2020 US Open: Tennis Champ Chris Evert Shares Her Players to Watch

Chris Evert
Alex Goodlett/Getty Images for SPG

There will be no juniors or mixed doubles matches, many international players are staying away, and the usually crowded stadiums will be empty. But the New York–based US Open — one of tennis’ most prestigious Grand Slam tournaments — is a go for August 31–September 13.

“The tennis could be great,” says ESPN commentator Chris Evert, winner of six singles trophies at the Open, “but things could change on a dime.”

Below, the analyst handicaps which players could hoist the top prizes.

How would you describe this year’s US Open?

Chris Evert: Unpredictable and challenging! No one is dominating the game in the men’s or women’s draw because nobody’s played much for six months. Players might come out fitter and relaxed — or rusty and not confident. The mental side could come into play more than the physical side.

Will the lack of live fans affect performance?

There’s no one better than vocal New York crowds to fire up American players, so they’ll have to create their own energy to get viewers engaged.

serena williams us open

(Credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

With so many top-ranked players missing, who looks good for the women’s trophy? If Serena Williams gets her 24th Grand Slam win, she could tie Margaret Court’s record.

I would never count Serena Williams out. She looks like she’s worked off-season and has a great shot, but it’s still up in the air. Naomi Osaka will make it very competitive. I don’t think Coco Gauff, at 16, can win the tournament, but I know she can upset some of those top seeds.

Since his fellow multiple Open winners Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer (coming off knee surgery) are both out, is Novak Djoko-vic a good bet? Although he’s just recovered from COVID-19…

He could be vulnerable, and younger players like Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev could step up. Felix Auger-Aliassime has also been playing well.

Final thoughts?

I think to win here during these turbulent times will be very meaningful for the players.

US Open, Monday, Aug. 31, noon/11am c, ESPN; 6/5c, ESPN2