2016 US Open champion Angelique Kerber is the underdog against American Jennifer Brady in their round-of-16 clash. (Photo by Stephanie Myles/OpenCourt.ca)
- The “second week” of the US Open begins Sunday with four round-of-16 matches from the top half of the draw.
- Jennifer Brady’s hot summer makes her the favorite over 2016 champion Angelique Kerber.
- Read below for a preview and our best bets for Sunday’s matches
No. 1 seed Karolina Pliskova was never a hot pick to come out of the top half of the US Open women’s singles draw. And after she was ousted early, 2018 champion Naomi Osaka became even more of a favorite as the tournament is down to the final 16.
Some of the other hard hitters are also out – a surprise, given the quick courts this year should reward big serves and big groundstrokes.
US Open Day 7 Women’s Singles Round of 16 Odds
|Player||Moneyline Odds at DraftKings|
| Naomi Osaka (JPN)||-200|
| Anett Kontaveit (EST)||+155|
| Petra Kvitova (CZE)||-305|
|Shelby Rogers (USA)||+235|
| Petra Martic (CRO)||-177|
| Yulia Putintseva (KAZ)||+143|
| Angelique Kerber (GER)||+165|
| Jennifer Brady (USA)||-210|
All odds taken Sept. 6th
 Angelique Kerber vs.  Jennifer Brady
Brady won her first WTA Tour title last month in Lexington, Kentucky. But the turnaround to come right into the US Open bubble and play the high-level Western & Southern Open was too quick; she lost in the first round.
A nice breather, in the end. The 25-year-old American hasn’t dropped a set in her first three matches. She hasn’t even given up more than three games in any set.
Still, her opponent Sunday is the 2016 champion, Angelique Kerber. The two are meeting for the first time.
Now reunited with former coach Torben Beltz, the 32-year-old lefty didn’t play any competitive matches coming in. She skipped the Western & Southern Open. So not much was known about her form after nearly seven months away.
Kerber has everything to play for after losing in the first round of the 2019 US Open. She can gain nice ground in the rankings and move back into the top-20 – or even the top-15 with a good run.
J…, Jennifer Brady in R3… pic.twitter.com/0rQjTRFXXO
— Margaret 🇵🇱 🎾✈️ (@GochaTom) September 2, 2020
For a champion and former No. 1, Kerber has a knack for sneaking through the early rounds incognito.
Like Brady, she also hasn’t lost a set coming in. And Kerber knows how to win big matches on big occasions. She will chase down every hard-hit shot Brady fires at her.
As well, Brady won’t have the partisan American crowd on her side to help push her on – because there’s no crowd.
Pick: Kerber (+165)
 Naomi Osaka vs.  Anett Kontaveit
Osaka is 4-0 against Kontaveit, but three of the matches were extremely competitive.
In fact, Kontaveit probably should have defeated the 22-year-old Japanese star just last week – in the same bubble, but in the warmup Western & Southern Open tournament.
Kontaveit was up a set and a break before Osaka shook off the negativity and reeled off six consecutive games.
Osaka dragged a hamstring strain over from last week’s event. But even if the wrapping keeps getting bigger, it doesn’t appear to be affecting her movement.
After dropping the first set of the tournament to Danielle Collins, Kontaveit has been roaring through the draw.
Anett Kontaveit was on 🔥 today
She defeated Linette 6-3, 6-2 and will take on Naomi Osaka in Round 4 👀#USOpenpic.twitter.com/cmJufVJ3Xh
— wta (@WTA) September 4, 2020
Kontaveit is in good form. But Osaka is a two-time Grand Slam champion.
And with all due respect to the Western & Southern Open, it was an opening act. This week, a major title is on the line even if the odds don’t suggest Osaka is a heavy favorite.
Pick: Osaka (-200)
2020 US Open Odds Tracker
Petra Kvitova vs. Shelby Rogers
If you’re going to look for an optimal opponent in the fourth round of a major, you’d sign up to meet an unseeded player outside the top 100 who has already scored a major victory just by getting into the second week of a Grand Slam tournament.
Playing on one of the biggest stadiums in tennis without fans is a whole new experience.
You know one thing we won’t ever take for granted again? The noise of a crowd.
Thank you to those cheering from afar 💪🙏#USOpen pic.twitter.com/ZE6e9QsWYd
— Petra Kvitova (@Petra_Kvitova) September 2, 2020
But Rogers has a little ace in the hole against a former Grand Slam champion.
The one time they played, Rogers won. It was a lopsided 6-0, 6-7 (3), 6-0 victory in the third round of the 2016 French Open.
It was the only time in her career, until this week, that Rogers had made the second week of a Grand Slam. And she reached the quarterfinal.
Kvitova was a little under the weather that day. But Rogers’s game matches up well on the slower clay, On a quicker hard court, not so much.
Is there symmetry there? Neither has dropped a set coming in, but Rogers hasn’t been tested as much.
The forecast is for warm temperatures, but no oppressive humidity. Which has to be a relief for Kvitova; she often struggles in the more extreme US Open conditions.
Pick: Kvitova (-305)
Stephanie gets the straight dope from the tennis insiders. On court, she has represented her country internationally. A BA in journalism led to years on the MLB beat and a decade covering tennis globally. She’s written for Postmedia, the Guardian, the New York Times and also publishes OpenCourt.ca.