Simona Halep will arrive at the US Open on the highest of sky highs after warming up for Flushing Meadows with a tournament victory in New Haven and so this is not the ideal opening-round draw for Britain’s Heather Watson.
Watson is 4/1 to come through in what will be her first Grand Slam since separating from long-term coach Mauricio Hadad ahead of the hard-court season and so it is hard to be too optimistic of her chances.
However, we have plumped for five other results from the women’s first round action, which combine to create a 5/1 US Open accumulator.
Based on the prices, Mona Barthel is the biggest banker of the fivefold as she looks to take her head-to-head record over Johanna Larsson to 3-0.
The most recent of the previous two victories was a 6-2, 6-1 triumph in Auckland earlier this year and she arrives in solid form having beaten Maria Kirilenko and Lucie Safarova in Cincinnati recently before losing to world number one Serena Williams.
Kirilenko herself is also included, having reached at least the quarter finals of the US Open in three of the last four years.
She faces Yanina Wickmayer first and Kirilenko has already dumped the Belgian out of one hard-court Grand Slam in 2013 at the Australian Open.
Yvonne Meusberger is largely only seen on clay so this is a big step into the unknown for her and she looks up against it after being drawn to face Shuai Peng.
Peng was a set to the good against Caroline Wozniacki at New Haven before illness caused her retirement and a repeat of that form should see her progress here.
Karin Knapp took a leap forward when reaching round four at Wimbledon this year and although hard is not her favoured surface she should beat young American Grace Min, who has never previously made it beyond the first round of a WTA Tour event.
Finally, Elena Vesnina is very rarely upset on hard and she beat Angelique Kerber at New Haven. German teenager Annika Beck will be no walkover, but Vesnina’s experience can win her through.
US Open women’s selections
Mona Barthel to beat Johanna Larsson @ 2/7
Maria Kirilenko to beat Yanina Wickmayer @ 1/3
Elena Vesnina to beat Annika Beck @ 4/11
Shuai Peng to beat Yvonne Meusburger @ 4/9
Karin Knapp to beat Grace Min @ 4/7
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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