Hello there bloggies!

Well we’ve finally made it! Tomorrow we embark upon the final Slam of the year in the big city. It’s time for the US Open!

Bright lights. Insane night sessions. Heat and humidity. And the last chance to make a big push.

Let’s take a look at the Women’s Tournament.

Now, Serena again is not playing as she prepares for the upcoming arrival of her child. Vika Azarenka also won’t be in New York as she sorts through some unfortunate custody details. But almost the rest of the WTA’s deep cast of characters will be there, looking for the trophy.

The major storyline hangs over the number one ranking. EIGHT LADIES HAVE THE CHANCE TO BE NUMBER ONE AT THE END OF THE TOURNAMENT. Those include Pliskova, Halep, Muguruza, Svitolina, Wozniacki, Konta, Kuznetsova, and Venus.

You read that correctly. EIGHT PLAYERS! And not the defending champ Kerber.

Right now, Pliskova (recently engaged too!) hold a FIVE point lead over Halep in the rankings. Those two and Wimbledon champ Muguruza control their fates the most, but this situation is bananas in the best possible way.

Now let’s take a glance at the draw and my totally wrong picks:

First Quarter

The number one seed Pliskova is not only fighting to keep her top ranking but to grab her first slam. She made the finals last year playing a tight match against Kerber. On the surface, it looks like a solid draw for her with very few real threats. There are some lurking strong Americans here with the young CiCi Bellis and Aussie Open semifinalist CoCo Vandeweghe. The highest seeds here are Aga Radwanska, Sveta Kuznetsova, and Kiki Mladenovic, but I don’t expect big runs from them.

Semifinalist: Pliskova

Quarter Two

This quarter is where Angie Kerber landed. Her seeding really shows the sulmp she’s endured this year. She got absolutely no help form the draw gods as she will face the powerful Naomi Osaka in the first round. Not hard to see that Osaka can blast Angie off the court.

Svitolina is the top seed here though and has had a great summer winning Toronto. Maddy Keys and French Open champ Ostapenko are here too. Watch out if either of them catches fire because they cannot be stopped if they do. Heads up on a old-school hipster matchup in the first round: Kanepi vs Schiavone. What up Franny and Kaia.

Semifinalist: Keys

Quarter Three

Guess who is the best favorite! That would be Wimby and Cincy champ Garbine Muguruza. Her prize? What I think is the toughest quarter in the draw. Despite this, it is hard to go against this new tough version of Muguruza.

Venus and Kvitova are lurking in the draw, though Petra has never loved playing in New York. Venus may be among the most consistent women this year, making the Aussie and Wimby finals. Wozniacki loves the US Open making her only two Slam finals here, but her draw is rough man. Possibly an in-form Makarova in the second round and then maybe Puig or Suarez-Navarro.

Semi-finalist: Muguruza

Quarter Four

Welcome to the home of the headline of the draw: Halep vs Sharapova in the first round. Yes, you have read that correctly. Maria plays Simona Monday night in the first round.

Will Maria be rusty from her time away? Will SImona be nervous chasing the number one ranking for a fourth tournament? Can Simona get her first win over Maria? Will the matchup take too much out of them for the next rounds? Soooo many storylines.

The other major player here is Jo Konta, who hasn’t player her best this summer following her emotional Wimbledon semis run. There are some definite scary dark-horses here: former semifinalist Peng plus the surging & streaking Sloane Stephens and Julia Goerges.

Semifinalist; Konta

Semis: Pliskova def Keys; Muguruza def Konta

Finals: Pliskova def Muguruza

There we have it. I’m going safe and picking the current number one to keep her ranking and get her first Slam! She plays big matches well, keeps calm, and loves the faster hard courts.

I’m really excited for the women’s tourney at the US Open. Stay tuned for my men’s preview. What are you looking for in the women’s tournament? Let me know in the comments below or on twitter @DrFsThoughts.

See you all later!

-Dr. F