Who’s preparations for Flushing Meadows have been far from ideal?

The final major of the year is a chance to end the season on a high. Of course there is still a lot of tennis to be played once all has been said and done in New York but for preparations for an event they’d hope to compete at have been anything but ideal.

Who faces uncertainty going into New York?

Kiki Bertens

Kiki played out of this world earlier on this year but her season is in danger of petering out. She won titles in Russia and Madrid and since Madrid it has gone to plan. I saw her in Madrid and she was devastating to watch.

In the final against Simona Halep I was supporting the Romanian but couldn’t help but applaud Kiki’s tennis, it was so good. Semi’s in Rome, had to pull out of Roland Garros ill where she was considered a contender and her season has dropped.

Kiki was defending champion in Cincinnati but just hasn’t wow’d us, it’s been messy.


Dominic Thiem

He’s been ill but he shouldn’t have gone to Hamburg and Kitzbuhel in my opinion and focused on the hard courts.

I know he loves and prefers the clay and prospect of playing at home I understand but the quest to win a major he is leading the pack behind Roger, Rafa and Novak and his chances for me aren’t there right now.

Obviously can’t help being ill but he hasn’t stopped to rest.

Sloane Stephens

Former US Open champion in 2017. It hasn’t happened this year.

I like Sloane’s game but I’ve said before it is a style of tennis which is utterly beautiful to watch in full flow but off the pace and it’s a tough watch and it can be a fine line.

Kuznetsova wiped the floor with her in Cincinnati winning 6-1 6-2 against the American who was runner-up at the WTA Finals last October but hasn’t had a top 10 win this year.

Win/loss of 21/15 for the year. One top 20 ranked win and five defeats to players outside top 60. Currently at No.20 on the race to Shenzhen unless something magical happens in New York I can’t see her being there. She’s a good 1200 points off 8th.

Alex Zverev

A rough year. A success for him now would be a good run in New York and getting to London. Believe it or not he has only 150 points off the last qualifying place.

Off-court and on-court issues have been a theme this season and Ivan Lendl recently called it a day with the German number one. There are rumours that Alex is about to be signed by Federer’s management company.

Back to tennis, it’s not been great. He seems to be slipping behind the baseline and being picked off. His backhand is good but it’s not a shot that will strike fear into you from behind the baseline.

This is something I will look at going forward but it needs to change. His performances against Kecmanovic was confusing. I’m a big believer in taking a step down to progress and to be honest some challengers might not do some harm for confidence to begin with.

It’s easy to throw yourself into ATP 500, 1000 and Grand Slam events but when you’re in a rut getting out of it at a high level is tough.

Petra Kvitova

A few injury problems but another who’s season has ran out of steam.

The thing is with Petra, what are you going to get?

She could turn up to a tournament and steamroll through opponents or crash out in round one.

For me, Petra Kvitova comes into New York as someone who could go far. The inconsistency and injury issues could be a problem but she usually saves her best for the big events.

Kyle Edmund

Probably Kyle’s toughest season on the tour in all honesty. I think his game is better but injury has knocked his momentum off and he relies on that momentum.

I have no doubts he won’t be top 15 again but when? Season started with two defeats down under. Injury made him miss a chunk of the year.

Made the good decision to play Indian Wells challenger which he won and I’m surprised he didn’t maybe seek out to play more challenger tennis at that point.

It’s very difficult to go from a main draw win in October 2018, two defeats, three months injured, challenger title and then throw yourself into back to back Masters 1000 events.

He hasn’t pulled off more than two wins in succession this year and I think missed a trick in not playing more lower level events.

Down in Montreal and Cincinnati of late Daniil Medvedev has given him a little tennis lesson and that will hurt but is an indication of where his year is at.

Angie Kerber

Love watching Angie play, she could turn up and win in New York.

She has the knack of pulling it together but her season hasn’t got going. 2016 = excellent, 2017 = bad, 2018 = recover & 2019 = not good.

2017 was a write-off year and the way she came back in 2018 was admirable.

Her three set record this year is 5 wins and 8 defeats but even some of her straight sets win have been a worry how easily it’s fallen apart for the German.

She’s won here before. I have doubts she could, I’d be surprised but with Angie never write her off!

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