the quarterfinals. 2017 US Open runner-up Madison Keys found form in Cincinnati when she made the semifinals. She is likely to be challenged by compatriot Cori Gauff in the third round. Halep leads Keys and Gauff 5-2 and 4-0 respectively in career meetings.

The bottom half features third seed Maria Sakkari, who has lost five of her eight matches since making the semifinals in Berlin in June. 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu faces a tricky opponent in the form of Harmony Tan in the first round. A win for the Canadian could lead to a possible fierce clash against 15th seed Beatriz Haddad-Maia.

Caroline Garcia, who enters the US Open as the 17th seed following a statement title win at Cincinnati, is currently on an eight-match win-streak. If she can bring her Cincinnati form to the Billie Jean King Tennis Center, then a second week at the US Open beckons her.

Prediction: Halep defeats Garcia

4th quarter: Top seeds face tricky challenges, window for Kasatkina

Top seeded players: (2) Kontaveit, (5) Jabeur, (10) Kasatkina, (14) Fernandez

Dark Horse: Veronika Kudermetova

Serena Williams
Serena Williams

Serena Williams' final showing at a Major will begin with a maiden clash against Danka Kovinic. A win would see Williams face World No. 2 Anett Kontaveit in the second round. Kontaveit has a 50% win-rate in hard court matches since reaching the World No.2 ranking. The Estonian will certainly pose a challenge to Williams, who has won only one of the four matches she has played in her farewell season.

Defending runner-up Leylah Fernandez finds herself in this section of the draw. However, unlike last year where she was on a giant-slaying streak, the foot injury she is carrying might hamper her progression in the tournament.

The US Open has been the least successful Slam for fifth seed Ons Jabeur. Having lost three of her next five matches since her runner-up finish at Wimbledon, the Tunisian will face a stern challenge from 31st seed Shelby Rogers. The American is a former quarterfinalist at the event and enters the final Slam of the season having won six of her last eight hardcourt matches.

The 10th seed, Daria Kasatkina, is currently in the quarterfinals in Granby following first-round exits at Cincinnati and Toronto. However, the 2022 San Jose champion seems to face no significant challenge on paper in the early rounds. A third-round meeting against compatriot Veronika Kudermetova could be the first hiccup for Kasatkina. However, Kasatkina leads the rivalry 2-0.

Rogers has always been a threat on American hard courts and is likely to face Kasatkina in the fourth round, against whom she trails 1-2 in the head-to-head record. Kontaveit leads Kasatkina in the head-to-head record. Yet, based on recent form, the Estonian ending on a losing end should not be surprising.

Prediction: Kasatkina defeats Kontaveit

Prediction for semifinals:

Pegula def. Sabalenka

Halep def. Kasatkina

Prediction for finals:

Halep d. Pegula

Also Checkout:- US Open 2022 Results

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Edited by Keshav Gopalan
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