The 2015 US Open tennis championship will be the 135th edition of the illustrious tournament. The event will be held between the dates of August 31st and September 12th at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. The tournament has been held there since 1978 when the surface was also changed from clay to the hard court surface we see in use today. Furthermore, the US Open is the only Grand Slam tournament, which has been played every year since it’s inception.
Previous to being played on clay, the US Open was staged on a grass surface. Legend Jimmy Connors will go down in history as being the only player to have ever won the US Open on each of the three different surfaces. Chris Evert holds the record for being the only woman to win the US Open on two different surfaces.
Some of the great winners of the men’s US Open title in the past include Fred Perry, Rod Laver, Arthur Ashe, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras. In the women’s tournament, some of the winners who stand out are Billie Jean King, Margaret Court, Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf.
The defending champions going in to 2015, are Marin Cilic and Serena Williams, who are both fit and in the draw. However, one of these players has a great chance of successfully defending their title, whereas the other will do well to make it to the latter stages of the tournament. The player who is most likely to re-claim their US Open title, is Serena Williams.
Williams won her sixth US Open crown last year defeating Caroline Wozniacki in two sets, 6-3 6-3, in what was a fairly comfortable victory. It was the third US Open win in a row for Williams and she has shown no signs of letting up since.
【2014 US Open Final: Serena Williams vs. Caroline Wozniacki Highlights】
Having already won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon in 2015, Serena Williams is on course to make history and claim an unbelievable season Grand Slam. Williams currently holds all four major tournaments and it’s the second time in her career she has done this but winning each of them, in the same year, would be a phenomenal achievement. Her victory in the recent Cincinnati Masters, only underlines her place at the top of the women’s game and at 5/6 with Coral, the American is clear favorite to win the seventh US Open title of her career.
However, in-front of a home crowd and with the additional prospect of a calendar year Grand Slam, this will a different type of US Open tournament than Serena Williams has ever played in before. Therefore, it will be interesting to see how she handles the huge pressure that will be on her shoulders and how the other players can use that to their advantage.
As her record suggests, there is little chance that Maria Sharapova, 20/1 with Coral, will defeat Serena Williams if they meet in the tournament. However, if Serena were to stumble against a different opponent, Sharapova will be waiting to pounce. The Russian has had a decent hard court season, reaching the final of the Australian Open (losing to Williams) and will be confident of going far in the tournament. World number two Simona Halep, priced 9/1, will be high up on the list of potential winners, should Serena fail and former world number one, Caroline Wozniacki, who is 33/1, could also feature. That being said, Halep lost to Williams in the Cincinnati final and Wozniacki has struggled to get beyond the last 32 in recent events.
With that in mind, it could be worth looking at potential outsiders, such as Belinda Bencic. The Swiss youngster defeated Williams in the semi-final at Toronto and went on to beat Simona Halep in the final, which makes her price of 20/1 tempting.
【Toronto 2015 Rogers Cup: Serena Williams vs. Belinda Bencic Highlights】
Nevertheless, Serena Williams is going to be the player everyone has to beat if they want to win the 2015 US Open.
Moving on to the men’s tournament, a number of players will be entering the event with the belief they can take the title with none more so than world number one Novak Djokovic. With two Grand Slam titles to his name already this year plus four other titles, it’s little wonder why the Serb is the number one seed.
Having only suffered defeat four times in 2015, Djokovic did lose recently in the Cincinnati final. However, having had things his own way for so much of the year, the loss to Roger Federer could act as the ideal wake-up call prior to the US Open. Priced at 11/10 with Coral, it’s easy to see why Djokovic is the favorite but he has lost at the final and semi-final stages of the tournament over the last three years. This means the opportunity is still definitely there for someone else to take the title in 2015. The question is, who could step up and take their chance?
【2014 US Open: Kei Nishikori vs. Novak Djokovic Highlights】
Djokovic’s conqueror in Cincinnati, Roger Federer, has won the US Open five times but the last of those was back in 2008. Having failed to get beyond the semi-final stage of the tournament in his previous five attempts, the wear and tear of playing at Flushing Meadows could be too much for the Swiss at 34 years of age. If he can manufacture a straight run through to the semi-finals, he could have a chance and represents good value at 4/1 with Coral. If he struggles through the earlier rounds though, Federer will find it tough to make it to the final.
World number 3, Andy Murray, has good memories of the US Open, having won the tournament in 2012. The Scot has failed to build on that win since, losing out in the quarter-finals in the previous two US Open tournaments and many feel that his reluctance to get to the net when under pressure will ultimately cost him again this year. The key for Murray could be the opening set of his matches as he has won every match in 2015 when he’s taken the first set and he is available at 7/2 to win the US Open.
So what about the defending men’s champion Marin Cilic? A season blighted by injuries has cost the Bosnian and it’s highly unlikely he will feature in the latter stages. Even at the price of 66/1, the world number nine would struggle to string 7 matches together even if he was playing well.
Stanislas Wawrinka may be a better bet as the Swiss already has the French Open to his name and has proved that on his day, he is capable of beating anyone. However, the defeat to Novak Djokovic in Cincinnati, where the Swiss made 33 unforced errors over two sets may be a clear indication that he is unlikely to pose a real threat at this year’s US Open. Kei Nishikori, who reached the final at Flushing Meadows in 2014, has performed consistently in 2015 but still seems to be struggling with the injury that ruined his Wimbledon campaign. If the Japanese star can remain healthy, he could be the biggest threat to Djokovic and at 18/1 with Coral could be worth backing.
However, it would take a brave person to bet against both Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic to win the US Open this year. Everything seems to be falling in to place for Williams at the major tournaments in 2015 and even when up against it in matches, she has the raw determination to get through. Meanwhile, Djokovic came back superbly from disappointment at the French Open to win Wimbledon and should play with the freedom and belief that another Grand Slam title is going to be his.