Monday night's U.S. Open action will see Novak Djokovic take on Damir Dzumhur, followed by Naomi Osaka's clash with fellow Japanese tennis player Misaki Doi. Both matches will take place at Arthur Ashe Stadium, with Djokovic set to take the court around 7 p.m. ET. Osaka-Doi will follow on the same court.
ESPN2 will have live coverage of the prime-time action at Flushing Meadows, New York, beginning at 6 p.m. ET. The full draw for Monday can be found here.
Monday Night Draw
Arthur Ashe Stadium, 7 p.m. ET
No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. Damir Dzumhur
No. 4 Naomi Osaka vs. Misaki Doi
This is going to be a very unusual U.S. Open. It's the first Grand Slam to be played amid the coronavirus pandemic. The last Slam was the Australian Open, which was held back in January. Wimbledon was canceled this year, with no new date set. The French Open, which typically begins in late May, is now scheduled for late September.
There will be no fans to offer support to players. The tournament has strict COVID-19 protocols and has limited the amount of doubles matches, including doing away with mixed doubles entirely, per CNN.com's Ravi Ubha. Changes had to be made to help ensure that at least some tennis will go on.
Of the two prime-time matches, Osaka-Doi is likely to be the more interesting one. Osaka was forced to pull out of the Western & Southern Open final against Victoria Azarenka with a hamstring injury. If she's still hobbled Monday night, it could allow Doi to become a surprise entrant in the second round. Osaka acknowledged the challenges she faces starting a new tournament with an injury.
"I'm a bit stressed, but at the same time I feel like I have to keep forcing into my brain that I made the choice to come here, so I shouldn't be stressed about it and I should just be happy to be playing in the first place," she said Saturday, per The Guardian's Tumaini Carayol.
Osaka's injury capped a week she described as "emotional", per Carayol. On Wednesday, Osaka pulled out of her semifinal match with Elise Mertens in order to protest racial injustice and the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Her protest led to the Western & Southern Open canceling all matches Thursday before resuming play Friday.
As for Doi, this is the second straight year she's starting the U.S. Open in the night draw. She'll be hoping to come away with a different result, as she was defeated in straight sets by Madison Keys last year.
With the likes of Stan Wawrinka, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal (the defending champion) absent from the men's tournament, Djokovic is in prime position to win his fourth U.S. Open title. He last won this tournament in 2018 and is heading into Monday's action in excellent form.
The 33-year-old Serbian is 23-0 this year, which includes wins at the Australian Open and most recently the Western & Southern Open, where he came back from dropping the first set to defeat Milos Raonic and win the title.
Dzumhur, a 28-year-old Bosnian ranked No. 109 on the ATP Tour, isn't expected to present Djokovic with much of a challenge Monday night.