Tennis fans all around the world will be eagerly waiting the return of the US Open. On Monday that moment in time will have come around as the world’s best players descend on New York.
The event as always will be held in the Billie Jean King International Tennis Centre in Flushing Meadows.
2020 saw a new name on the majors honours board
Last year saw a new men’s champion crowned, with Dominic Thiem defeating Alexander Zverev. Thiem had to come from two sets down to win his maiden Grand Slam title. This year, Thiem won’t have the opportunity to defend his title after withdrawing from the event with a wrist injury.
For the second straight year there will be no Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Both Federer and Nadal along with Thiem ended their 2021 season due to injury.
It isn’t just the men’s event that has seen some withdrawals. Both Venus Williams and World number 5 Sofia Kenin have also pulled out of the tournament. Williams due to injury with Kenin not taking part due to testing positive for Covid 19. Venus has also just been joined by her sister Serena who has had to pull out due to injury.
Despite some star names pulling out, there will be plenty of talent on display
However despite the lack of some star names, it doesn’t mean to say that the tournament is short of glamour.
Novak Dzokovic has won all three Majors played in the year thus far. The Serb is on the cusp of completing the Calendar Grand Slam. If he is successful in the next couple of weeks he will become only the second man in history to win all four in the same year.
The great Rod Laver was the last person to complete this unique haul. Dzokovic will be looking to win his 21st Major, to jump ahead of Federer and Nadal. Dzokovic excels on hard courts and is clar favorite to make it five winning titles at Flushing Meadows.
So just who can stop Djokovic?
Standing in the way of the Serb are a host of players who should challenge. Olympic Gold medallist Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Matteo Berrettini shoul go well. Some young players to watch out for include Andrey Rublev, Denis Shapovalov and in form Casper Ruud along with Pole Hubert Hurkacz.
In the Womens event, current holder Naomi Osaka and Australian Ashleigh Barty look the pair who will dominate the tournament. Current world number 1 Barty’s return to the tour has been stunning. In 2021 she had a winning record of 38-8, winning her second major at Wimbledon. The Australian can adapt to any surface and holds a 14-1 win record against the top 20 players.
Osaka withdrew from the French Open due to media pressures, whilst also missing Wimbledon. She then lost in the second round of the Olympics. Hard courts are her favourite surface, having won all four of her majors at New York and Melbourne.
The British challenge will be led by Andy Murray who has drawn Tsitsipas in the first round. Dan Evans the British number 1 will face Thiago Monteiro of Brazil with Cameron Norrie up against Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz.
In the women’s draw, Britain’s Johanna Konta will be Kristina Mladenovic with Heather Watson up against Kaja Juvan.