Tennis predictions - Can Serena finally win major No. 24 at U.S. Open?

Photo of Ricky Dimon

Ricky Dimon

Tennis · 2 years ago

Show Bio

Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

History could be made at the 2020 U.S. Open and there will not be any fans to see it in person. A most unusual Grand Slam begins on Monday in New York City, where sports continue to be played behind closed doors due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Serena Williams used to close just about every tournament to all other competitors, but she is 38 years old now and has been stuck on 23 major singles titles since winning the 2017 Australian Open. Since giving birth to a daughter later that year, Williams is 0-4 in slam finals (0-2 at the U.S. Open and 0-2 at Wimbledon).

Can she go one step further at Flushing Meadows following those runner-up finishes in 2018 and 2019? She is favored to do so, but not to the overwhelming extent that she has been on more than a few occasions at Grand Slams over the years. Part of that has to do with the competition level. Unlike on the men’s side, there is a ton of parity at or near the top. Simona Halep is skipping this event along with 2019 champion Bianca Andreescu and world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, but among the challengers to Williams are Cincinnati runner-up Naomi Osaka, world No. 3 Karolina Pliskova, Cincinnati champion Victoria Azarenka, and 2020 Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin.

The draw

Serena and her sister, Venus Williams, are on a collision course for the semifinals. They just faced each other in an extremely high-quality contest at a tournament in Lexington a few weeks ago, but it will obviously be difficult for both of them to make it all the way to the last four in New York. Venus’ draw is especially tough, as she opens against No. 20 seed and 2019 Wimbledon quarterfinalist Karolina Muchova. The 40-year-old could also run into Cincinnati semifinalist Johanna Konta as early as the third round. Kenin and fellow American Madison Keys, as well, find themselves in a loaded bottom half of the draw along with two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza, former U.S. Open title winner Sloane Stephens, Cincinnati semifinalist Elise Mertens, and an in-form Ons Jabeur.

Osaka is an obvious favorite to reach the final from the other side of the draw, but she heads into the fortnight with question marks. The 22-year-old from Japan sparked a one-day pause in play during the Cincinnati event in protest of social injustice after she announced that she would not play her semifinal match on Thursday. She eventually played and made it to the final but then withdrew due to a hamstring injury, handing the trophy to Azarenka. Pliskova is the U.S. Open’s top seed, but she has never captured a major title and therefore would probably be considered an underdog in a potential semifinal against either Osaka or two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.

The odds

Outright favorites

Serena Williams (+450) – Can Serena finally surpass Margaret Court and stand alone with 24 Grand Slam singles titles. At her best, the 38-year-old is still the best and most dominant force on the WTA Tour. However, she is coming off alarming losses in both Lexington (to Shelby Rogers) and Cincinnati (to Maria Sakkari).

Naomi Osaka (+600) – Osaka won the U.S. Open in 2018, upending Serena in a controversial final. She won the next major, too (2019 Australian Open). As such, it is clear that Osaka has the potential to rack up a lot of slam titles–but she has been dealing with a lot recently and the hamstring injury could be especially problematic.

Karolina Pliskova (+1200) – These relatively long odds on a No. 1 seed cannot be overlooked under any circumstances. Sure, Pliskova has never won a slam title and has been to only one final (2016 U.S. Open). But she is one of the most consistent players on tour and perhaps less pressure without fans in attendance could help her.

Victoria Azarenka (+1800) – Azarenka soared up the list of title favorites with her surprise triumph in Cincinnati. Still, for someone ranked 27th in the world this could be a bit of an overreaction. Kenin, Konta, and Muguruza also check in at +1800 and probably have better value in this spot.


Pliskova’s quarter is wide open, as the two biggest names–Pliskova and Angelique Kerber–are not in particularly good form at the moment. It might be worth taking a stab at Ajla Tomljanovic (+1600). In the second quarter of the bracket, Osaka’s injury opens the door; so does Kvitova’s early loss in Cincinnati to Marie Bouzkova. Anett Kontaveit (+550) could be the one to capitalize and secure a semifinal berth. If Serena stumbles early, watch out for the woman who beat her in Cincinnati. This could be Sakkari’s time to make an even bigger her name for herself, and she has good value at +1100 to advance to the final four. And why not take Venus in the last section when you can get her at +2500? If she can get past Muchova in round one, the two-time U.S. Open champ just may be off to the races.

Be sure to check out our daily expert tennis picks throughout the U.S. Open.

Tennis Analysis

See All

Virginia Bonuses

See All
FanDuel Sportsbook


Get a $1,000 Risk-Free Bet

Sign up for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account and make your first deposit of $10+

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

Must be 21+. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as non-withdrawable free bets that expire 14 days after receipt. See full terms at



Bet $5+ On Any NFL Pre-Game ML, Get $200 If Your Bet Wins

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5+ on any NFL pre-game ML

Win $200 if your team wins

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.



Get a $100 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $100 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $100

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.



Get 4x $200 In Free Bets

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Bet up to $200 and If you lose, you get a refund

You will receive Free Bet(s) in the amount of the losing wager(s), up to $200 each for four days.

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook


Get a $1,250 risk-free bet

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Place your first bet of $10 or more

If your first bet loses, you’ll receive a refund up to $1,250 from Caesars in free bets

21+. Terms and conditions apply.



Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.



Get Your First Bet Risk-Free Up To $500

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make your first deposit & get up to $500 in free bets

To get $500 in free bets, wager $500

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF



Bet $5+ on MLB and get $100 in Free Bets Instantly!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5+ on any MLB team to win their next game

Win $100 no matter what!

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.



Get 5x $100 in Free Bets With PointsBet's Second Chance

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.



Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.



Get $2,000 in Free Bets

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Monkey Knife Fight


Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

Yahoo DFS


Get $25 in Site Credit With Yahoo DFS When You Deposit $5!

Register for a new account with Yahoo DFS and deposit $5+

Enter a $5 DFS contest

Upon entry, you will receive a bonus $25 in credit into your account!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Yahoo DFS.



Get Your First Single-Horse Win Wager Back Up to $200 if you don't win

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $200

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.



Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.