The 2018 edition of the US Open starts on August 27th. This year, the total prize money is an absolute record. The winner, in both competitions, will receive $3,800,000. Qualifying in the second round brings a $93,000 check. The amount is the equivalent of winning an ATP 250 tournament, but the ATP / WTA points received are only 45. So it’s all about glory and money. And the competition will be fierce.
Last year, the men’s event had a definite favorite: Roger Federer. However, the Swiss lost in the quarterfinals and Rafael Nadal won the trophy. So far, there is no definite favorite in men’s competition. We do not have a super player like Federer in 2017. We have, on the othe hand, more players with outstanding performances this year. Novak Djokovic is considered the favorite of the trophy in 2018. The Serbian is in an incredible return of form. Novak took Wimbledon and managed to be the only man to win all the Masters tournaments, with the victory in Cincinnati.
Let’s not forget that Novak is again the only player who has a positive record against his two big rivals: Nole leads Nadal with 27-25 and Federer with 24-22. Even more, Djokovic also leads Del Potro (14-4).
Rafael Nadal did not shine in the season after Roland Garros. Sure, he won the Rogers Cup and reached the Wimbledon semifinals. But Nadal seems to be in a slow drop in shape. On the other hand, the Spaniard is an indisputable world leader and will pull hard to defend the points won last year. It remains to be seen if Rafa is not already tired and his performance will start falling towards the end of the year.
Roger Federer seems to have reached the end of the line. Sure, the Swiss still plays at an incredible level for his age (37), but I do not think he will have the energy needed to win a new Grand Slam. It is possible to see him in the quarter-finals or even in the semifinals, but no further.
After an excellent start of the year, Juan Martin Del Potro entered somehow on a flat line. The Argentinian has not won a title since Indian Wells, which was played in March. Del Potro, however, had good progress in the tournaments that followed, which propelled him to the third place. We can say that Del Potro is in a good and stable form, ready to “explode” anytime.
From the young generation, Zverev still fails to keep a good and steady form. Obviously, the German has his chances at the US Open, but the volatility of the evolutions does not make him a true title contender. Grigor Dimitrov is in a clear drop of form, and Nick Kyrgios plays as nonchalantly as ever. Of all three, Kyrgios is the only one capable of a big upset in the first rounds, but he will get out before the semifinals.
Last year, in the women’s competition, the final was a surprise and ended with the victory of Sloane Stephens. Sloane has also played a new Grand Slam final this year at Roland Garros. But the only player to show great performance in the US Open Series is Simona Halep. She won the Rogers Cup and lost (hardly) the final at Cincinnati. However, bookmakers see Serena Williams as the top favorite, then Simona Halep. At a short distance, Kerber and Stephens are also in the list.
Let’s take a look at Serena Williams’s case.
The American has succeeded, just a few months after returning to the circuit, to play the Wimbledon final against Kerber. Williams had a poor evolution in the finals, and Kerber won easily. For Serena, a decline in form followed. She lost to Johanna Konta in San Jose and Petra Kvitova in Cincinnati. Why is Serena considered the favorite at the US Open? Because she can always mobilize and win any tournament in any circumstances.
Logically, Simona Halep is the most in-form player in the circuit right now. For me, Halep is the favorite, followed by Kerber. The players that can produce surprises or upsets are Maria Sharapova, Aryna Sabalenka and Kiki Bertens.
US Open 2018 Prize Money
The tournament has record prize money this year: $ 50,565,840 for all competitions. Here’s a breakdown for ATP/WTA:
Winner – $3,800,000
Runner-Up – $1,850,000
Semifinalists – $925,000
Quarterfinalists – $475,000
Round of 16 – $266,000
Round of 32 – $156,000
Round of 64 – $93,000
Round of 128 – $54,000
US Open 2018 Live
US Open 2018 can be watched live in Europe on Eurosport and Eurosport Player. If you are in the US, you can make a Eurosport Player account using a VPN.
Below is a list of sites that are best to watch the event online:
US Open Live Streaming on Eusportslive: you have the official stream where you can watch all the games, but you need to access a betting company. If not, find links to free streams (in the Web Streams section) on the same site. I cannot put the links here for obvious reasons.
Another good way to find free streams is to search Google, but beware, not all sites are trustworthy.