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Djokovic, who is chasing a historic Calendar Slam, has been given quite a tricky draw. The World No. 1 will open his campaign against a qualifier, but will likely face big-hitting German Jan-Lennard Struff in the second round.
World number one Novak Djokovic continues his quest for two unique records, i.e to be complete the calendar slam and break the three-way tie he is in right now for 20 titles with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
It has been a phenomenal year for the Serb, who won the Aussie Open (defeating Medvedev), French Open (defeating Tsitsipas) and Wimbledon (defeating Berrettini) and in turn set himself up for a shot at the Golden Grand Slam in an Olympic year.
While he lost to eventual gold medalist Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympics , he has talked about being even more motivated this fortnight to scalp the calendar slam.
The Serb started his campaign against Grand Slam debutante and 18-year-old Holger Rune from Denmark and it looked like a clinical Djokovic match as he clinched the opener 6-1.
The teenager broke early in the second and although the world number one broke back immediately, the set headed for a tiebreak which was won 7-5 by Rune.
There was no looking back for Djokovic after that as he came out all guns blazing in the third, and aided by a Rune leg injury, closed the next two matches dropping only three games and booking a spot in the second round, continuing his quest for more greatness.
While Struff can be dangerous on his day, Djokovic has the game to handle the German and should not have much trouble advancing to the third round.
The three-time US Open champion is then slated to face either Kei Nishikori or David Goffin. While Nishikori beat Djokovic at this tournament in epic fashion in 2014, he has been a non-factor against the Serb since then.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will continue his quest for the Calendar Slam when he takes on Tallon Griekspoor in the second round of the 2021 US Open on Thursday.
Djokovic beat Danish teenager Holger Rune 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-1 in the first round on Tuesday. The top seed was in complete control in the first set but Rune raised his level in the second to race to a 3-0 lead. Djokovic fought back to draw level but lost the set in a tiebreak.
Goffin, meanwhile, is on a five-match losing streak and might have a tough task getting past Citi Open finalist Mackenzie McDonald in the first round.
To reach the last eight, Djokovic will likely have to beat his Belgrade conqueror Aslan Karatsev. Karatsev has been on a tear this year, rising from the Challenger circuit to the Top 25 of the ATP rankings. But he has lost his last three matches.
Overall, the Serb struck 55 winners, but the seven double faults he coughed up will undoubtedly be a cause for concern.
Tallon Griekspoor, meanwhile, came from two sets to one down to oust Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round. Griekspoor won 2-6, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 to register his first-ever main-draw victory at a Major.
Griekspoor, ranked 125 in the world, went toe-to-toe with the big-hitting Struff throughout the encounter and hammered 58 winners past the German, 30 of which were aces. He was also aided by the fact that the German squandered 15 break point opportunities.
Rising American Jenson Brooksby is also expected to cause some fireworks. He may even reach the second week considering Karatsev and Alex De Minaur's recent form.
On the other side of this quarter, Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini, bidding to reach a third consecutive Major quarter-final, will take on veteran Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in the opening round.
Berrettini has a dangerous path, with the likes of Corentin Moutet, and either Fabio Fognini or Vasek Pospisil standing between the Italian and a spot in the second week. But Berrettini is proving to be one of the most consistent players at Slams and should be able to manage his draw well.
Berrettini will likely face 10th seed Hubert Hurkacz in the quarterfinals. Hurkacz won the Miami Open earlier this year, proving he is no slouch on hardcourts. Considering Berrettini's lack of match practice heading into the US Open, Hurkacz might just come away with the win and set up a quarterfinal clash with Djokovic.
Alexander Zverev is in the middle of a purple patch at the moment. The German appears to have solved his double-fault problems of the previous two years.
Alexander Zverev powered 18 aces past Sam Querrey on Tuesday and played some brilliant first-strike tennis, winning 90% of his first-serve points. He made just 15 unforced errors while striking 40 winners, which reinforces just how clean he was with his game.
If Zverev can keep serving this well and also keep his errors in check, Albert Ramos-Vinolas isn't likely to stand much of a chance.
The Spaniard is known for his counterpunching style of play where he grinds down his opponents by engaging them in long baseline rallies. But Zverev has been playing nearly flawless attacking tennis of of late, and he will look to use his big groundstrokes to prevent Ramos-Vinolas from getting into his groove.
Zverev has entered the final Major of the season in a rich vein of form. The German won the Tokyo Olympics and the Cincinnati Masters back-to-back last month, heading to New York on an 11-match winning streak.
The 2020 US Open runner-up would be hoping to go one better at Flushing Meadows this time around. He started his campaign on Tuesday with a 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 first-round win over big-serving American Sam Querrey.
Fourth seed Alexander Zverev takes on World No. 48 Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the second round of the 2021 US Open on Thursday.
Albert Ramos-Vinolas, on the other hand, began his 2021 season on a strong note. He won the title in Estoril and reached the final in Cordoba, while also registering semifinal appearances in Marbella and Buenos Aires.
However, the Spanish southpaw seems to have lost his touch over the past few weeks. He has managed to cross the Round of 16 only once in his last 12 tournaments.
The off-court allegations against Zverev don't seem to be weighing on his mind and he is playing at a high level. The German won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, beating Novak Djokovic en route, and backed it up by triumphing at the Cincinnati Masters.
The fourth seed will open his campaign against big-serving American Sam Querrey. Zverev could face another big-server in the shape of the exciting Alexander Bublik in the third round.
Adrian Mannarino, on the other hand, doesn't play as big as Tsitsipas but is capable of manipulating the pace of baseline exchanges with his flat forehand. The veteran also possesses finesse and a well-disguised drop shot, which will be key in moving his 6'4 opponent around the court.
Tsitsipas' fortunes often depend on his return of serve, which has been known to be fragile in crucial moments of a match. But the 23-year-old returned with immense resolve against Murray, winning 30% of his first return points.
If Tsitsipas maintains the same winning rate on his return against Mannarino, he's most likely to get through without much trouble.
Should the seeds hold up, Zverev and Jannik Sinner, the two torchbearers of ATP's NextGen, could lock horns in a blockbuster fourth-round clash.
The other section in this quarter is a free-for-all. Denis Shapovalov has lost his last four matches and comes into the US Open in dismal form. But the Wimbledon semifinalist has made a habit of failing at smaller tournaments, but raising his level in the Slams.
Dutch Tallon Griekspoor has been on the tour since 2017, and held a 5-12 record on the ATP tour coming into the US Open. Two of these wins have come against Stan Wawrinka and Karen Khachanov, at his home tourney, i.e the ATP 500 at Rotterdam.
His only major appearances thus far have been the 2020 Australian Open and Wimbledon earlier this year failing to get past the opener in either.
Griekspoor has not met with much success this year except a few opening round wins at Montpellier, Acapulco and Barcelona and hopes the remainder of the season brings better results for him.
Facing Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany in the opener here, one did not give the Dutchman much of a chance, but Griekspoor came back from being down two sets to one to close the match in a five-set battle, in turn winning his first ever match at a major.
The Canadian could face Olympic silver medalist Karen Khachanov in the third round if the Russian can come through his first two encounters, which includes a clash with the in-form Lloyd Harris.
Elsewhere, Pablo Carreno Busta, who has been riding a wave of confidence since the Olympics, is expected to cause all sorts of problems. The Spaniard will likely have to find a way past home favorites Sebastian Korda and Reilly Opelka if he is to set up a clash with either Shapovalov or Khachanov.
Fifth seed Andrey Rublev produced a solid display against Ivo Karlovic in his opening match at the 2021 US Open, winning 6-3, 7-6(3), 6-3. Rublev didn't lose his serve even once during the encounter, saving all four break points he faced.
I was the only one at the Olympics roundtable not to predict Novak Djokovic to win Gold in Tokyo mainly because of the pressure from what he was trying to achieve and for the same reason I don’t expect him to be victorious in New York either. If this was an ordinary US Open for him, I think Djokovic could win this event with his C-game, like he famously did in the long but low-quality 2019 Wimbledon final against rival Roger Federer.
However, this isn’t just any US Open for Djokovic. He is trying to accomplish something which hasn’t been achieved by any man since Rod Laver 1969: the Calendar Grand Slam (winning all four Grand Slams in one calendar year). In addition, he is trying to win a men’s record 21st Grand Slam singles title. When Serena Williams on the WTA Tour had the chance to achieve the Calendar Grand Slam in 2015 (and tie Steffi Graf on 22 Grand Slam singles titles), she eventually crumbled under the media pressure in a semifinal loss to Roberta Vinci which was amongst the biggest upset in tennis history.
The Russian has had some strong results at the US Open, reaching the quarterfinals twice in the last four editions. In fact, this is the only Slam where he's made the last eight on multiple occasions.
Rublev came into the tournament on the back of an impressive performance in Cincinnati, where he reached the second Masters 1000 final of his career. Both of those finals have come in 2021 - a testament to the 23-year-old's consistency and growth this season.
Stefanos Tsitsipas shockingly lost the plot while leading by a double break in the Cincinnati semifinals against Alexander Zverev. But despite that, the North American swing has been a success for the Greek thus far.
With so many former US Open champions across both singles draws out with injury (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Juan Martin del Potro, Stan Wawrinka, Serena Williams and Venus Williams), an even larger percentage of the tennis media will be covering Djokovic and his tournament and quest for even more history. Whilst Djokovic is stronger mentally than Serena (over the past decade), I still think the pressure of the occasion will be too much for the Serbian just like it was at the Olympics.
The question is who will win the US Open instead and after his impressive performances in the Masters events after the Olympics (winning in Toronto and reaching the semi-finals in Cincinnati) I have gone for Daniil Medvedev. Out of all the other credible challengers, he has the most relevant Grand Slam experience having played in two hard-court Grand Slam finals, including one at the US Open in 2019. In fact, in the last four Grand Slam events played on hard courts, he has lost to the eventual champion on three occasions.
The one time he didn’t was because it was his first Grand Slam event after his maiden Grand Slam final and nobody recently has performed well under those circumstances (more on this in my early exit analysis) and he lost to a former champion anyway. Therefore I am going with the Russian to finally win a well-deserved first Grand Slam title!
Tsitsipas will open his US Open campaign against three-time Major winner Andy Murray. Although Murray is a pale shadow of his former all-conquering self, he is still not a player the Greek would want to face so early in a Major.
However, if Tsitsipas beats Murray, his path to the last-eight seems quite straightforward, with the exception of a possible third-round clash against the in-form Cameron Norrie.
Andrey Rublev, meanwhile, will be looking to build on his run to the final in Cincinnati. The Russian opens his US Open campaign against a qualifier. Frances Tiafoe could give Rublev some problems if they meet in the third round, but apart from that the Russian's path to the second week looks straightforward on paper.
This section of the draw also features the enigmatic Aussie Nick Kyrgios. But Kyrgios is currently nursing a knee injury which forced him to pull out of Winston-Salem last week and is low on match practice. It is unlikely he will be able to beat gutsy Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in his opening match.
No surprises here. Novak Djokovic will be the 2021 US Open champion and I think he will get there pretty comfortably. Aside from a remarkable meltdown at the Tokyo Olympics, Djokovic has been a cut above the rest in 2021. That is particularly true in Grand Slams where he is yet to lose a match this year and is the first man since Rod Laver to win the first three Grand Slams of the year. Add to that the fact that both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are missing from this year’s tournament and it’s hard not to think Djokovic is going to cruise to a calendar slam in New York.
It was a toss-up between the top two seeds for me but I eventually settled on the world #1. Djokovic has an outstanding record against his early opponents so there should be no trouble for him reaching the latter stages. Against Alexander Zverev, over best of five sets, with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to earn the Calendar Slam? Djokovic would be my pick every time. If the final comes down to Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev, that’s where things could get sticky but I’d still back the Serb given the stakes.
Daniil Medvedev has established himself as the best hardcourt player on the men's tour after Novak Djokovic. Medvedev won the title in Toronto and went down fighting in the semifinals in Cincinnati.
The 2019 US Open finalist will open his campaign this year against veteran Frenchman Richard Gasquet before a potentially tricky second-round clash against Dominik Koepfer.
Swiatek is the No. 1 woman in the world and is gunning for her second Grand Slam of the year and third of her career. She won the French Open earlier this year and previously won at Roland Garros in 2020. Her previous best US Open finish was a fourth round appearance last year. She missed ranked players through the first four rounds, but then beat No. 8 Jessica Pegula in two sets in the quarterfinals and No. 6 Aryna Sabalenka in three sets in the semifinals.
The 2022 US Open has reached its final weekend. The women’s singles tournament wraps up on Saturday with the Final. After two weeks filled with upsets, we end up with two pre-tournament favorites squaring off for the title. No. 1 seed Iga Swiatek will face off against No. 5 seed Ons Jabeur in Arthur Ashe Stadium. The match is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN.
The Polish star will also become the first woman in six years to win two different Grand Slams in the same season if she adds the US Open crown to the French Open title that she won in June. Swiatek showcased her amazing mental fortitude in the semifinal when she recovered from 4-2 down in the final set to defeat big-hitting Aryna Sabalenka 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Swiatek entered the tournament as the favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook with +400 odds. Jabeur had longer odds but was still among the top ten in pre-tournament odds at +2400. For this championship match, Swiatek is -180 to win while Jabeur is a +150 underdog.
Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur will clash in the Women’s Singles Final at the US Open on September 10. Both Swiatek and Jabeur are the only women to make it to two major finals this season. Ahead of the summit clash, the stakes are high for both players. Swiatek can cement her position at the top of the rankings if she wins her maiden US Open.
On the other hand, this has been a breakout year for Ons Jabeur. In July, she became the first African woman to reach a Grand Slam singles final. But now she would want to go a step further and bask in Grand Slam glory. With history on the line, the Women’s Singles Final promises to be a riveting contest.
Swiatek began the season in stupendous fashion, claiming six titles in a row, the biggest of which was her second Grand Slam crown at Roland Garros. Although her 37-match winning streak was snapped by Alize Cornet in the third round of Wimbledon, the 21-year-old seems to have got back into the groove at the US Open.
Not all of her matches in New York have been smooth sailing, but she has managed to find the extra gear whenever needed. It was evident against sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka in the semifinals, where the top seed bounced back from a break down twice in the decider to record a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 comeback victory.
Jabeur is playing in her second straight Grand Slam final after reaching the finals at Wimbledon in July. That is her best performance to date, following quarterfinals appearances at Wimbledon last year and the Australian Open the year prior. Jabeur beat No. 31 Shelby Rogers in the third round and No. 18 Veronika Kudermetova in the fourth round. She topped unseeded Ajla Tomljanovic in the quarterfinals and then beat No. 17 seed Caroline Garcia in the semifinals.
Ranked world no.1, Swiatek has achieved an overall 56-7 win-loss record in 2022. Swiatek is playing at the U.S. Open where she beat Jasmine Paolini 6-3 6-0, Sloane Stephens 6-3 6-2, Lauren Davis 6-3 6-4, Jule Niemeier 2-6 6-4 6-0, Jessica Pegula 6-3 7-64 and Aryna Sabalenka 3-6 6-1 6-4.
Iga Swiatek will square off with the world no.5 Ons Jabeur in the final on Saturday at 4:00 pm on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Their current head to head is 2-2.
Swiatek has won 6 titles in 2022 in Doha, in Indian Wells, in Miami, in Stuttgart, in Rome and at the French Open.
These two have faced off four times prior to this tournament, including twice on hard court and once in a Grand Slam. Swiatek claimed a win on hard court at the 2019 Citi Open. In 2021, Jabeur won on grass at Wimbledon and on a hard court at the Western & Southern Open. Swiatek evened the career series in 2022 with a win in the finals at the Italian Open.
As the 2022 U.S. Open come to a close, day 13 brings the women’s final (singles) match between No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland and No. 5 Ons Jabeur of Tunisia at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
The 28-year-old Jabeur, on the other hand, is pretty much a late bloomer who has finally cemented her spot in the elite tier of women's tennis. A history-maker for her country, the Tunisian's shining glory came earlier this season on the lustrous lawns of Wimbledon, where she made the final.
Although the Madrid Open champion went down to Elena Rybakina in a heartbreaking three-set summit clash at SW19, she has got another chance to redeem herself. With her 6-1, 6-3 blitzkrieg over the in-form Caroline Garcia, she has now become the first player since Serena Williams in 2019 to advance to the Wimbledon and US Open finals in the same season.
Both Swiatek and Jabeur have never had any players from their respective countries making the US Open women's singles final prior to this. With history on the line, their highly anticipated face-off certainly has all the makings of a blockbuster clash.
Swiatek took down No. 6 Arnya Sabalenka Thursday, winning the second and third sets, while Jabeur won in straight sets against Caroline Garcia to advance to Saturday’s match.
Now ranked no.5, Jabeur has achieved an overall 44-13 record in 2022. Ons is participating at the U.S. Open where she ousted Madison Brengle 7-5 6-2, Elizabeth Mandlik 7-5 6-2, Shelby Rogers 4-6 6-4 6-3, Veronika Kudermetova 7-61 6-4, Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4 7-64 and Caroline Garcia 6-1 6-3.
Ons Jabeur will take on the world no.1 Iga Swiatek in the final on Saturday at 4:00 pm on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Their actual record is 2-2.
Jabeur conquered 2 titles in 2022 in Madrid and in Berlin. Ons reached the final in Charleston (Credit One Charleston Open), in Rome (Internazionali BNL d’Italia) and in Wimbledon.
This is the first appearance in a U.S. Open final for Swiatek and Jabeur.
"Feels more real, to be honest with you, just to be in the final again," Jabeur said after taking down Garcia. "At Wimbledon, I was kind of just living the dream, and I couldn’t believe it. Now maybe I know what to do."
Swiatek is 50-7 this year, with six tournament victories. Jabeur is 38-13 in 15 tournaments so far and has won two tournament titles.
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