Novak Djokovic is going to begin his bid to win the U.S. open for a men’s s-record 21st major tennis championship and complete a calendar-year Grand Slam by facing a qualifier.
The actual draw play is scheduled to start on Monday, and spectators are allowed at total capacity who were previously not permitted due to the Covid19 pandemic.
Djokovic’s bid for a Calendar year Grand Slam
Novak Djokovic is the first man to head to Flushing Meadows after winning a season’s first three major titles. Marin Cilic and Andy Murray are the only men other than Djokovic who have won Grand Slam singles titles.
Dominic Thiem had also withdrawn from last year’s U.S. Open champion, citing a bad wrist, and Stan Wawrinka, the 2016 winner, is out after foot surgery.
After the full draw on Thursday, Djokovic is opening against a qualifier. He may be facing a potential second-round meeting against the winner between Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor ranked 110th, and Jan-Lennard Struff from Germany ranked 52nd.
The potential third-round competitors for Djokovic include the 2014 U.S. Open runner-up, Japan’s Kei Nishikori, and Belgian 27th seed David Goffin, who matched his best U.S. Open run by reaching last year’s fourth round.
The other potential matchups for the men’s quarterfinal are Zverev vs. No. 7 Denis Shapovalov; and No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. No. 5 Andrey Rublev; No. 2 Daniil Medvedev vs. No. 8 Casper Ruud. French Open runner-up and third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas will be up against former champion Andy Murray in the first round.
Andy Murray is currently ranked 114th globally because of his struggles in regaining full fitness post his hip resurfacing surgery in 2019.
Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and No. 30 Marin Cilic are the only players who have won a Grand Slam trophy in singles in the 128-player men’s bracket. All finalists at majors this year-Medvedev, Tsitsipas, and Berrettini lost to Djokovic.
However, Alexander Zverev has been a form player into Flushing Meadows and could be Djokovic’s semi-final opponent.
He is also the first German man to win an Olympic singles tennis gold medal, with a victory over Karen Khachanov of the Russian Olympic Committee.
Zverev also gained success in the ATP Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati. The German player opens against America’s Sam Querrey.