BUTs Serena Williams has lined up all her ducks for what will likely be the last tournament of her career at the US Open, one particular question lingering weeks on whether she will reunite with her sister Venus in a single doubles final. competition for decent care?
On Saturday, the answer came when the Williams sisters received a wildcard in the doubles draw. Their singles career has naturally garnered much more attention, but their doubles accomplishments are astounding, with their 14 Grand Slam titles placing them second in the Open Era for women’s doubles Grand Slam titles. Their 14-0 record in Grand Slam finals is unmatched.
Whatever happens now, Monday night’s Serena Williams first round matchup against Danka Kovinic won’t be the end, but it remains a huge moment as Williams tries to maximize his singles career and find one last wind to remind the world. who she is.
Aside from Williams’ spectacular retirement, the women’s draw is once again wide open. After such a dominating spring, Iga Swiatek’s form has cooled off and she continues to reckon with what continues to reckon with the No. 1 weight. Since her 37-0 run, Swiatek has compiled a 6-4 record.
But she’s spent most of this year clearly showing what she’s capable of, and even on fast-ball courts, which she hates, she remains one of the top contenders, looking to pick up the pace again in New York.
Others, including Toronto-winning resurgent Simona Halep, Coco Gauff, Caroline Garcia and Jessica Pegula, will struggle. But in fact, the draw is the way things were at Wimbledon this summer. Whoever excels at playing clean, bold, attacking tennis on the fast courts of the US Open will win, and there are plenty of players out there who can.
Naomi Osaka, who started last year as the world’s best hardcourt player, is one such player, but her career is now at a curious juncture. Osaka has struggled with numerous injuries and ailments this season, including an Achilles tendon injury that forced her out of Wimbledon. She will start against 19th seed Danielle Collins in the Tuesday night session. She spoke openly about her anxiety, seeking to regain her highest level.
“I feel like I would have lied a day or so ago and said I was really relaxed,” she said. “But actually, for example, when I was training today, I was very worried. I think it’s because I really want to succeed, because I feel like I’m not doing very well lately. I dont know. It’s hard. Like, of course, you don’t want to lose in the first round of a Grand Slam.”
Between the men’s and women’s draws, this US Open is one of the most open tournaments in the last few decades. After years of top three ATP rankings, the pinnacle of the sport is now in the public domain as five men play for the top spot in the ATP rankings: Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, Carlos Alcaraz, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Kasper Ruud. .
Nadal has not won a match since dropping out of the Wimbledon semi-finals with a torn stomach, losing in the second round of his only tournament since then to Borna Coric in three rusty sets. It was not a disaster at the time, and after going through a tie, Corić won the title without losing a set to any other player.
Most importantly, aside from the complex scar tissue, he seems to keep progressing with the abdominal muscles and he is the clear favorite. Nadal arrives in New York without losing a Grand Slam match and winning a 19-match streak. He will just have to get in shape during this tournament and see where he ends up.
“Before Cincinnati, I only played two sets there before the start of the tournament, so it’s difficult,” Nadal said. “Even if I had a chance, the preparation was not very long, but there I gave myself a chance. Was not possible. Let’s try again here, with better preparation. From my point of view, I train quite well. We’ll see what happens, but I’m happy with the training.”
Medvedev didn’t perform at the sky-high level he showed last year, culminating in his US Open victory, but he continued to put together deep runs and lost in three tight sets to Tsitsipas. The conditions of the US Open have always brought out the best in it, and Medvedev will try to get ahead again.
Being the best player with a huge profile means everyone wants to beat you, and Alcaraz has faced that challenge in recent weeks. His vicious spring form may have cooled off, but it’s only a matter of time before he surges forward again. As with last year’s quarter-final breakthrough, the New York big stage could be the venue.