Play in the two-week tournament begins Monday with the top half of the men’s bracket and bottom half of the women’s bracket, which includes Serena Williams playing the opening match of what is expected to be her final U.S. Open — and could be her last tournament appearance anywhere. The top half of the women’s field and bottom half of the men’s will play Tuesday. The women’s singles final is Saturday, Sept. 10; the men’s singles final is Sunday, Sept. 11.
Iga Swiatek is seeded No. 1 in the women’s draw; Anett Kontaveit is No. 2 and would be Williams’ opponent in the second round if both win their opening matches. Defending champion Daniil Medvedev is No. 1 in the men’s draw. Rafael Nadal is No. 2 after winning the Australian Open and French Open this year to give him a men’s-record 22 Grand Slam singles titles. He hasn’t played in New York since winning the last of his four U.S. Open titles in 2019. The men’s field is missing two top-10 players, with Novak Djokovic unable to travel to the United States because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and Alexander Zverev recovering from ankle surgery.
Ranked just 150th, and appearing in her second major tournament, Raducanu became the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam title. She didn’t drop a set in the tournament, capping it with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over another unseeded teenager, Leylah Fernandez of Canada. At 18, Raducanu became the youngest female major champion since Maria Sharapova was 17 in 2004. Medvedev stopped Djokovic’s bid to become the first men’s player to win a calendar-year Grand Slam since 1969 with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory in the final for his first major title.
23 — Grand Slam singles titles for Williams, more than any other woman or man in the professional era of tennis, which began in 1968.
2004 — The last time a man other than Djokovic, Nadal, Roger Federer or Andy Murray was the No. 1 seed in a Grand Slam tournament.
Total player compensation reached $60 million for the first time, but the women’s and men’s singles champions each will receive $2.6 million — a 33% decrease from the $3.9 million the winners received in 2019, the last pre-pandemic edition of the tournament. At the other end of the scale, players losing in the first round of singles will earn $80,000, a jump of 38% from $58,000 three years ago.
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