The biggest headline at this year’s US Open is undoubtedly centered around Serena Williams and her retirement. The 23-time Grand Slam champion will play her final Grand Slam of her career with GOAT status in front of a home crowd.
But Williams isn’t the only American woman fans should keep an eye on in this year’s US Open draw. There are currently five American players in the WTA Top-25 rankings, and Williams is not one of them. Several of the American women playing at the US Open are coming off historic runs at other Grand Slam tournaments, including Coco Gauff, who played in her first Grand Slam final this year.
A total of 21 American women are competing in this year’s tournament. Could there be a repeat of the 2017 US Open, when four American women made up the semifinals? Sloane Stephens ended up beating Madison Keys for the title, while Venus Williams and Coco Vandeweghe competed in the semifinals.
Here are some of the top American women who will be competing in this year’s tournament.
Serena Williams: When previewing the American women in a draw, you should start with none other than Serena Williams. As a six-time US Open champion, Williams comes with a huge advantage on paper. However, 2021–2022 have not been the best two seasons for the 40-year-old on the tennis court.
Williams made the 2018 and ’19 US Open finals, but fell in both matches. Since then, she has not reached a Grand Slam final. In ’20, Williams reached the semifinals in New York. Then in ’21, she didn’t play due to an injury she suffered at Wimbledon that year.
Now, Williams has more eyes on her than she ever imagined as she plans to retire after the tournament. A lot of pressure will be on the goat as it tries to make a successful run.
You can never count Williams out of a tournament. However, if you look at her performances this year, it is possible that she is not progressing as much as tennis fans might hope. She lost in the first round of Wimbledon to France’s Harmony Tan. She won her first round match in Montreal before losing in the second round. At the US Open in Cincinnati, she lost to No. 10 seed Emma Raducanu in the first round. This raises her 2022 record to 1–3 in singles play.
Williams will face No. 80 Danka Kovinić in the first round of the US Open.
Six American men to watch at the 2022 US Open
Jessica Pegula: The New York native comes in as the top American woman at No. 8. The 28-year-old has already reached two Grand Slam quarterfinals this year at the Australian Open and the French Open. In France, she was knocked out by No. 1 Iga Świątek, who ended up winning the tournament. However, Pegula has yet to make it past the round of 32 at the US Open in her career.
In Pegula’s most recent tournament in Cincinnati, she knocked off No. 10 Raducanu shortly after the British player beat Williams. Raducanu is also the reigning US Open champion.
In front of a home crowd, Pegula has a slight advantage over any opponent he might face. She is definitely an American player to watch.
Coco Gauff: Gauff is no stranger to making headlines at Grand Slam tournaments. Remember Wimbledon in 2019 when she knocked off Venus Williams and advanced to the fourth round?
This year is no different. Gauff reached her first Grand Slam final at the French Open, eventually losing to world No. 1 Świątek. Off the field, the 18-year-old graduated from high school this year.
Gauff comes in as the No. 1 seed. 12. She’s never advanced past the third round at the US Open, so this could be her year to make history.
Danielle Collins: The 28-year-old has had a historic year in her tennis career. She started 2022 by reaching the final of the Australian Open in January. Now-retired Australian Ashleigh Barty defeated Collins 6–3, 7–6 in the match. It is worth noting that she defeated Świątek in the semi-finals to advance to the final match.
Collins heads into the US Open ranked No. 19. Her ranking has dropped significantly since July due to missing several tournaments with a neck injury. She has not played since Wimbledon, in which she was eliminated in the first round at the Lausanne tournament. She also dealt with back and stomach pains after her historic run at the Australian Open.
However, the American took a tough first round match. She will face two-time US Open champion Naomi Osaka, someone Collins was unable to beat this year in the Miami quarterfinals. It will certainly be a challenge for Collins, but if she is able to pull off the win, it will be a major upset for the tournament.
Madison Keys: The 2017 US Open runner-up is coming off a strong run at the Western & Southern Open before the Grand Slam tournament. Keys took down Świątek in straight sets, and even beat the no. 16 Jeļena Ostapenko in straight sets. She ended up reaching the semifinals before Petra Kvitová knocked her out in that match.
Keys also reached her second Australian Open semi-final this year before eventual champion Barty beat her.
The 27-year-old has been on fire this year, so she’s definitely someone to watch as she lands at No.20.
Sloane Stephens: The 2017 US Open champion is back in the headlines this season after having a tough couple of seasons. After losing in the first round of the Australian Open to Raducanu, Stephens bounced back and won her first title since 2018 at the Abierto de Guadalajara tournament in February. She advanced to the quarterfinals at the French Open, but lost to eventual finalist Gauff.
The biggest problem for Stephens heading into the US Open is that if she makes it past the second round, she will likely face Świątek.
The 29-year-old previously dominated the American women’s draw. Although she is ranked 53rd this year, she could be someone to watch for an upset depending on how her potential second-round match against the World No.1 goes.
Other Americans to watch:
- Two-time US Open champion Venus Williams is returning to the tournament after missing it last year.
- Number 24 Amanda Anisimova reached the quarterfinals of this year’s Wimbledon.
- 29 Alison Riske-Amritraj has reached two WTA finals this season.
- 31 Shelby Rogers reached the quarterfinals of the 2020 US Open.
- 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin could face Anisimova in the second round.
- Coco Vandeweghe reached the semifinals of the US Open in 2017.
- Bernarda Pera won her first two WTA titles this season, even dethroning No. 2 Anett Kontaveit.
- Taylor Townsend reached the round of 16 at the 2019 US Open.
- Former junior no. 1, Claire Liu, has yet to make it past the second round at a Grand Slam.
- Lauren Davis has yet to make it past the round of 32 at the US Open, or any Grand Slam tournament.
- Ann Li has also never made it past the round of 32 at a Grand Slam.
- Madison Brengle has never won a US Open singles match in her career.
- Elizabeth Mandlik earned her first WTA win earlier this season by defeating Riske-Amritraj.
- 17-year-old Eleana Yu will face Riske in the first round.
- Peyton Stearns will participate in her first Grand Slam tournament at the US Open.
More tennis coverage: