Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: 2020 WTA Tour: US Open Tennis Championship

2020 WTA Tour: US Open Tennis Championship

Tennis player holds racquet

The US Open Tennis Championship takes center stage at Flushing Meadows, New York, Outdoor Hardcourt. Damien Kayat previews the respective matchups between Ons Jabeur (14/10) vs Sofia Kenin (5/10) as well as 
Maria Sakkari (1/1) vs Amanda Anisimova (4/5).
Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

2020 WTA Tour  | Flushing Meadows, New York, Outdoor Hardcourt
US Open Tennis Championship
Selected 3rd Round Matches- 5th September

Ons Jabeur (27) (14/10)
vs Sofia Kenin (2) (5/10)

I feel like I’ve been writing the autobiography of Ons Jabeur in recent weeks, such has been the frequency with which I have covered her matches. I just can’t help but be drawn into her story. She became the first Arab woman in history to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal at Melbourne.  She uses her wild variety of stroke-play in a refreshing style that isn’t just based on power. The rest of her year- such as it is- has been pretty solid. Though there does seem to be a point at which she battles to make the final step. Quarterfinals in Qatar and the Top Seed Open were followed by yet another quarterfinal showing last week.  She lost to eventual champion Victoria Azarenka on these very courts (in the reconfigured Western and Southern Open). She has been immaculate this week, disposing of both Kawa and Kanepi in straight sets.  But her next opponent will be the very woman that ended her fairy-tale run in Melbourne: Sofia Kenin. 

A former child prodigy, Sofia Kenin’s rise to prominence has been meteoric. The 21-year-old American was already hinting at her potential last season (though the likes of Osaka and Andreescu stole the headlines due to their Grand Slam success). She won three titles on the WTA Tour last week, winning the title of most improved player on tour. But few could have envisaged her heroics in Melbourne. She defied the odds and defeated the likes of Barty and Muguruza en route to the title.  She perhaps unsurprisingly struggled in the aftermath of that success, losing in her following opening round matches in Dubai and Qatar. She then captured the Lyon title in a return to form.  Kenin, benefitting from a 2nd seeding due to all the top-flight withdrawals, has looked devastating this week.  She said she had some doubts following her opening round loss to Cornet this week.  She is yet to drop a set this week and looks very much the real deal. 

The stats don’t make for pretty reading if you’re a Jabeur fan. Kenin has won all their matches and is yet to drop a set. She won the Aussie Open Quarterfinal in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. So Kenin is clearly the overwhelming favourite. But I think that Jabeur is in good enough form to warrant some upset moment here (I was right on the Pliskova-Garcia match).  
Jockeys Ride Horses

Maria Sakkari (1/1)
vs Amanda Anisimova (4/5)

Maria Sakkari is certainly one of those players who will be relishing the decimated draw. The women’s draw has certainly been more ravaged than the men. The 25-year-old has been yet another woman who has sneakily risen up the world rankings over the past year. She really broke through last year by claiming her debut title in Rabat. She is nominally a clay-court specialist, using her nimble mobility to wear down opponents. But she has started to collect some impressive results on harder surfaces. She reached the semi-finals in St Petersburg earlier this year.  She was impressive here last week, beating tennis demigod Serena Williams en route to a strong quarterfinal showing.  So, it would seem that Sakkari is quite comfortable in her New York bubble. She has laboured slightly this week, needing three sets to overcome both Vogele and Pera. She will once again need to elevate her game as she encounters the hard-hitting Anisimova. 

Amanda Anisimova is yet another in that seemingly endless conveyor belt of American talent with links to Russia. She had an excellent juniors’ career, winning the 2017 Junior Girls title at Wimbledon. But she really exploded onto the scene in 2019, with two notable Grand Slam successes.  She reached the 4th round of the Aussie Open despite having never won a singles match at a Grand Slam previously. She then won the Copa Colsanitas prior to an unbelievable semi-final run at Roland Garros (all this despite having practically no clay-court experience). She became the first player born in the 2000’s- male or female- to advance to a Grand Slam semi-final. Apart from a semi-final run at the season-opening ASB Classic, Anisimova has had a fairly benign 2020 campaign. But victory over 16-year-old compatriot Katrina Scott displayed both her firepower and resilience. On a side-note: Americans are likely going to dominate women’s tennis for the next decade. 

This will be their first ever meeting. I’m opting for the American this week. I just think she has the power from the back of the court to dismantle Sakkari (who herself has already been engaged in consecutive three-set marathons).  

Written by Damien Kayat for Hollywoodbets

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