2018 WTA US Open Futures Betting Preview: Major Keys Worth Considering

2018 WTA US Open Futures Betting Preview: Major Keys Worth Considering article feature image

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Madison Keys

  • WTA US Open betting action will get underway on Monday morning in Flushing Meadows, New York.
  • Despite winning just one summer hard court match, Serena (6-1) enters as the tournament favorite.
  • While Serena seeks her 24th major, compatriot Sloane Stephens (10-1) will look to repeat as US Open champ.

Take a quick glance at the women’s US Open draw in Flushing Meadows next week, and your eyes should pop. There are some absolutely loaded sections, while others look ripe for major upsets.

Serena Williams (+600) arrives in New York as the betting favorite, seeking her seventh US Open title and an Open-era record 24th career Grand Slam. Since losing to Angelique Kerber in the Wimbledon final, Serena has won only one of three hard court matches leading up to the year’s final major.

However, she did look much better in her most recent loss — a very competitive three-set match against Petra Kvitova. Don’t be surprised if Serena is firing from the jump.

Fellow American and defending champion Sloane Stephens (10-1) is in good form, which is great news for a player who generally peaks in the biggest events. Given her current form and favorable draw, I wouldn’t be shocked if Stephens makes her third final in the span of five majors.

As with every Slam, we’ve created a US Open betting cheat sheet with all 32 seeds to reference for futures and daily betting throughout the tourney. You’ll also find a high-level summary of key notes below the charts.

Former US Open Champions

In 2018 Draw

  • Serena Williams (1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014)
  • Venus Williams (2000, 2001)
  • Sloane Stephens (2017)
  • Angelique Kerber (2016)
  • Samantha Stosur (2011)
  • Maria Sharapova (2006)
  • Svetlana Kuznetsova (2004)

Recent US Open Semifinalists

Since 2015

  • Serena Williams (2015,2016)
  • Coco Vandeweghe (2017)
  • Madison Keys (2017)
  • Venus Williams (2017)
  • Sloane Stephens (2017)
  • Caroline Wozniacki (2016)
  • Karolina Pliskova (2016)
  • Angelique Kerber (2016)
  • Simona Halep (2015)

*Roberta Vinci and Flavia Pennetta both made the 2015 semifinals, but both have since retired.

Three Straight US Open R16

  • Venus Williams
  • Madison Keys

Unseeded Past Quarterfinalists

Among 2018 unseeded players

  • Victoria Azarenka (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
  • Samantha Stosur (2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Kaia Kanepi (2010, 2017)
  • Ekaterina Makarova (2013, 2014)
  • Svetlana Kuznetsova (2004, 2007)
  • Kristina Mladenovic (2015)
  • Belinda Bencic (2014)
  • Andrea Petkovic (2011)
  • Yanina Wickmayer (2009)
  • Kateryna Bondarenko (2009)

2018 Summer Hard Court Titles

  • Mihaela Buzarnescu (San Jose)
  • Svetlana Kuznetsova (Washington DC)
  • Simona Halep (Montreal)
  • Kiki Bertens (Cincinnati)
  • Aryna Sabalenka (New Haven)

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US Open Junior Champions

In 2018 Draw

  • Amanda Anisimova (2017)
  • Daria Gavrilova (2010)
  • Heather Watson (2009)
  • Coco Vandeweghe (2008)
  • Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (2006)
  • Victoria Azarenka (2005)
  • Kirsten Flipkens (2003)
Amanda Anisimova (USA) during her fourth round match against Karolina Pliskova (not pictured) in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: 16-year-old American Amanda Anisimova, who could realistically make a run here

Seeds With Injury Concerns

Petra Kvitova (14-1) — Withdrew Thursday during her quarterfinal match in New Haven with a shoulder injury. In her post-match press conference, she mentioned the shoulder started bothering her during her match on Wednesday.

Caroline Wozniacki (22-1) — Wozniacki had her left thigh taped up throughout the summer hard court season, but didn’t have any tape during practice this week.

CoCo Vandeweghe (100-1) — The American withdrew from her first-round match in New Haven on Monday with an ankle injury that has hampered her almost all year.

Garbine Muguruza (16-1) — She pulled out of San Jose three weeks ago with a right arm injury. The Spaniard has played only one match since, which she lost to Lesia Tsurenko.

Mihaela Buzarnescu (66-1) — She suffered a very bad sprained ankle in Montreal on Aug. 8, but remains in the US Open draw (for now).

Futures Lounge

I’m going back to the well with last year’s runner-up, Madison Keys, who I backed in 2017 at a similar price. Her wrist has been an issue for most of the year, but Keys recently stated how good it feels.

More importantly, she showed enough form and fitness in Cincinnati to beat Angelique Kerber in three sets. That gives me enough confidence to back the American at 16-1.

Keys could potentially face a tricky second-round test against pesky Yulia Putintseva, who won their only previous meeting (on hard court in Tokyo in 2016). On a positive note, the other seed in her section, Coco Vandeweghe, has been off her game lately and has never defeated Keys in three tries.

I also make Keys a favorite over the other top seeds (Caroline Garcia and Angelique Kerber) in her half of the draw.

Ashleigh Barty (66-1) intrigues me as a mid-tier future investment. The Aussie has a favorable path, as her first potential seeded opponent is a slumping (and possibly injured) Muguruza.

Barty is playing good tennis, and her variety can trouble even the best players on Tour. I think Barty can make the quarters, which would give us some options.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia hits a forehand against Sloane Stephens of the United States (not pictured) on day five of the U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Ashleigh Barty at the 2017 US Open

As for the longshots, I couldn’t pass on the value with Carla Suarez Navarro (200-1) and Anett Kontaveit (100-1). Suarez Navarro is simply priced too high for an in-form player with an easy draw.

She does play in the New Haven semifinal today against Monica Puig, but I’m not worried about conditioning — as she needed only three sets to get to the semis.

I really like the ground game of Kontaveit, who will put it all together soon. Plus, her first potential seeded opponent, Caroline Wozniacki, has shown no form leading up to the US Open. The Estonian can certainly find a zone and make a run to the quarterfinals.

2018 US Open WTA Futures

  • Madison Keys (16-1)
  • Barty (66-1)
  • Kontaveit (100-1)
  • Suarez Navarro (200-1)