US Open Tennis 2021 Draw: Date, Time, Live-Stream Info and MoreAugust 25, 2021
The buildup to the U.S. Open is more about which players will not participate in New York than the ones vying for the final Grand Slam titles of the tennis season.
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are out of the tournament for the second straight year because of injuries, while reigning champion Dominic Thiem withdrew with an injury as well.
That leaves a clear path for Novak Djokovic to capture the season-long Grand Slam with another win over one of the young stars in the men's game.
Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev come into New York off recent tournament victories, but the duo and Stefanos Tsitsipas need to take their respective games to another level to handle Djokovic in a Grand Slam match.
Over on the women's side, Serena Williams' quest for a 24th major title has been put on hold because of the same hamstring injury that forced her out of Wimbledon.
Even if Williams was in the field, Ashleigh Barty would be viewed as the favorite because of the run she has been on this season. The women's No. 1 seed won Wimbledon and is 14-1 against top 20 players this season.
The draw for the singles brackets will be revealed on Friday. The results can be found on USOpen.org.
The men's singles draw is all about Djokovic.
Until one of the young guns proves they can beat the 20-time Grand Slam winner, the Serb has to be viewed as the favorite to triumph in New York.
Djokovic is a three-time U.S. Open winner, and he was on his way to capturing a fourth title before he was disqualified in the fourth round last year.
Even if Nadal and Federer were playing in New York, Djokovic would be viewed as the unquestioned favorite because of his season-long dominance.
Djokovic will face one of Medvedev, Zverev or Tsitsipas before the final. Tsitsipas might be the most dangerous foe of the three because he pushed Djokovic to five sets in the French Open final.
However, Tsitsipas is not in the best form of the trio. Medvedev captured a hard-court title in Canada, while Zverev earned the Olympic gold medal and the Cincinnati crown.
If Medvedev and Zverev were drawn on the same side of the bracket, that could produce the men's match of the tournament in the semifinal round.
It is hard to identify any contenders outside of the top four because they have played so well during the Grand Slam season.
Andrey Rublev advanced past Medvedev in Cincinnati, but he then fell flat in a straight-sets loss to Zverev.
Barring one of the biggest upsets of the season, one of the top four seeds will win the U.S. Open, with Djokovic the most likely champion from the group.
The women's singles draws at Grand Slam tournaments have been far more wide open and entertaining than the predictable men's singles competitions lately.
However, the unpredictability could be placed to the side by Barty, who has controlled the WTA Tour circuit since her return at the start of the 2021 season.
Barty owns a fantastic 14-1 record against top 20 players and is beaming with confidence after winning at Wimbledon.
The Australian won her fifth title of the season on Sunday in Cincinnati in a dominant straight-sets victory over Jil Teichmann.
Barty has not advanced past the fourth round in singles play at the U.S. Open, and that could serve as extra motivation for her success in New York.
Two-time U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka is Barty's main challenger. If the two face off at some point in the draw, it would be viewed as the marquee matchup of the women's bracket. That could potentially become the match of the tournament.
Aryna Sabalenka's play at Grand Slams has gotten better over the last year, but the No. 2 seed has not reached a final yet, which is one of the many reasons why the third-seeded Osaka is Barty's main competition.
Barty's high level of play and Osaka's previous success in New York could hold off the prospect of an unlikely champion, like we saw at the last two French Opens with Barbora Krejcikova and Iga Swiatek.