With Iga Swiatek displaying vulnerability recently and there being question marks over many of the other contenders, Coco Gauff will look at the US Open as a good opportunity for a maiden slam title – having already made one slam final this year. Leolia Jeanjean should be an easy first round opponent with the qualifier having not played a main tour match on hard courts in her career.
Scheduling can say it all sometimes and with Jeanjean choosing to play only on clay courts between Wimbledon and US Open qualifiers shows that the Frenchwoman knows where she excels and what her level is on hard courts. She did ease through qualifiers despite an early scare against Ipek Oz, closing out her final round match with a 6-2 6-0 win over Georgina Garcia Perez.
The US Open has not been a nice spot for Gauff in her young career but this seems a clear spot for her to make the fourth round for the first time in her career with only Madison Keys as a likely threat in her section of the draw. Wins over Sabalenka, Rybakina and Osaka during the US Open series should give her plenty of confidence she can keep up with some of the better players on the surface.
How deep Coco can go this year may well be down to how she handles the pressure and expectations being placed upon her, despite still only being 18. With Serena’s retirement, Gauff will be the next big hope so a straight-forward round one win should allow her to ease into the tournament and gain some early confidence after injury saw her retire last time out.
Prediction – Coco Gauff in straight sets