Five women to watch
Originally published on 27/08/17 00:00
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)
Best Us Open result: Finalist, 2009, 2014
First round oppponent: Mihaela Buzarnescu
The former No.1 has had an excellent campaign however she has struggled to turn positive results into something tangible. The 27-year-old has reached six finals in 2017, but not yet entered the winners circle.
Wozniacki showed glimpses of frustration after suffering a heavy defeat to Elina Svitolina in the final of the Rogers Cup. She is constantly contending for the biggest prizes, though, and appears to be on the cusp of a significant breakthrough.
The Dane has attempted to be more proactive from the baseline recently and her forehand has held up well under scrutiny. She has won an impressive 48 matches this year and will head to New York for her favourite Grand Slam with vigour.
Wozniacki has reached the final in the Big Apple on two previous occasions and she will view this latest attempt as a golden opportunity to go one step further.
Madison Keys [USA]
Best US Open result: 4th round 2015, 2016
First round opponent: Elise Mertens
Wrist issues have undoubtedly hindered the American’s progress, but she is back to full fitness and making a positive impression on the court.
The powerful 22-year-old lifted her first title in over a year in Stanford – defeating Garbine Muguruza en route – and she has the firepower to rock any opponent.
With a cogent serve and a potent forehand, Keys has the potential to become a multiple Grand Slam winner. She can be reckless, though, and it remains to be seen if she is capable of maintaining a high level for seven matches in a row.
Sloane Stephens [USA]
Best US Open result: 4th round 2013
First round opponent: Roberta Vinci
The talented 24-year-old is on the comeback trail after injury. The American played her first competitive match in nearly a year at Wimbledon after overcoming a left foot problem, and she is eager to make up for lost time.
Stephens, who has all the attributes required to flourish at the top of the game, reached the last four in Toronto and Cincinnati. She is already back inside the Top 100 and will continue to bound up the rankings in the coming months.
The top players will be keen to avoid an early showdown with Stephens.
Best US Open ranking: Winner, 2004
First round Opponent: Marketa Vondrousova
Kuznestova, who lifted the trophy in New York 13 years ago, is still going strong. The Russian has been a model of consistency this year and she remains a serious contender for the biggest prizes.
The 32-year-old reached the quarter-finals of Cincinnati before being upended by the eventual champion. She will expect to reach the second week at the final major of the season.
Best US Open result: 3rd round 2016
First round opponent: Nao Hibino
The American made global headlines in 2014 when she became the youngest player to win a main-draw match at the US Open since Anna Kournikova in 1996.
Bellis has made significant progress since then and she is currently ranked inside the Top 50. The fiery 18-year-old reached the last four in Stanford earlier this month and also downed Kuznetsova in Toronto.
The American will likely be unseeded in New York, and she will not fear an y opponent.