US Open preview: Serena Williams’ last hurray at home as Grand Slam headlines fascinating two weeks of tennis

Now 40, Williams’ career will be full as her final match will be played at the 1999 US Open, the first of her 23 Grand Slam singles victories. Then a young Williams took the first step on her path to two decades of dominance when she stunned world No. 1 Martina Hingis in the final.

“If I could pick one thing that he has that is incredible compared to other players and champions, it’s a strong determination to push through the tough times and win year after year,” said 2014 US Open men’s champion Marin Cilic. , said CNN Sport.

“I’m sure he’s going to have a fantastic US Open and to go with a win is the best farewell. So [I’m] I hope she can do it.”

Since returning to the circuit Back in June After an injury-riddled year, Williams managed to win just one match and was nowhere near the form that helped her win her last Grand Slam title in 2017.

Although she may not achieve a dream final flourish by lifting the title at Flushing Meadows, Williams’ 23 Grand Slam singles titles are the most of any player in the Open era and one shy of Margaret Court’s all-time record.

Williams’ greatness was not limited to the singles court, winning every doubles Grand Slam title at least twice and two of the four mixed doubles Grand Slam titles. And he has more than $94 million in on-court career earnings.

Few tennis players have transcended the game as much as Williams, and her presence will undoubtedly be missed on tour.

Defending US Open champion Emma Raducanu is one of several young talents closing that gap. The youngster stunned the sports world last year First qualification in history Won a Grand Slam title in his second appearance in the main draw of a Slam.
Raducanu and Williams Crossroads The first time was two weeks ago Cincinnati MastersRadukanu came out on top in straight sets.

However, it was one of 12 wins for Radukanu in a season plagued by injuries and patchy form. In her recent demolition of two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka in Cincinnati, she showed flashes of last year’s winner at Flushing Meadows.

Two thousand of the 2,756 ranking points the world No. 11 is currently in — up from 10th in June — came via her US Open win, and a 19-year-old slump in the WTA world rankings should she fail to defend her crown.

Emma Raduganu achieved one of the most remarkable Grand Slam victories in history at the 2021 US Open.

Raducanu’s run in Cincinnati ended at the hands of world No. 8 Jessica Pegula, but it was a close match to end a week that should give Raducanu high hopes at the US Open.

Among the stars hoping to capture Radukanu’s New York crown will be Poland’s world No. 1 Ika Swiadek, who has won a remarkable six singles titles in 2022.

The two-time French Open winner goes in as the bookmakers’ favorite but has only reached the fourth round at Flushing Meadows and has struggled for form on hard court ahead of the US Open.

However, Svidek reached the Australian Open semi-finals earlier this year and won the previous three WTA 1000 hard court events of the season, so there is no doubt that she has the ability to go all the way in New York.

Rafael Nadal is aiming for 23rd place

In the men’s draw, all eyes will be on Rafael Nadal as he looks to add to his men’s tally of 22 Grand Slam titles.

However, the 36-year-old has only played one match. First round loss to Borna Korich From the Cincinnati Masters last week Withdrawal from Wimbledon semi-finals With an abdominal injury, it is unclear how fit Nadal is ahead of the US Open.

“The main thing for me is to stay healthy,” Nadal told reporters after the defeat. “To be honest, it’s a difficult injury to manage.

“The last month and a half has not been easy because, with a tear in the abdomen, you never know when (you’re going to be) 100 percent in this thing, so it doesn’t affect me a bit (make sure you can try your best in every serve.”

But New York has been a happy hunting ground for Nadal over the years, with the Spaniard winning the title four times, most recently in 2019 when he came through a five-set epic against Daniil Medvedev.

Russia’s Medvedev, who has been competing under a neutral flag since his country invaded Ukraine, is the bookmakers’ favorite to lift the trophy and retain the crown he won in 2021, marking his first Grand Slam victory.

The 26-year-old’s solo title in 2022 came on hard court in Mexico earlier this month, but Medvedev reached the Australian Open final earlier this year, losing agonizingly after leading by two sets to Nadal.

Alexander Zverev, one of the favorites to win, confirmed earlier this week that he will withdraw from the US Open after failing to recover from an injury.

World no. 2 underwent surgery in June again for torn ligaments in his ankle, which he followed up with after an awkward landing in the French Open semifinals against Nadal.

With Zverev out of the draw, all the players below him gained a spot in the seeds, meaning Nadal and Medvedev can now only meet in the final.

Following his 21st Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, what's next for Novak Djokovic?

Novak Djokovic confirmed on Thursday that he will not be competing at Flushing Meadows in 2022. U.S. vaccination rules for non-U.S. citizens would not have given the Serb a visa to enter the country, so Knoll will be waiting for at least one. Another year before returning to the Big Apple.

World no. 6 Long-time rival Nadal moved within one of winning his 21st Grand Slam title earlier this year at Wimbledon, but was unable to play any of the tour’s US Open warm-up matches in the States or Canada. .

This year’s US Open will be the second Grand Slam Djokovic will miss due to his unvaccinated status after his visa was canceled twice ahead of the Australian Open in January.

“Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go to NY for the US Open this time,” Djokovic wrote on social media. “Thank you #NoleFam for your messages of love and support.

“Good luck to my teammates! I will be in good shape and look forward to the opportunity to compete again with a positive attitude. See you soon tennis world!”

With a wide open field, the men’s draw will be fascinating to watch — will Nadal match Serena for 23 Grand Slam singles titles or will someone else reign supreme in New York?

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