With the final grand slam of the season nearly upon us, there are plenty of storylines for fans to get excited about.
From a tennis great making a record-extending outing to plenty of home favorites to get behind, the 143rd US Open women’s draw promises to be an exciting contest.
The hard-court major has a tendency to produce surprises. In the women’s singles draw, a player hasn’t won back-to-back titles since Serena Williams won it three times in a row between 2012 and 2014.
There have been seven different winners in the last eight editions and this year might be no different.
How to watch
The action kicks off on Monday, August 28, in Flushing Meadows, New York, and continues until September 10.
ESPN will be broadcasting the grand slam in the US – the 15th consecutive year it has done so.
In the UK, viewers can tune into Sky Sports for coverage, while Eurosport will be showing matches across Europe.
For listings in your local area, you can read more here.
Venus Williams received a wildcard from the US Tennis Association (USTA) to compete at this year’s tournament, meaning she will take part in a record-extending 24th US Open.
The 43-year-old, ranked 407th in the world, made her US Open debut in 1997 and went on to win the title in 2000 and 2001.
After a six-month injury layoff, Williams returned to the court in June and earlier this month earned her first victory over a top-20 player since 2019 by beating world No. 16 Veronika Kudermetova in straight sets at the Cincinnati Masters.
Williams did have to pull out of a tournament on the eve of the US Open citing a knee injury, but in a video said she was taking precautions to play at Flushing Meadows.
Her appearance at the US Open would be Williams’ seventh event of the year, a remarkable achievement for someone who made their professional debut almost 30 years ago.
Williams has been drawn against Belgian Greet Minnen in the opening round after her initial opponent, former world No. 2 Paula Badosa, withdrew injured.
There will be plenty of competitors for the home fans to get behind in the women’s singles draw. Chief amongst those are Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff – ranked third and sixth in the world respectively.
Both have enjoyed excellent build-ups to the grand slam, between them winning three of the North American hard-court tournaments prior to the US Open; Pegula won in Montreal, while Gauff claimed impressive victories in both Washington D.C. and Cincinnati.
While Pegula has routinely reached grand slam quarterfinals – she will play Camila Giorgi in the first round – Gauff is enjoying somewhat of a breakout season on the tour. Her victory at the Western & Southern Open on the eve of the US Open was the 19-year-old’s third title of the year.
It was her fifth career title, meaning she became the first teenager to win five trophies since Caroline Wozniacki in 2009.
Gauff looks like she’s up to the task of challenging for the US Open title, but if she is to win her home grand slam the teenager will likely have to do it the hard way as she has been drawn in the same half of the draw as top seed Iga Świątek. Gauff, however, did earn her first ever win over the Pole on her way to victory at the Western & Southern Open.
Up for grabs
Elsewhere, it looks a wide-open contest for the women’s singles crown yet again.
Although reigning champion Świątek comes into the tournament with another French Open title under her belt and is ranked world No. 1, the US Open often hasn’t stuck to the script in terms of favorites.
Who could forget Emma Raducanu’s extraordinary victory in 2021, becoming the first ever qualifier to win the major?
However, the British player has struggled with injuries since then and will miss this year’s edition as she recovers from surgery on both of her wrists and one of her ankles.
But there are a whole host of talent vying for the title.
World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka won her first grand slam title at the Australian Open earlier this year – and also reached the semifinals at both the French Open and Wimbledon. Markéta Vondroušová shocked the tennis world with her Wimbledon victory, while Elena Rybakina and Ons Jabeur are both contenders.
Sabalenka and Jabeur could meet at the business end of the tournament having both been drawn in a tough-looking bottom half of the draw which also has No. 12 seed Barbora Krejcikova, No. 13 seed Daria Kasatkina and 2022 WTA Newcomer of the Year Zheng Qinwen, the No. 23 seed.
With a track record of surprises and no standout favorite, fans should be in for a fascinating two weeks of tennis.