Predicting US Open finals with Grand Slam history

We’re just a few weeks away from another Grand Slam event. The grass courts of Wimbledon are already busy with qualifying matches and top players from around the world are filling up the practice courts. What can we expect at Wimbledon and what could this mean for the US Open later this summer?

The 2014 tennis season started off quite unpredictably with Stan Wawrinka and Li Na leaving Australia with their first Australian Open titles. Not terribly surprising that either play can compete at a high level – Li Na with a Roland Garros title to her name and Stan Wawrinka with some high-level tennis against the big four – but these weren’t the victories we were all expecting. Neither Serena Williams nor Rafael Nadal, both world number one’s at the time, walked away with the title.

The season started to find it’s predictable footing around May when it was Djokovic and Serena walking off with major titles before the clay swing began. On the women’s side, Maria Sharapova, the reigning clay-court specialist, fulfilled expectations with a very strong clay swing, culminating in her second title on the courts of Roland Garros. On the men’s side, it looked like Nadal’s invincibility on clay may be in jeopardy, but order was restored when he won his 9th Roland Garros title.

Heading to London, it’s safe to expect strong performances from the top 4 on the men’s side. I’d even go so far as to say that this could be the best chance that Roger Federer has at winning another major: Nadal fatigued from the clay swing, Murray rebounding from his back surgery last fall and Djoker not at 100% and not playing on his strongest surface. As far as the women’s tour goes, the last time Serena Williams lost early at Roland Garros, she went on to win Wimbledon. Considering she hasn’t had nearly as strong of a season as she did last year, she’ll be fighting harder than ever for that title.

Wimbledon will, per usual, prove to be an exciting fortnight. But what does that mean for the US Open? For a lot of people, attending the US Open finals is a lifelong dream. Many will look to Wimbledon to see if their favorite players could even have a good run at the US Open. So, in order to see how much previous slam performances predict US Open finalists, I pulled the finalists from the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon for the past 10 years (2013-2004) to see how those performances translated to US Open Success.


Number of times a Winner or finalist has gone on to make the USO finals in the same season.

As with all sports, statistics and predictions are fun, but obviously anything can happen. That said, If you’re looking to attend the men’s final, it’s a fairly safe bet that success at Wimbledon can translate to success in the US Open – more so than any other slam. That said, that’s mostly because of Roger Federer’s dominance from years back. If you’re looking to attend the Women’s final, I’m not sure you want to your favorite player make the finals, with only 4 players advancing to both Wimbledon and US Open finals In the past 10 years.

Interesting stat: Even with the dominance of the top 4 on the men’s side of things, only once in the past 10 years have the finalists of Wimbledon been the same finalists of the US Open just a few months later. Both times, Novak Djokovic came out on top of Rafa Nadal.

No matter what, getting tickets to the US Open final is a bucket-list event that you’re sure to enjoy whether your favorite player makes it or not.




Brian Stacey is a longtime tennis fan, often tweeting his thoughts over at @Roddickulous. He still believes that Andy Roddick will win a Wimbledon title and has eternal optimism about US Men's tennis.