Rafael Nadal will vie for a record-extending twenty third Grand Slam title when the US Open, fourth and remaining Grand Slam of the 12 months, begins in New York on Monday.
Novak Djokovic, the Spaniard’s fiercest rival, will miss his second Main of the 12 months as a result of he isn’t vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 and thus is just not allowed to journey to america. One other notable absentee this 12 months would be the 2020 finalist Alexander Zverev of Germany, who has been out attributable to his ankle harm sustained throughout the semifinal in opposition to Nadal at Roland Garros.
With Djokovic out of the way in which, Nadal is anticipated to clinch his fifth title at Flushing Meadows offered he doesn’t face any health points. The 36-year-old received the Australian Open and the French Open this 12 months whereas nursing power ache in his left foot, medically often called the Mueller-Weiss Syndrome.
He was compelled to withdraw from Wimbledon after reaching the semifinals attributable to an belly harm and solely not too long ago returned to play Cincinnati Masters the place he misplaced to eventual champion Borna Coric within the second spherical.
On the 2022 US Open, his first for the reason that title-winning marketing campaign in 2019, Nadal is seeded second and begins his marketing campaign in opposition to Australian wildcard Rinky Hijikata. His first massive problem may come within the quarterfinals the place he may face British Cameron Norrie. A win in opposition to Norrie may doubtlessly arrange an all-Spanish semifinal with teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz.
Defending champion Daniil Medvedev is the primary ‘non-Massive 4’ member to be seeded primary at a Grand Slam in nineteen years. The Russian, who beat Djokovic within the 2021 remaining and stopped him from finishing a uncommon Calendar Slam, begins his 2022 marketing campaign in opposition to American Stefan Kozlov. His projected quarterfinal is in opposition to sixth-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime. The duo’s last-eight conflict on the 2022 Australian Open was a five-set thriller that lasted 4 hours and 42 minutes.
If Medvedev beats Auger-Aliassime, the Russian may face fourth-seeded Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas within the semifinal, a repeat of the 2022 Australian Open.
Alcaraz got here into the limelight with a five-set win over Tsitsipas within the third spherical of the 2022 US Open and ultimately made it to the quarterfinals. On the 2022 US Open, Alcaraz is seeded third and has acquired a troublesome draw. The younger Spaniard faces Argentine Sebastian Baez within the opening spherical. His third spherical and quarterfinal opponents might be Cincinnati Masters champion Coric and Eleventh-seeded Italian Jannik Sinner, respectively.
Among the massive first-round clashes at this 12 months’s match embody Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios in opposition to his fellow Australian and doubles associate Thanasi Kokkinakis, wildcard and 2020 champion Dominic Thiem in opposition to twelfth seed Pablo Carreno Busta, and 2012 champion Andy Murray in opposition to twenty fourth seed Francisco Cerundolo.
In comparison with the opposite three Majors, the US Open has seen essentially the most variety of gamers exterior the ‘Massive Three’ to emerge champions in recent times. It received’t be stunning if such is the case this 12 months as properly.