US Open 2019: Bianca Andreescu and Madison Keys among contenders for Grand Slam title
Since 2016 there have been nine different winners of a Grand Slam title in 15 tournaments. Can one of these five names make it 10 from 16?
By Abel Morton
Last Updated: 26/08/19 1:23pm
As the final Grand Slam of the year at the US Open approaches, could history repeat itself in New York with a maiden Grand Slam champion being crowned?
World No 1 Naomi Osaka claimed her first Grand Slam title in New York last year following victory over 23-time major winner Serena Williams. Osaka's major breakthrough meant for her that the shackles were off as she backed up her first major title with victory at the Australian Open four months later.
Once again as we head into yet another open singles event, there are a plethora of contenders heading into the final Grand Slam of the year.
Here are five possible contenders who could reach the pinnacle of their career and win their first major title...
Canadian teenager Andreescu has had a phenomenal year on the hard-courts. En route to winning the Indian Wells title in March, the 19-year-old saw off five seeds most notably, Elina Svitolina and former world No 1 Angelique Kerber who she beat in the final in three pulsating sets.
It was in the desert of Indian Wells where Andreescu announced herself on the world stage. With a dynamite combination of power and finesse and her ability to create devastating angles with her forehand and backhand, the Canadian is one of the most exciting players to watch in the women's game.
Free of persistent shoulder injuries that sidelined her for much of the first quarter of this year. In front of her Canadian faithful in Toronto earlier this month, Andreescu won the Rogers Cup to add to her already impressive résumé - delighting the crowd and creating one of the stories of the year.
It remains to be seen if Andreescu will be able to transform her outstanding form into Grand Slam level, in what will be her first main draw appearance at the US Open.
The US Open holds bittersweet memories for American Keys. Keys was a beaten finalist in 2017 where she lost in straight sets to close friend and fellow American, Sloane Stephens.
Since then, Keys' best result at the majors came last year where she reached the semi-finals at the French and New York. Keys who is known for her eye-catching power game recently came to life at the Cincinnati Masters where she went all the way and claimed her second title of the year - adding to the title she won in Charleston, on the clay, in April.
Keys, 24, was one of the women who was highly regarded as a multiple Grand Slam champion when she first burst onto the scene.
As she continues to knock on the door at the majors, and having already tasted a finals appearance at the US Open, albeit coming out second best, could this be the year where she finally wins her maiden Grand Slam title in New York?
World No 3 Pliskova has the game to trouble anyone in women's tennis. A first serve and powerful groundstrokes off either side, it may come as a surprise to many that she is yet to win a major title.
When you look at the Pliskova game, on the eye you would say that her imposing game is best suited to grass-courts but it was at the US Open in 2016 where Pliskova reached her only Grand Slam final to date, where she lost out to German Kerber.
In the last two years the 27-year-old Czech has failed to go beyond the quarter-finals stage in New York - losing out to Coco Vandeweghe in 2017 and then last year to beaten finalist Williams.
A winner in Brisbane, Rome and Eastbourne this year, Pliskova reached the quarter-finals in Toronto and Cincinnati in preparation towards the US Open.
She returns to the scene of her best slam showing next week in the hope of going one better than she did two years ago.
World No 5 Svitolina reached the semi-finals of a Grand Slam event for the first time in her career at Wimbledon this year, where she was beaten by eventual champion Simona Halep.
This pivotal breakthrough in the career of the Ukrainian should put her in good stead moving forward as she tries to win an elusive Grand Slam that will catapult her career to the next level.
In seven previous appearances at the US Open, Svitolina is still looking to reach the quarter-finals for the first time.
Eleven out of Svitolina's 13 career singles titles have come on hard courts therefore her counter-punching game could prove dividends during the fortnight in New York.
It has been a breakthrough year for American rising star Kenin. The 20-year-old, who reached a career-high ranking of 20 last Monday, has claimed wins in Horbart and Mallorca.
A noteworthy summer hard court season to boot, the American reached the semi-finals in Toronto and Cincinnati losing out to eventual champions at both tournaments, Andreescu and Keys respectively.
Kenin's meteoric rise in the women's game, bolstered with her results this year, is why she should be considered as an outsider at the US Open.
With such variety in her game and her ability to unleash ferocious winners at any given time, it will leave the rest of the draw wary of the threat that she possess.
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