The final tennis Grand Slam of the year, the US Open 2021, gets underway from August 30 at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.
The Flushing Meadows could also witness history this year with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic chasing an elusive calendar Slam.
Winning all four Grand Slam tennis tournaments - Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open - in a single year constitutes a calendar Slam. Novak Djokovic has already won the first three Slams of 2021.
The 34-year-old Serbian will be looking to become the first man in over 50 years to complete the calendar Slam. Rod Laver, back in 1969, became the only male tennis player in the Open Era to win all Grand Slams in a single year.
In the absence of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who pulled out of the US Open due to injuries, Novak Djokovic can also become the most successful men’s player of all time by winning an unprecedented 21st Grand Slam.
All three are currently tied at 20 Majors.
Novak Djokovic, a three-time US Open winner, will, however, need to overcome the second seed and 2019 finalist Daniil Medvedev, Olympic gold medallist Alexander Zverev, who beat Djokovic in the semis at Tokyo 2020, and world No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Defending men’s singles champion Dominic Thiem is out with a wrist injury.
In the women’s field, reigning champion Naomi Osaka and top seed Ashleigh Barty are among the title favourites.
Although Barty had an underwhelming first round exit at Tokyo 2020, she won the Cincinnati Masters last week and will head into the US Open high on confidence.
Naomi Osaka, on the other hand, claimed the 2021 Australian Open, which is also played on hard court, and has won two of the last three US Open titles.
The women’s competition is very competitive with world No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka, Olympic champion Belinda Bencic, 2019 US Open winner Bianca Andreescu, Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Elina Svitolina and fourth seed Karolina Pliskova in the running.
On the doubles front, Olympic champions Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic from Croatia and Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova will be the top contenders.
India’s challenge in the singles ended in the qualifiers, with Prajnesh Gunneswaran losing in the second round while Ankita Raina, Sumit Nagal and Ramkumar Ramanathan exited in the first. Doubles representation, though, is expected with Sania Mirza in fray.
Where to watch US Open 2021 live in India?
Select US Open 2021 tennis matches will be telecast live in India on the Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD, Star Sports Select 2 and Star Sports Select 2 HD TV channels.
Live streaming of US Open 2021 in India will be available on Disney+ Hotstar.
US Open 2021 tennis schedule for India
Broadcast of the US Open 2021 main draw matches in India starts from 8:30 PM IST (India Standard Time) on Monday, August 30, and will run till Sunday, July 12.
Monday, August 30 – singles first round
Tuesday, August 31 – singles first round
Wednesday, September 1 – singles second round, doubles first round
Thursday, September 2 – singles second round and doubles first round
Friday, September 3 - singles third round
Saturday, September 4 – singles third round and doubles second round
Sunday, September 5 - singles round of 16 and doubles third round
Monday, September 6 – singles round of 16 and doubles third round
Tuesday, September 7 - singles quarter-finals and men’s doubles quarter-finals
Wednesday, September 8 – singles quarter-finals and women’s doubles quarter-finals
Thursday, September 9 – women’s singles semi-finals and doubles semi-final
Friday, September 10 - men’s singles semi-finals
Saturday, September 11 – women’s singles final, men’s or mixed doubles final
Sunday, September 12 – men’s singles final, women’s doubles final