Coco Gauff US Open 2022

US Open: Eight top American WTA contenders in the post-Serena era

For more than two decades Serena Williams offered the best hope of home-grown success at the US Open, and her legend will live forever. 

The upcoming 2023 US Open will be the first since Serena retired, but American women’s tennis continues to flourish.

This year will see an eclectic cast of established names, exciting newcomers and maturing talents that are ready to battle to produce a first homegrown winner since 2017.

So, in the post-Serena era, we look at the main American contenders in the women’s singles

Jessica Pegula

Age: 29
Best US Open: Quarter-final (2022)

Jessica Pegula has become one of those players you find yourself rooting for without even realising it. She’s something of a late-bloomer, and when that is the case you know they have put in the work, and that is always endearing.

Frustratingly, she has become a perennial quarterfinalist in Majors. Six times she has reached that stage of a Grand Slam and six times she has lost. Her record firmly suggests that hard is her favourite surface though, so she will be confident of going further at the US Open.

Coco Gauff

Age: 19
Best US Open: Quarter-final (2022)

Coco Gauff French Open 2022

There are several things that surprise you about Coco Gauff. Considering how long it feels she has been around, the fact the is still a teenager is remarkable. It’s also surprising, albeit less so, that she has never been past the quarter-finals of the US Open singles.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Coco Gauff, though, is that going by win-percentage, hardcourts are her weakest surface. That is something she will be looking to put right, and no better place to do it than New York.

Madison Keys

Age: 28
Best US Open: Final (2017)


You sometimes look at Madison Keys and wonder what might have been. She has always appeared to have all the tools a player needs to be a dominant force in the WTA, but for whatever reason she has struggled to piece them all together often enough.

If she is going to put a run together, though, it usually feels like it’s going to happen at the US Open. She is a former finalist and semi-finalist in New York, and three of her seven career titles have come on hardcourts too, so there will be quiet confidence of a deep run this year.

Bernarda Pera

Age: 28
Best US Open: Second Round (2018,2020)

It would be fair to say that Bernarda Pera is still probably waiting make a significant impact on the WTA Tour, but she is certainly threatening a big breakthrough right now. She only has two career titles to her name but both came relatively recently in 2022. Her ranking is trending upwards too and hit a career high 23 in June this year.

The next barrier for Pera is figuring out how to make an impression at Majors. She has only been past the second round three times in her entire career, and never beyond the fourth. Her hardcourt record is essentially 50/50 as well, so it would be a big surprise to see that prove enough to influence much at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center this year.

Sloane Stephens

Age: 30
Best US Open: Winner (2017)

Sloane Stephens Miami Open 2022

Sloane Stephens is still the last American women to win the US Open, so she needs no real introduction. Her victory in 2017, which saw her beat Madison Keys in the final, saw her become just the second unseeded women to win the tournament.

Her career has stagnated since then, though, and she hasn’t hit the highs that many expected. Surprisingly, Stephens hasn’t been past the third round of a hardcourt Major since the 2019 US Open, and there is little in recent form to suggest she will this time either. You just never know with Sloane Stephens, though…

Alycia Parks

Age: 22
Best US Open: First Round (2021)

Alycia Parks is one of the brightest up-and-coming talents in American women’s tennis, and she has been able to keep her ranking on a consistent upward trajectory for a couple of years now. That has seen her already crack the top 50 and she will be hopeful a good US Open this year run will push her to even greater heights.

She has also won a hardcourt title this year at Lyon, and she’s a player all of the top seeds will be hoping to avoid in the first round for sure.

Danielle Collins

Age: 29
Best US Open: Fourth Round (2022)

Danielle Collins - Australian Open final defeat to Ashleigh Barty

Danielle Collins has always struggled to assert herself at the US Open before, but she reached a hardcourt Grand Slam final in Australia last year to prove she is a danger to anyone in the New York draw.

Collins’ record is surprisingly sparse when it comes to titles. She has just two of them in her career, one on hard and one on clay. However, Iga Swiatek insists there isn’t a player on the WTA Tour who hits the ball harder than Danielle Collins, and that is noteworthy praise indeed.

Sofia Kenin

Age: 24
Best US Open: Fourth Round (2020)

Sofia Kenin is actually the last American women to win a Grand Slam, although her success at the 2020 French Open feels like a very long time ago now. In fact, she has not been past the fourth round at a Major since, and she finished 2022 ranked 235th in the world.

She has bounced back a little since then and is back in the top 100, but she still looks a long way short of her former self. However, hardcourt is statistically her best surface and accounts for more than half of her seven career titles, so don’t rule her out entirely.

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.