The US Open is the most important tennis tournament of the year, and it’s set to be a massive event in 2021. Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming season.
The us open is the first Grand Slam of the year, and it’s an important one for many reasons. Novak Djokovic is chasing history, while Andy Murray and Naomi Osaka are playing for their first major title. Serena Williams has not played since winning Wimbledon in 2018, while Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will be looking to defend their titles.
In New York, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, and Naomi Osaka are among the most well-known players.
|Dates: August 30th through September 12th Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York|
|Coverage: Daily audio commentary on the Radio 5 Live Sports Extra/ Sport website and app, as well as selected live written comments and match reports.|
Novak Djokovic, the top seed from Serbia, will be the focus of attention as he attempts to capture a record 21st Grand Slam men’s championship at a US Open devoid of many of his other big-name competitors.
Serena Williams, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal are all injured and will miss the New York tournament, which will be the first major without all three players in the singles field since 1997.
Djokovic, 34, will be the center of attention as he tries to complete a Grand Slam calendar sweep and overtake Federer and Nadal in terms of major wins.
In the women’s singles, Australia’s world number one Ashleigh Barty is generally regarded as the player to beat, but reigning champion Naomi Osaka is looking for her third victory in four years.
Andy Murray is another big figure who will be at Flushing Meadows. The 34-year-old Briton has recovered from a minor thigh ailment that caused him to withdraw from the singles competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games last month.
On Monday, who’s going to be in the game?
Murray, the 2012 men’s singles winner, will play third-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the first round on Monday at about 19:00 BST.
Five additional Britons are competing in the singles on the first day of the event, with Dan Evans, Heather Watson, Johanna Konta, and Cameron Norrie all playing in successive sets on court 10.
At 16:00 BST, Evans will face Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro, followed by Watson’s match against Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan. After that, Konta will face Kristina Mladenovic of France, while Norrie will face Carlos Alcaraz of Spain.
Harriet Dart takes against Caroline Garcia of France on court 15 at around 18:30 BST.
On Monday, Japan’s four-time major winner Naomi Osaka, American teen prodigy Coco Gauff, and men’s second seed Daniil Medvedev will also compete.
|Arthur Ashe Stadium is the home of tennis legend Arthur Ashe.||The Louis Armstrong Stadium is located in New Orleans, Louisiana.|
|(Beginning at 17:00 BST)||(Beginning at 16:00 BST)|
|Sloane Stephens (Australia) vs. Madison Keys (USA) (US)||Garbine Muguruza vs. Donna Vekic (Cro)  (Spa)|
|Andy Murray (Great Britain) vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece)  (Gre)||Brandon Nakashima (Japan) vs. John Isner (19) (US)|
| Magda Linette (Pol) vs. Coco Gauff (US)|
|(Beginning at 00:00 BST)||(Beginning at 00:00 BST)|
|Naomi Osaka (Japan) vs. Marie Bouzkova (Cze)  (Jpn)||Nina Stojanovic (Srb) vs. Aryna Sabalenka (Czech Republic)  (Blr)|
|Daniil Medvedev (RUS) vs. Richard Gasquet (FRA)  (Rus)||Nick Kyrgios vs. Roberto Bautista Agut  (Spain) (Aus)|
There is no player bubble, but fans must provide proof of immunization.
The event will be the first Grand Slam since the coronavirus epidemic began to be open to the public in its entirety, after being closed to spectators last year. In 2020, the United States Tennis Association will have a $180 million financial shortfall due to a lack of spectators.
However, visitors to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre must provide evidence of at least one vaccine.
Players will be tested for coronavirus on a regular basis, but they will not be confined to a tournament bubble, allowing them to roam about Manhattan as they like.
According to US Open chief executive Stacey Allaster, the players’ message about how the isolation bubbles were hurting their mental health was “loud and clear.”
“It was critical for them to be able to have some flexibility,” she said.
The favorite is Djokovic, but who is best positioned to stop him?
Novak Djokovic has the record for most Grand Slam singles championships, but he still has Steffi Graf, Serena Williams, and Margaret Court to catch.
After winning the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon this year, Djokovic will be able to join an elite group with a fourth triumph at Flushing Meadows.
Only five players have ever won all four majors in the same year, with Rod Laver of Australia being the only man to do it during the Open era.
Against Tuesday, the Serb takes on Danish youngster Holger Rune, who advanced to the main draw for the first time after qualifying.
“There’s no question that Djokovic is the obvious favorite to win the event; his form in the majors has been amazing – it speaks for itself,” said Tim Henman, a former British number one.
“I think it really emphasizes what a complete player he is to play such well on hard courts, clay courts, and grass courts.”
“So, when I consider his prospects of winning all four, I believe it’s Djokovic against the field.”
|Budge, Don (1936)|
|Maureen Connolly is a well-known actress (1953)|
|Rod Laver is a professional tennis player (1962, 1969)|
|Margaret Court is a British actress (1970)|
|Graf, Steffi (1988)|
So, who has the greatest chance of stopping Djokovic?
With a win in their Tokyo 2020 semi-final last month, Germany’s Alexander Zverev ruined Djokovic’s chances of completing a ‘Golden Slam’ – winning all four majors plus the Olympic championship – before going on to win the gold medal and then winning the Cincinnati Masters last week.
Daniil Medvedev of Russia, the 2019 runner-up who has a good history on North American hard courts, and Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who lost his first major final to Djokovic at the French Open in June, are also in the mix.
Dominic Thiem, on the other hand, will not be present. With a wrist injury, Austria’s reigning champion will miss the remainder of the season.
As Osaka tries to reclaim his form, Barty is trying to solidify his supremacy.
Since September 2019, Ashleigh Barty has been the world number one.
Barty, 25, has established her position as the world number one with an all-court style that has produced five wins so far this year, and she enters the US Open as the favorite.
Wimbledon champion Barty has a tour-high 40 match victories in 2021 and a 14-1 winning record versus top-20 opponents after capturing the Cincinnati championship last week.
“In athletics, and especially in tennis, there are no guarantees,” Barty told the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).
The women’s game has always been unpredictable, and there is once again a wide open field in which a large number of players may terminate Barty’s reign of terror.
Osaka, 23, is the most well-known player in the competition, although she has only won three matches in the last three months.
The four-time Grand Slam winner has not regained consistency in her strong, aggressive style from the baseline after taking time off the circuit after disclosing her mental health problems at the French Open.
Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka is placed second, looking to build on her Wimbledon semi-final appearance, while Czech 2016 runner-up Karolina Pliskova and Canadian 2019 winner Bianca Andreescu are also among the top seeds.
In New York, Murray takes on the British challenge.
Murray, the former world number one, is the greatest British attraction, despite having a difficult first round encounter in New York against Greek third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Murray has battled back to continue his singles career after major hip surgery in January 2019, but has been plagued by a succession of minor ailments.
Despite falling out in the second round in both of the warm-up tournaments in Cincinnati and Winston-Salem, the 34-year-old, who is currently ranked 114th in the world, showed promising indications.
“My level fluctuates a lot, and there’s no real consistency,” the Scot said. “In matches, there are times when I play well and then make errors or miss returns. I’m sorry I’m doing that.
“In the world, my level is about 50 or 60. It’s annoying because I’d be a lot easier on myself if I wasn’t moving well and didn’t feel well physically.
“However, it has nothing to do with the physical side of things when I win a low proportion of second-serve points.”
Johanna Konta advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2019 US Open, but has subsequently lost four of her five Grand Slam matches.
Evans, the British men’s number one, is seeded 24th but has been off of form in recent weeks, losing his first three matches in Washington, Toronto, and Cincinnati before falling in the second round of the Winston-Salem Open this week.
After a tough year in which she continued to manage a long-standing knee problem, contracted Covid-19 to knock her out of Wimbledon, and separated with coach Dimitri Zavialoff for the second time, Konta has fallen to 47th in the global rankings.
However, she had a big win earlier this month in Montreal, defeating Ukraine’s world number five Elina Svitolina.
Watson, who pushed Barty hard before losing in straight sets in Cincinnati, and men’s 26th seed Norrie are the two British players with automatic entrance into the major singles events.
After qualifying, teen Emma Raducanu, like Katie Boulter and Dart, hopes to build on her eye-catching performance at Wimbledon, when she proclaimed her presence on the Grand Slam stage by reaching the fourth round.
The wheelchair tournament has Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid, Jordanne Whiley, and Andy Lapthorne from the United Kingdom, while the men’s doubles competition features Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury’s partnerships.
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