By Richard Kent, Staff Reporter
NEW YORK — So who will win the 2018 U.S. Open women’s singles title? Well, at least 10 women have more than a strong chance. And that hasn’t happened for years. It is good for the sport.
Our picks? Either No. 17 seed Serena Williams, or No. 3 seed and reigning champion, Sloane Stephens.
Serena obviously had a baby — Olympia — last September 1. She is still on the comeback trail, but if one were to extrapolate from her practice sessions pre-Open, she has to be considered a strong favorite even at the age of 36.
She won her opening round match on the Arthur Ashe court Monday night 6-4, 6-0. She has won six U.S. Opens, with the last being in 2014. She has a staggering US Open match record of 89-11. It appears to be her favorite Grand Slam.
She has 23 Grand slam singles titles, just one shy of the all-time mark.
Stephens won last year’s Open easily over her close friend, Madison Keys. She didn’t play well the rest of the year or the start of this year. She went on to win the prestigious 2018 Miami Open and was the runner-up to Simone Halep in this year’s French Open.
She played very well in the Rogers Cup and Canada and despite some injuries, has looked sharp this summer and certainly can repeat in Flushing Meadows. She also won her opener yesterday in straight sets.
Both players are dangerous on the forehand side and can unleash tremendous power. One of them could win it all.