I picked 4 of the top 5 seeds to reach the men’s singles semifinal. That was not terribly risky, but I think chalk will fill at least 3 of the men’s semifinal slots. On the women’s side, I am far from sure how things will unfold. I think Kerber and Pliskova’s play at Wimbledon mean at least one semifinalist will come from a veteran with experience at or close to being #1 in the world. I think Barty’s Cincinnati and Wimbledon wins mean a lot. Naomi Osaka has 4 hard court major titles, and is the best hard court player in the draw if she is at or near her top form. I don’t think I have enough information to say Osaka is, but with days off between matches she could easily play her way into being the best hard court player in the draw again by the end of the first week. Swiatek and Gauff do not seem quite ready to win this title in 2021, but I could see either of them do it. In short, I am confused because there are many really good players in the draw.
Ash Barty (1) vs. Maria Sakkari (17)
Naomi Osaka (3) vs. Garbine Muguruza (9)
Muguruza had an excellent run in early 2021 and nearly beat Osaka at the Australian Open in the match of the year. Muguruza and Sakkari are capable of top flight tennis and of bad losses. Maybe in a year that is hard to predict they defy the odds. Muguruza has been #1 in the world and won majors.
Ash Barty is the pick based on form and odds even with a tough draw for reaching 7 wins in New York. Osaka is the pick based on her hard court acumen. Sakkari and Muguruza can beat or lose to anyone. I think one of these four walks away with the title. I have no idea, but if I have to pick someone, I am leaning toward Ash Barty despite a tough draw to even reach the semifinals.