Emma Radacanu’s victory at the US Open 12 months ago was one of the greatest achievements in sporting history.
Radacanu won the title without dropping a set, becoming the first qualifier (male or female) to win a grand slam in the Open Era.
This year’s tournament is poised to be another thriller, even if the champion is unlikely to be crowned in such remarkable circumstances.
Winner: Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek is the bookies’ pre-tournament favourite, despite her form being nowhere near as imperious as it was heading into Wimbledon.
Swiatek arrived at SW19 on the back of 37 successive wins, only to crash out in straight sets in the third round.
The 21-year-old’s play since then has been unspectacular, with two last-16 finishes at the Canadian Open and Cincinnati Masters.
However, Swiatek’s run earlier in the season, which included winning her first grand slam at the French Open, plus her status as the world No. 1, means she is rightfully considered favourite to lift the trophy.
Winner: Simona Halep
Simona Halep is a slight injury concern, after being forced to withdraw from Cincinnati with a thigh problem.
But if Halep’s fitness is OK, she is capable of winning her maiden US Open title.
The 30-year-old prepared for this event by triumphing at the Canadian Open, a result that returned her to the top 10 of the world rankings.
Halep, a two-time grand slam winner having triumphed at the French Open and Wimbledon in 2019, is a solid bet to make it three in New York.
Winner: Emma Radacanu
It is probably no surprise that Emma Radacanu has struggled in the aftermath of her life-changing victory at the US Open 12 months ago.
Radacanu has displayed some good form in the lead up to defending her title, beating fellow major winners Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams in Cincinnati.
But the prospect of the 19-year-old getting anywhere close to the latter stages of the event seems unlikely, especially as she has been handed a tough start against France’s Alize Cornet, ranked 37th in the word, in the first round.
Winner: Serena Williams
Winning her 24th grand slam to go level with Margaret Court in her final event would be the ultimate way for Serena Williams to end her tennis career.
If anyone can pull it off, it is Serena, but it is unlikely to happen.
Williams, a seven-time US Open champion, has neither the form nor fitness to expect to seriously challenge at Flushing Meadows this time around.
The 40-year-old’s status as arguably the greatest player of all time should offer some comfort, however.
All odds are subject to change