Photo Credit: Getty Images Sport | Matthew Stockman
Iga Swiatek continues to build her Hall of Fame resume while Coco Gauff looks to kickstart hers.

The 2023 US Open begins on August 28th. Here are the stories to watch in the ladies’ draw.

Iga Swiatek Attempts to Defend her Title

The 2022 champ returns to defend her first US Open title.

Iga Swiatek is as steady a No. 1 player as you’ll see. How can you tell? Because every time she loses it is newsworthy. Even though the losses are a bit more frequent than in 2022, each one feels like a mini shockwave.

That’s what happens when you hold the position for a long time. As in, over 70 consecutive weeks, long. That has only ever been done by seven other women.

Yes, there are other women in the field who can trip her up. Very few can do it more than 50% of the time, though. Elena Rybakina is one of them. Rybakina currently holds a 3-1 head-to-head advantage, including all three matches played this year.

Still, Swiatek is the odds on favorite to win in the title, a sentiment we are becoming quite accustomed to.

Can Coco Gauff Win her First Major?

Coco Gauff had an interesting summer. New Balance rolled out a big ad campaign with her just before Wimbledon kicked off, and she promptly lost in the first round. Oof.

Her record since? 11-1.

That stretch brought two titles in Washington, DC and Cincinnati. She also defeated world No. 1 Iga Swiatek, who she fell to in the quarters of Roland Garros. The only loss came against her doubles partner, world No. 3, and tournament champion Jess Pegula in Montreal.

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Having a summer of hard court success like that after the painful exit at Wimbledon shows noteworthy resolve in the young competitor. That speaks well of her and the team around her, which now includes Brad Gilbert. Hard to argue that her results and his presence aren’t related. It’s good to see BG back on the sidelines, too.

Expectations are sky high for Coco in New York. Still only 19 years old, it feels like she is tour veteran. Her 2019 breakthrough at Wimbledon is a distant memory.

People have been itching to coronate her ever since, but she has to win a Grand Slam before that can happen. She’s in terrific form right now, and has as a real chance to take the US Open. To do that, all she has to do is push her recent record to 18-1.

Hometown Contenders

There are three seeded American women playing their home major this year. How will each fare?

#3 Jess Pegula

Pegula secured an important psychological win a few weeks ago in Montreal. She keeps going deep in tournaments then stalling out in the big matches. It is time for her to start winning big matches when they matter, on big stages. The scar tissue can only accumulate for so long.

#6 Coco Gauff

The 19-year-old veteran is primed to raise a big trophy. Is she ready or is it still a little too early? It is a “when, not if” scenario for Gauff. We’re just waiting to find out the “when” part.

#17 Madison Keys

Great result for Madison Keys in reaching the Wimbledon quarterfinals before bowing out to 2nd ranked Aryna Sabalenka. Coupled with a title at Eastbourne, 2023 has been a promising return to form for Keys. Late career resurgences happen a lot in tennis. This could be what we’re seeing with Keys. It’s worth noting that her lone appearance in a Grand Slam final came here in 2017.

Three Best First Round Matchups

19 Beatriz Haddad Maia vs. Sloane Stephens

22 Ekaterina Alexandrova v. Leylah Fernandez

3 Jess Pegula vs. Camila Giorgi

Dark Horse

Peyton Stearns


1 Iga Swiatek vs. 3 Jess Pegula


3 Jess Pegula