After a spirited tournament this month at the Summer Olympics, the tennis world shifts its attention to New York with a potential dream final looming. The U.S. Open begins next week and last year’s champion could be poised to take on the gold-medal winner from the Rio Games.
Novak Djokovic took home the 2015 U.S. Open championship, winning the tournament for a second time. After going on to win the first two Grand Slams of 2016, he’s the No. 1 seed at Flushing Meadows. The Serbian star bowed out of the Olympics in the first round, losing to eventual silver medalist Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina.
While Djokovic had a disappointing run in Rio, Andy Murray took home one of Great Britain’s 27 gold medals. It's been a hot streak for the Scot, who won Wimbledon last month, and enters the U.S. Open as the No. 2 seed.
But Murray lost to Djokovic in the finals of both the Australian Open and French Open this year. Djokovic has won the head-to-head meetings against Murray on hard courts, 19-7.
The entire draw for the U.S. Open will be announced on Friday, but their respective No.1 and No.2 seeds ensure that Djokovic and Murray can’t meet until the final. Stan Wawrinka is the No.3 seed and Rafael Nadal is No.4, potentially setting up a Djokovic-Nadal semifinal match. Nadal won the championship in 2010 and 2013.
The US Open tennis draws will be made at 4.30pm (UK time) on Friday.... Flavia Pennetta and Novak Djokovic will be on hand to help
— Chris Goldsmith (@TheTennisTalker) August 23, 2016
“It hasn't really changed my opinion that Novak is the favorite, despite a few tough losses,” Roger Federer said at the launch of the Laver Cup. “He did win (the Canadian Open) in Toronto. He has a great record against Andy and is a great hard-court player.”
Federer won’t participate in the tournament since he’s out for the rest of the year with an injury. With five U.S. Open championships, he’s tied with Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors for the most titles in the Open Era. He last won the event in 2008, falling in the finals to Djokovic last year.
On the women’s side, Serena Williams is the No.1 seed and the overwhelming favorite. She had won the championship three straight times, but she was upset in last year’s semifinals. Angelique Kerber is the No.2 seed, while Garbine Muguruza and Agnieszka Radwanska are the No.3 and No.4 seeds, respectively.
The tournament starts on Monday, Aug. 28 and concludes with the men’s final on Sunday, Sept. 11. The women’s final is set for Saturday, Sept. 10.
There are also events in New York City leading up to the start of the tournament. Taste of Tennis on Thursday at the W New York Hotel in Midtown Manhattan will allow fans to meet current and former tennis stars.