Iga Swiatek heads to Flushing Meadows as the reigning champion, but who are the other contenders for the women’s singles? Find out with our US Open predictions.
The last grand slam of 2023 is here, and while reigning US Open champion Iga Swiatek is still the one to beat in New York City, the 22-year-old superstar has fierce competition in a WTA field that always seems to throw out a new contender at every major.
Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff are set to be the big hopes for the USA, while Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina have been rated strongly by the Opta supercomputer, which has simulated to whole tournament.
Ons Jabeur, meanwhile, will be hoping to finally end her grand slam duck after suffering more heartbreak at Wimbledon.
But what does the data say? What are the favourites’ chances of success? Find out with our US Open women’s singles predictions.
US Open Predictions: The Quick Hits
- Iga Swiatek is aiming to become the first woman since Venus Williams in 2000 and 2001 to win consecutive US Open titles before the age of 23.
- She is the favourite with Opta’s supercomputer and is given a 13.1% chance of retaining her title.
- Aryna Sabalenka (7.8%), Elena Rybakina (5.1%) and Karolina Muchova (4.4%) are the other players most likely to triumph.
- Coco Gauff (4.2%) and Jessica Pegula (3.8%) come next and lead America’s hopes in a competitive WTA field.
Favourites to Win 2023 US Open Women’s Singles
Let’s start with the obvious. As Carlos Alcaraz leads the ATP’s next generation in the men’s singles, Swiatek has been the standard-bearer for women’s tennis since Ashleigh Barty’s surprise retirement early last year.
Swiatek has won the most matches (53) of any player on the WTA Tour in 2023, and unsurprisingly has the highest winning percentage (85.5%).
She can become the seventh player in the Open Era to win the US Open and French Open titles in the same year on multiple occasions after Steffi Graf, Margaret Court, Monica Seles, Chris Evert, Serena Williams and Justine Henin.
Despite semi-final losses in Montreal and Cincinnati over the past month, it would be difficult to not regard Swiatek as the favourite to go on and triumph again at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Opta’s prediction model has her as the favourite too, with the Pole given a 13.1% chance of winning the tournament.
Swiatek, a master of the hard court, has to contend with two of the other top seeds in her half of the draw, with last year’s Wimbledon champion Rybakina seeded fourth, and rated as the third favourite (5.1%), behind second seed Sabalenka (7.8%). Curiously, 10th seed Karolina Muchova is the fourth favourite to go on and win the trophy (4.4%).
The world number one is given a 19.3% chance of making the final, and a 27.3% chance of reaching the last four. Don’t expect an upset in round one, with Swiatek predicted to ease past Rebecca Peterson.
Marketa Vondrousova, who won her first grand slam at this year’s Wimbledon, is seeded ninth, but she has only a 3.5% chance of making the final, according to the supercomputer. Jabeur – the runner-up in 2022 – has been desperately unlucky when she has reached major finals, but at 3.6%, while she should not be discounted, she is not expected to break her duck this time around.
The bottom bracket of the draw could see Sabalenka and Jabeur meet in the quarter-finals – it would be the first time the pair have played each other in a WTA Tour-level or grand slam tournament. That being said, while Sabalenka has a 31.1% chance of reaching the last eight, the likelihood of Jabeur making it beyond the last 16 is a surprisingly low 17.9%.
Sabalenka, who has won 44 matches in 2023, has hit more winners in this year’s grand slam events than any other women’s singles player, with 569 at an average of 30 per match. She also has the most unforced errors, with 511.
Elina Svitolina provided one of the major storylines at Wimbledon with her progression to the semi-finals. The Ukrainian – whose chances of success are rated at a slender 1.9% – has yet to reach a major final, but she’s certainly one to watch. If she gets on a good run, she is sure to have the crowd on her side.
It has only been two years since teenagers Leylah Fernandez and Emma Raducanu reached the final, with the latter becoming the youngest-ever US Open champion.
Yet Raducanu is not even involved this year, while Fernandez – who is in Vondrousova’s bracket – has only got a 0.7% chance of making the final, and a 0.25% likelihood of going one step further than she managed in 2021.
Another former champion, Canada’s Bianca Andreescu, has withdrawn from this year’s event due to a back injury.
What Chance of a Home Winner?
The last American player to win the US Open women’s title was Sloane Stephens in 2017.
The last time Americans failed to win the women’s singles title at the US Open for a span of five years was 2003-2007. An American woman has never failed to win in a six-year span over the tournament’s history in the Open Era.
With the days of dominance from the Williams sisters long gone, the USA is looking for new heroes. In Pegula and Gauff, they have two players certainly capable of stepping up to the plate.
Pegula, the world number three, has won one WTA title this year and came out on top in 41 matches, while she reached the quarters at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Those efforts matched her previous best at grand slams – she fell foul of Swiatek in the last eight at Flushing Meadows last year, and had reached three other major quarter-finals before that.
The 29-year-old has a 4.1% chance of going all the way and taking Swiatek’s crown, and a 7.5% chance of making the final. Interestingly, of the six favourites – according to the predictor model – Pegula has the fourth-best chance of progressing to the last 16 (51.7%).
Tennis fans, meanwhile, have seen Gauff go from a child prodigy to a bona fide star of the game since she broke onto the scene with that run to the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2019. It’s hard to believe the world number six is only 19, such is her experience and the maturity with which she plays the game.
Gauff has won three singles titles this season. Last year, she made the quarters at the US Open, after losing to Swiatek in the final at Roland Garros. She went down to the world number one again in Paris this year, though this time in the last eight.
Will this be Gauff’s year? At 4.25%, she is the fifth favourite according to the supercomputer, but she does find herself in Swiatek’s half of the draw, so a quarter-final matchup could be on the cards; the duo have met eight times, with Swiatek winning on seven occasions.
Gauff’s sole victory against Swiatek came in this year’s Western & Southern Open, however, sending her opponent packing 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-4 in the semi-finals en route to becoming champion in Cincinnati.
How Will US Open Impact WTA Rankings?
Sabalenka might be number two as it stands, but she has a fair chance of becoming world number one by the time the tournament ends. With a favourable draw, she has a 51.9% likelihood of being the new number one come September 11, while Swiatek has a 48% chance of keeping hold of the top spot.
Expect some movement below them, with Pegula anticipated to drop to number four (72.2%), to be replaced by Rybakina in third (73.1%). Jabeur has more chance of dropping to sixth, seventh or eighth than she does of staying fifth, with Gauff predicted to take that spot, though the youngster does have a 30.7% chance of staying put in sixth.
Caroline Garcia, the world number seven, is predicted to drop to 10th (36.7%), though she has a 31.4% likelihood of being 11th too. Vondrousova’s chances of moving from ninth to eighth — which is occupied by Maria Sakkari — stands at 35.2%.