US Open 2021 preview: Djokovic chases historical past, Murray & Osaka play, no Williams, Federer, Nadal

US Open 2021 preview: Djokovic chases historical past, Murray & Osaka play, no Williams, Federer, Nadal

Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Naomi OsakaAndy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are among the many greatest names enjoying in New YorkDates: 30 August-12 September Venue: Flushing Meadows, New YorkProtection: Each day radio commentaries on BBC Radio 5 Stay Sports activities Further/BBC Sport web site and app, with chosen dwell textual content commentaries and match reviews on the web site and app.

Serbian high seed Novak Djokovic would be the centre of consideration as he bids to win a historic twenty first Grand Slam males’s title at a US Open missing a slew of his fellow big-name stars.

Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are all lacking the New York occasion by means of harm – the primary main with out the three of them in a singles draw since 1997.

Djokovic, 34, would be the foremost focus as he makes an attempt to finish a uncommon calendar sweep of the Grand Slams and pull away from Federer and Nadal when it comes to main victories.

Australia’s world primary Ashleigh Barty is broadly thought-about because the participant to beat within the ladies’s singles, though defending champion Naomi Osaka is aiming to carry the title for the third time in 4 years.

One other star title who shall be at Flushing Meadows is Andy Murray. The 34-year-old Briton has overcome the minor thigh harm that pressured him pull to out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Video games singles final month.

Who’s enjoying on Monday?

Murray, the 2012 males’s singles champion, faces Greek third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas within the first spherical at about 19:00 BST on Monday.

The opening day of the match sees 5 different Britons enjoying within the singles – with Dan Evans, Heather Watson, Johanna Konta and Cameron Norrie all enjoying in consecutive matches on court docket 10.

Evans begins in opposition to Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro at 16:00 BST, adopted by Watson in opposition to Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan. Konta then faces France’s Kristina Mladenovic earlier than Norrie performs final in opposition to Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz.

About 18:30 BST, Harriet Dart takes on France’s Caroline Garcia on court docket 15.

Japan’s four-time main champion Osaka, American teenage sensation Coco Gauff and males’s second seed Daniil Medvedev are amongst these additionally enjoying on Monday.

Arthur Ashe StadiumLouis Armstrong Stadium(From 17:00 BST)(From 16:00 BST)Madison Keys (US) v Sloane Stephens (US)Donna Vekic (Cro) v Garbine Muguruza [9] (Spa)Andy Murray (GB) v Stefanos Tsitsipas [3] (Gre)John Isner [19] (US) v Brandon Nakashima (US)Magda Linette (Pol) v Coco Gauff [21] (US)(From 00:00 BST)(From 00:00 BST)Marie Bouzkova (Cze) v Naomi Osaka [3] (Jpn)Nina Stojanovic (Srb) v Aryna Sabalenka [2] (Blr)Richard Gasquet (Fra) v Daniil Medvedev [2] (Rus)Roberto Bautista Agut [18] (Spa) v Nick Kyrgios (Aus)

No participant bubble however followers should show vaccination

After being closed to followers final yr, the match would be the first Grand Slam for the reason that coronavirus pandemic began to be allowed a 100% capability all through. No spectators meant a $180m finances deficit for america Tennis Affiliation in 2020.

Followers on the Billie Jean King Nationwide Tennis Centre shall be required to point out proof of at the very least one vaccination, nonetheless.

Gamers shall be topic to common coronavirus testing however will not be required to remain in a match bubble, which means they’re free to wander round Manhattan as they need.

The message from the gamers about how the isolation bubbles have been affecting their psychological well being was “loud and clear”, US Open chief government Stacey Allaster mentioned.

“It was necessary they might have some flexibility,” she added.

Dominant Djokovic is the favorite – however who’s greatest positioned to disclaim him?

Most Grand Slam singles titles of all timeNo man has gained extra Grand Slam singles titles than Novak Djokovic – however he nonetheless has Steffi Graf, Serena Williams and Margaret Court docket to catch

After successful this yr’s Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, a fourth victory for Djokovic at Flushing Meadows will allow him to enter an unique membership.

Solely 5 gamers have beforehand gained all 4 majors in the identical yr, with Australian nice Rod Laver the one man to have achieved the feat within the Open period.

The Serb begins on Tuesday in opposition to Danish teenager Holger Rune, who got here by means of qualifying to succeed in his first Grand Slam foremost draw.

“There isn’t any doubt that Djokovic is the clear favorite to win the match, his type within the majors has been unimaginable – it speaks for itself,” former British primary Tim Henman mentioned.

“To play so effectively on arduous courts, clay courts, grass courts, I believe it actually emphasises what a whole participant he’s.

“So after I mirror on the possibilities of him finishing all 4, I believe it is Djokovic in opposition to the sector.”

Don Budge (1936)Maureen Connolly (1953)Rod Laver (1962, 1969)Margaret Court docket (1970)Steffi Graf (1988)

So, who’s greatest positioned to disclaim Djokovic?

Germany’s Alexander Zverev ended Djokovic’s hopes of a ‘Golden Slam’ – all 4 majors and the Olympic title – with victory of their Tokyo 2020 semi-final final month, happening to win the gold medal himself after which triumphing within the Cincinnati Masters final week.

Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev – the 2019 runner-up who has robust pedigree on the North American arduous courts – and Greek third seed Tsitsipas, who misplaced his maiden main last to Djokovic on the French Open in June, are additionally seeking to problem.

However there shall be no Dominic Thiem. The defending champion from Austria is out for the remainder of a season with a wrist harm.

The leading men's seeds at the US Open are Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev, Matteo Berrettini, Denis Shapovalov and Casper Ruud

Barty aiming to cement dominance as Osaka appears to rediscover type

Ashleigh Barty lifts the Cincinnati Masters trophyAshleigh Barty has been the world primary since September 2019

With an all-court sport that has yielded 5 titles up to now this yr, 25-year-old Barty has cemented her place because the world primary and goes into the US Open because the favorite.

After lifting the Cincinnati title final week, Wimbledon champion Barty has notched a tour-high of match wins (40) in 2021 and a 14-1 successful file in opposition to top-20 opponents.

“There aren’t any certainties in sport, no certainties in tennis,” Barty informed the Ladies’s Tennis Affiliation (WTA).

The ladies’s sport has been lengthy been unpredictable and there may be once more a large open discipline the place a prolonged checklist of gamers may conceivably finish Barty’s bid for dominance.

Osaka, 23, is the apparent title however comes into the match having gained solely three matches previously three months.

Since taking time without work the tour after revealing on the French Open her psychological well being struggles, the four-time Grand Slam champion has not rediscovered consistency in her highly effective, aggressive sport from the baseline.

Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka is seeded second as she appears to enhance on her run to the Wimbledon semi-finals, whereas Czech 2016 runner-up Karolina Pliskova and Canada’s 2019 champion Bianca Andreescu are additionally among the many high seeds.

The leading women's seeds at the US Open are Ashleigh Barty, Aryna Sabalenka, Naomi Osaka, Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina, Bianca Andreescu, Iga Swiatek and Barbora Krejcikova

Murray fronts British problem in New York

Former world primary Murray is the largest draw from a British perspective, though he has been landed a tricky opening match in opposition to Greek third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in New York.

After main hip surgical procedure in January 2019, Murray has fought again to renew his singles profession however has been besieged by a collection of niggling accidents.

The 34-year-old, now ranked 114th on the earth, confirmed encouraging indicators within the warm-up occasions in Cincinnati and Winston-Salem regardless of going out within the second spherical at each.

“My stage is up and down with no actual consistency,” the Scot mentioned. “There are moments in matches the place I play effectively after which I make errors or miss returns. I want I wasn’t doing that.

“My stage is round 50 or 60 on the earth. It is irritating as a result of if I wasn’t shifting nice and never feeling good bodily then I might be a bit simpler on myself.

“However after I’m successful a low share of second-serve factors, that is bought nothing to do with the bodily facet of issues.”

Johanna KontaJohanna Konta reached the 2019 US Open quarter-finals, however has misplaced 4 of her 5 Grand Slam matches since

British males’s primary Evans, 31, is seeded twenty fourth however has struggled for type in current weeks, shedding his opening matches in Washington, Toronto and Cincinnati earlier than going out within the Winston-Salem Open second spherical this week.

Konta, Britain’s main ladies’s participant, has dropped to forty seventh on the earth rankings after a tough yr through which she has continued to handle a long-standing knee harm, contracted Covid-19 to rule her out of Wimbledon and cut up with coach Dimitri Zavialoff for a second time.

There was an enormous optimistic earlier this month, although, when she beat Ukraine’s world quantity 5 Elina Svitolina in Montreal.

Watson – who impressively pushed Barty earlier than succumbing to a straight-set defeat in Cincinnati – and males’s twenty sixth seed Norrie are the opposite Britons with computerized entry into the principle singles attracts.

Teenager Emma Raducanu is aiming to comply with her eye-catching run at Wimbledon – the place she introduced her arrival on the Grand Slam stage by reaching the fourth spherical – after coming by means of qualifying, as did Katie Boulter and Dart.

Britain’s Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid, Jordanne Whiley and Andy Lapthorne are amongst these competing within the wheelchair competitors, whereas Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury’s pairings are those to look at within the males’s doubles.

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