US Open Tennis 2020 Draw: Breaking Down TV Schedule and Brackets

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2020

Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, reacts to winning his match with Milos Raonic, of Canada, during the finals of the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic halted play in March, a Grand Slam tournament will be played in the form of the U.S. Open over the next two weeks.

The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York, will play host to the event with no fans in attendance.

A lack of fans will make the 2020 U.S. Open perhaps the most unique tournament in the event's history, as could the fact that so many marquee players are missing from both the men's and women's draws.

On the men's side, there will be no Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer because of coronavirus concerns and injury, respectively. That means world No. 1 Novak Djokovic will be massive favorite to win it all.

Reigning women's champion Bianca Andreescu is out because of coronavirus concerns as well. Other key women's players to withdraw include Simona Halep, Belinda Bencic, Jelena Ostapenko and Elina Svitolina.

Those absences could open the door for an American woman such as Sofia Kenin, Serena Williams, Madison Keys or Sloane Stephens to win the U.S. Open on home soil.

Here is a full listing of television dates and times for the U.S. Open, as well as a breakdown of the men's and women's draws.


U.S. Open TV Schedule

Aug. 31: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN+)

Sept. 1: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN+)

Sept. 2: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN+)

Sept. 3: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN+)

Sept. 4: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN+)

Sept. 5: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. (ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN+)

Sept. 6: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN+)

Sept. 7: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. (ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN+)

Sept. 8: Noon - 11 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN3)

Sept. 9: Noon - 11 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3)

Sept. 10: Women's semifinals (7 p.m. - 11 p.m., ESPN and ESPN2)

Sept. 11: Men's semifinals (4 p.m. - 11 p.m., ESPN and ESPN2)

Sept. 12: Women's final (4 p.m. - 7 p.m., ESPN)

Sept. 13: Men's final (4 p.m. - 7 p.m., ESPN)

All times ET



US Open Tennis @usopen

PSA: The draw is here. https://t.co/ZGQ27qzv6S

The main talking point entering nearly every men's Grand Slam in recent years has been which of the Big Three consisting of Djokovic, Nadal and Federer would emerge victorious.

With both Nadal and Federer out, the pressure is firmly on Djoker's shoulders, but he has shown over the years that he is capable of handling it, as evidenced by his three career U.S. Open titles.

Djokovic enters the Open on a hot streak, having gone a perfect 23-0 this season, which includes winning the Western & Southern Open last week:

US Open Tennis @usopen

🔷 First player to win all 9 Masters 1000 tournaments twice 🔷 Ties Nadal for most ATP Masters 1000 titles with 35 🔷 Second @CincyTennis 🏆 🔷 80th career singles title 🔷 23-0 in 2020 Just another day for one of the greatest to ever do it. https://t.co/MdFzx2JTnX

Nole did show some strain during his most recent tournament, though, as he needed three sets to beat Roberto Bautista Agut and Milos Raonic in the semifinals and final, respectively. He also had his neck looked at twice during the Bautista Agut match.

Even so, the fact that he was able to battle through adversity and win in New York bodes well for his chances of doing it again in the U.S. Open.

As seen in the projected quarterfinals in the men's bracket, Djokovic will likely have to deal with some much younger and less experienced opponents:

US Open Tennis @usopen

Projected #USOpen QFs: Men's Singles 1️⃣ 🇷🇸 Novak Djokovic vs 7️⃣ 🇧🇪 David Goffin 4️⃣ 🇬🇷 Stefanos Tsitsipas vs 5️⃣ 🇩🇪 Alexander Zverev 3️⃣ 🇷🇺 Daniil Medvedev vs 6️⃣ 🇮🇹 Matteo Berrettini 2️⃣ 🇦🇹 Dominic Thiem vs 8️⃣ 🇪🇸 Roberto Bautista Agut

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem are all remarkable talents and may be the future of men's tennis, but none of them have broken through with a men's title yet.

They are threats to Djokovic regardless, as are Bautista Agut and Raonic since they both played Djoker tough in the Western & Southern Open and have big serves tailored to hard courts.

Another name to keep an eye on is Marin Cilic, who is the only player in the men's draw to have won a U.S. Open in the past six years other than Djokovic.

Cilic is only the No. 31 seed, but he has a history of success in the U.S. Open and is lining up to face second-seeded Thiem in the third round, which could mean an early exit for Thiem if Cilic is on his game.

One-time U.S. Open champ Andy Murray is in the field as well after years of injury rehab. It is tough to envision him being much of a factor, but he is in the same quarter as Cilic and Thiem, which makes for an intriguing section of the draw.


US Open Tennis @usopen


While Djokovic is the clear player to beat in the men's draw, the women's draw is tough to predict at yet another Grand Slam tournament.

Each of the past five women's Grand Slam tournaments have yielded different winners, and it won't be at all surprising if that trend continues in New York.

Of the top eight seeds in the tournament, half of them have never won a Grand Slam:

US Open Tennis @usopen

Projected #USOpen QFs: Women's Singles 1️⃣ 🇨🇿 Karolina Pliskova vs 8️⃣ 🇭🇷 Petra Martic 4️⃣ 🇯🇵 Naomi Osaka vs 6️⃣ 🇨🇿 Petra Kvitova 3️⃣ 🇺🇸 Serena Williams vs 7️⃣ 🇺🇸 Madison Keys 2️⃣ 🇺🇸 Sofia Kenin vs 5️⃣ 🇧🇾 Aryna Sabalenka

Three of those top eight seeds are Americans in Kenin, Serena and Keys, and if one of them wins, it will make five American champions out of the past nine U.S. Opens.

Williams, who has not won a Grand Slam title since the 2017 Australian Open, has a tough draw that could result in her facing three Americans en route to the final:

USTA @usta

Road to the @usopen 🏆 Many potential all-🇺🇸 match-ups along the way for Serena! https://t.co/V9xmoubjMU

Serena has reached four Grand Slam finals since her last title, and whether the No. 5 seed is able to return to the U.S. Open final and win her 24th career Grand Slam title will be the most-talked-about storyline in NYC.

The possibility of Kenin winning her second consecutive Grand Slam title will also be a major talking point after she surprisingly won the Australian Open earlier this year. That helped her earn the No. 2 seed, which is her highest seeding ever in a Grand Slam tournament.

Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova are both highly seeded, multitime Grand Slam champions who will be tough outs on the hard court, as is top-seeded Karolina Pliskova, who is still in search of her first Grand Slam title.

A fitting piece of news given the unpredictability of the tournament is the fact that an unseeded player could be the biggest threat to win.

Victoria Azarenka is fresh off winning the Western & Southern Open after Osaka withdrew from the final because of injury, and she has momentum on her side for the first time in years.

Azarenka hasn't won a Grand Slam title since the 2013 Australian Open, but she has two of them to her credit and is a major threat on hard courts.

A second-round matchup with fellow Belarus native Aryna Sabalenka, who is seeded fifth, is very likely, and could mark the first elimination of a top-five seed in either draw.

Given the lack of a clear favorite, the U.S. Open could be the perfect tournament for someone like Azarenka to emerge and get back to the top of the sport.