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Tennis: Five players who could surprise at the US Open

The fourth and final Grand Slam of the season takes us to the US Open in New York on Monday and there are plenty of players that should be drawing positives from Emma Raducanu's shock triumph last year.

The British teenager claimed her breakthrough success at Flushing Meadows last year, despite starting the event as a qualifier, and that should be enough evidence to show that surprises can still happen even on the biggest of stages.

Daniil Medvedev was crowned champion in the men's event but the world number one is hardly in blistering form while the likely absence of Novak Djokovic only enhances the chances of an upset also taking place in that competition.

We assess the credentials of five players that look underrated at this season's US Open and may hold realistic chances of causing a stir.


US Open


USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows, New York


Monday 29th August-Sunday 11th September 2022

How to watch

Amazon Prime and bet365's Sports Live Streaming

OddsMen's - Daniil Medvedev 5/2, Carlos Alcaraz 4/1; Women's - Iga Swiatek 5/2, Naomi Osaka 6/1, Aryna Sabalenka 12/1

Classy Canadian could make his presence felt

Shock winners are harder to come by in men's Majors because of the recent dominance Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, who have won 15 of the last 17 Grand Slam titles between them.

However, Djokovic's participation in the States is yet to be confirmed while Nadal has a bit to prove having lost in the opening round of Cincinnati - his first match since withdrawing before his proposed Wimbledon semi-final clash with Nick Kyrgios.

With defending champion Medvedev also operating below his best, many may be opting to side with Carlos Alcaraz or resurgent Australian Kyrgios, but there is potential for an upset at Flushing Meadows, and Felix Auger-Aliassime is a likely candidate to spring the surprise.

The Canadian youngster was a semi-finalist at the US Open last year and he also reached the quarter-finals at both Wimbledon and the Australian Open so is edging nearer to a headline victory.

With a belated ATP Tour title also now under his belt after nine runner-up efforts, Auger-Aliassime looks ready to kick on and he has been performing consistently all year.

The 22-year-old made the semi-final at the Los Cabos Open at the start of the month before making the last eight in Montreal and Cincinnati, where he had overcome the likes of Jannik Sinner and Alex De Minaur.

A bit of luck may be needed with the draw but at 20/1 he has plenty of ticks in the right boxes.

Fritz fits the bill

One player who has come on leaps and bounds in recent seasons is Taylor Fritz, with his improvement highlighted this year by claiming titles at Indian Wells and Eastbourne.

The big-serving American has risen up to 13th in the world rankings and has the perfect game to complement these fast hard courts.

A run to the quarter-final of Wimbledon last month shows he is a progressive player and it shouldn't be long until he is challenging for Grand Slam silverware, especially in his homeland.

The 24-year-old from California still has plenty of time on his side and there was plenty of promise in his recent run to the quarter-final in Cincinnati, where he had recorded impressive wins over Kyrgios and Andrey Rublev.

Fritz is 25/1 for US Open glory and has to come into consideration.

Pliskova remains a threat

Elena Rybakina raised a few eyebrows with her breakthrough victory at Wimbledon last month and there is every possibility of another maiden Grand Slam winner at the US Open.

The player that appeals most is Karolina Pliskova, who at 30 years of age may be running out of chances in her pursuit of Grand Slam glory.

However, providing her serve stands the test, the Czech star is still performing with real credit and is capable of reigning supreme at Flushing Meadows, where she finished runner-up in 2016.

Pliskova has made at least the quarter-finals of the US Open in four of the last six years and she was a semi-finalist in Toronto a fortnight ago, so is evidently arriving in New York in good spirits.

The former world number one is a big-game player, with the right mentality, and at 20/1 has to be on the radar of many.

Things may click for Keys

Madison Keys finished runner-up to Sloane Stephens at the US Open in 2017 and after a quiet few seasons the American appears to have rediscovered her A-game.

Keys bounced back to form in style when making the semi-finals of the Australian Open earlier this year, which was the fifth time in her career that she had made the last four of a Grand Slam.

The 27-year-old showed she is still playing to a high standard when reaching the semi-finals in Cincinnati, where her list of scalps included world number one Iga Swiatek and former Grand Slam champions Jeļena Ostapenko and Rybakina.

Keys was eventually beaten in the last four in three sets by Petra Kvitova but it was still a strong effort and at 33/1, on home soil, she has a lot going for her.

Anisimova has huge potential

Amanda Anisimova is a player with immense potential and the 20-year-old from New Jersey would be a danger to all if fighting fit.

Anisimova beat world number nine Daria Kasatkina in Cincinnati before withdrawing prior to her second-round match, but that may have been as precaution with this tournament in mind.

But if ready to compete, Anisimova looks a genuine title contender, especially if her run to the quarter-final at Wimbledon is anything to go by.

The current world number 25 also made the fourth round at both the Australian Open and the French equivalent and her power-packed approach should be well suited to these speedier courts. At 25/1, she looks like a lively outsider.

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