US Open Picks and Predictions: Saturday's Finals Set To Be Good Ones
It’s Finals Day at the US Open with all junior competitions finishing today. We can’t bet on them, so let’s go straight to the two big ones as Olmos/Arevalo take on Krawczyk/Salisbury in mixed doubles before the highly anticipated women’s (or teenage) final between Emma Raducanu and Leylah Annie Fernandez takes place at 4pm ET. For only the seventh time, two teenagers play out the winner of a Grand Slam and this is the first time since Serena Williams beat Martina Hingis back in 1999.
Olmos/Arevalo vs. Krawczyk/Salisbury Prediction
Let’s have a look at the mixed doubles final first when Joe Salisbury tries to get another Grand Slam trophy under his belt just 24 hours after winning the men’s doubles competition alongside Rajeev Ram. While the Brit clandestinely became one of the top 5 doubles players in the world, his partner Desirae Krawczyk has been second to none in these mixed competitions this year. After losing to local heroes Samantha Stosur and Matthew Ebden at the Australian Open, Krawczyk/Salisbury already won a title together at Roland Garros. The two then switched partners at Wimbledon just to face each other in the final, which Krawczyk won alongside Neal Skupski.
Instead of seeking revenge, Salisbury teamed up with Krawczyk again for the US Open and it’s no surprise they find each other in a major final once more. Their Central American opponents in contrast, Giuliana Olmos from Mexico and Marcelo Arevalo from El Salvador, certainly couldn’t be expected to be here. Actually this is their first tournament together and Arevalo’s first ever appearance in a mixed doubles Grand Slam. While their way to the final has been impressive, I’m willing to bet on the more experienced team, even though they are clearly favored. Since this could end in a match tiebreak, which is always closer to a coin flip, I’m taking a chance on Krawczyk/Salisbury to win in straight sets and top off their incredible 2021 season.
Saturday's US Open Tennis Olmos/Arevalo vs. Krawczyk/Salisbury Picks
Krawczyk/Salisbury -1.5 sets @ +100
Emma Raducanu vs. Leylah Fernandez Prediction
It says a lot that I’m not too motivated to talk about all the great stories around the two youngsters Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez. Not because I’m not excited - I couldn’t be any more - but because these are flying around the world right now in every self-respecting newspaper. Safe to say both made it big-time and Canada should be happy with any outcome here as Raducanu was born in Toronto.
Both players will most likely be seeded at the Australian Open next year, should they take place as planned. That sounds nuts when you consider that Raducanu started the US Open as the #31 seed in qualifying. With that being said, the Brit has won 9 consecutive matches in New York, all of them in straight sets and she only had to go to 5-5 once - against Bolkvadze in the second round of qualifying. Looking at all these scorelines is actually insane and I’m happy I stopped opposing the red-hot 18-year-old against Bencic and Sakkari.
This is not the first time Raducanu and Fernandez meet at a Grand Slam. At the 2018 Wimbledon junior competition, Raducanu won 6-2 6-4. Now, more than three years later, the awareness has slightly shifted.
Fernandez’s path hasn’t been less impressive as she took out one top-favorite after the other in Osaka, Kerber, Svitolina and Sabalenka. While I did see some nerves in her contest with Svitolina, the Canadian has been the more composed player against both her and Sabalenka, which is quite remarkable given their disparity in experience. Now all of that can probably be thrown overboard anyway. This is a Grand Slam final and it will hit them differently even though their last few matches could already be labeled as the “biggest match” of their respective careers.
With all the epic tennis Raducanu has shown so far, I’m curious how the first few games will evolve. We have seen nervy starts against both Bencic and Rogers who just haven’t been on top of their games then. The first few games against Sakkari have been tense as well. Although I give the surface edge to Raducanu, Fernandez might be the more balanced player of the two. Her versatile game can catch Raducanu off-guard after the Brit faced some rather one-dimensional players in previous rounds. This match could go anywhere and even if a player gets a decent lead, some nerves might creep in as they have to think about the occasion at times. I’m looking for a close contest, maybe some blown leads, but first and foremost an exciting match between two brilliant youngsters who shouldn’t be here for the last time.
Saturday's US Open Tennis Emma Raducanu vs. Leylah Fernandez Picks
Over 21.5 games @ -118
Over 2.5 sets @ +140