Three-time champion Novak Djokovic will lead this year’s US Open playing field, featuring younger ATP Tour stars Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev, who will be eying an opportunity to make their Grand Slam breakthroughs.
Djokovic, who won the US Open in 2011, ’15 and ’18, will be attempting to win an 18th Grand Slam title. The Serb was on an unbeaten 18-match winning streak to start 2020 before the ATP Tour was suspended due to COVID-19 in March. That run included his eighth title at the Australian Open and him steering Serbia to victory in the inaugural ATP Cup.
Younger ATP Tour stars will look to snap the ‘Big Three’ stranglehold at the majors, with Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer combining to win the past 13 Grand Slam titles. Nadal has announced that he will not travel to the United States in 2020 and Federer is sidelined from this year’s US Open as he recovers from knee surgery.
Thiem is a three-time Grand Slam finalist, having fallen to Djokovic in this year’s Australian Open championship match and to Nadal in the 2018-19 Roland Garros finals. Medvedev reached his first and only Grand Slam final last year in New York, when he pushed Nadal to five sets.
Tsitsipas, the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion, reached the 2019 Australian Open semi-finals after beating Federer in the fourth round. Zverev, a winner of three ATP Masters 1000 titles, achieved his best Grand Slam result earlier this year at the Australian Open, where he reached the semi-finals (l. Thiem).
Also in the US Open field is Italy’s Matteo Berrettini, who reached the semi-finals last year (l. Nadal). World No. 10 David Goffin will also be at Flushing Meadows, as will 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic.
Explaining why he would not be at Flushing Meadows for both the Western & Southern Open and the US Open, Nadal wrote on Instagram, “After many thoughts I have decided not to play this year’s US Open. The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it…
“All my respects to the USTA, the US Open organisers and the ATP for trying to put the event together for the players and the fans around the world through TV.
“This is a decision I never wanted to take but I have decided to follow my heart this time and for the time being I’d rather not travel.
Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Alex de Minaur and Jannik Sinner lead the group of #NextGenATP stars in New York. Shapovalov’s best result at Flushing Meadows came on his debut in 2017, when he beat Medvedev and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga en route to the Round of 16. De Minaur matched the Canadian’s run last year, beating Kei Nishikori in the third round.
The Western & Southern Open will be played at Flushing Meadows 22-28 August, followed by the US Open, which begins 31 August. Both tournaments will be played without fans in attendance.