Looking at the Contenders for the 143rd U.S. Open

Tennis News


  • The 143rd U.S. Open starts Monday at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Queens.
  • Carlos Alcaraz (men’s) and Iga Swiatek (women’s) are the defending champion.
  • American contenders include Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe and Coco Gauff.

It’s the last tennis Grand Slam of the year in the Big Apple. The annual U.S. Open tennis tournament starts serve on Monday, Aug. 28 bringing out the stars on and off the court.
The tennis season has been marked by the continued dominance of grand champion Novak Djokovic on the men’s side, but a new challenger has emerged. On the women’s side, Iga Swiatek has become the leader with four Grand Slam titles, but there are a pack of women right behind her.

American online sportsbooks have odds on each of the day’s matches plus the overall winner. PointsBet has Djokovic as the favorite at +125 and Swiatek at +225.

Last year, the big storyline was on the men’s side when American Frances Tiafoe captivated the crowd with his run to the semifinals. It was his best Slam performance to date.

Who Are The Contenders on the Men’s Side?

Djokovic has 23 Grand Slam titles and has played in 35 finals. He didn’t play in the U.S. Open last year because of Covid vaccine requirements. Those have now been lifted. The Joker has two U.S. Open titles (2011 and 2015) but this has never been his favorite place to play.

The rising star on the men’s side, and heir apparent to the throne is Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz.

Alcaraz (listed at +160 on PointsBet to win) won the U.S. Open last year and knocked off Djokovic in five sets to win the Wimbledon title. Freakishly athletic, Alcaraz is a hitting machine.
Daniil Medvedev is the third pick on the PointsBet board at +800 and won the U.S. Open title in 2021.

Who are the Women to Watch?

Swiatek doesn’t have the name recognition yet as other tennis stars, but she’s become the dominant force on the tour. She has three French Open titles and beat Ons Jabeur in straight sets last year to win the U.S. Open title. The Polish star made it to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon.
Elena Rybakina (+450) has never been past the third round of the U.S. Open, but the big hitter is the reigning Wimbledon champ and has the game to succeed under the bright lights.

Belarus-born Aryna Sabalenka (+500) has been in the U.S. Open semis the last two years. She won the Australian Open in 2023.

Carrying the U.S. Flag

Tiafoe has not been able to build on his U.S. Open success last year. He hasn’t made it past the third round in any Grand Slams this year. The other young American star is Taylor Fritz, but he’s never made it to the second week (fourth) round of the U.S. Open. PointsBet lists both Fritz and Tiafoe as +4000 to win.

So the American star to watch coming is Cori “Coco” Gauff. The 19-year-old won the Cincinnati Open in August, beating Swiatek in the semifinals, the first time she beat Swiatek in eight tries. She’s been a big riser up the betting boards, now at +900 to win the U.S. Open.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.