2021 US Open: When does it take place, absent stars, TV channels and streaming services, prize money
The 2021 US Open is around the corner and we have all the information you need ahead of the final Grand Slam of the year.
When does the 2021 US Open take place?
The 141st edition of the US Open will start on August 30 and will culminate with the women’s singles final on September 11 and the men’s singles final on September 12.
Unlike in 2020 when the tournament was played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 US Open will have 100% spectator capacity throughout the fortnight.
Where does the US Open take place?
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens, New York City, has hosted the hard-court tournament since 1978.
The venue has 22 outdoor courts with Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium, the Grandstand and Court 17 the four show courts. Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong have retractable roofs.
Arthur Ashe can host 23,771 people, which makes it the largest tennis stadium in the world, while Louis Armstrong has 14,053 seats, the Grandstand can host 8,125 people and Court 17 has a seating capacity of 2,800.
About the defending champions…
Dominic Thiem ended the Big Three’s four-year dominance of the Grand Slams as he became the first player outside of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to win a major since 2016.
The Austrian battled back from a two-set deficit to beat Alexander Zverev 2–6, 4–6, 6–4, 6–3, 7–6 (8–6) in four hours and one minute to capture his maiden Grand Slam.
Sadly, Thiem won’t defend his title (more below).
Naomi Osaka won her third major and second title at Flushing Meadows as the Japanese star overturned a nightmare start to defeat Victoria Azarenka 1–6, 6–3, 6–3.
Mate Pavic from Croatia and Bruno Soares from Brazil are the men’s doubles defending champions and Germany’s Laura Siegemund and Russian Vera Zvonareva won the women’s doubles. No mixed doubles event was held last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Who will miss the 2021 edition?
There will be a star-studded cast watching this year’s US Open from the sidelines as four former champions won’t compete due to injury.
Stan Wawrinka, who won the title in 2016, will also be absent due to a long-standing foot problem.
Former British No 1 Kyle Edmund and Croatia’s Borna Coric are also out injured.
On the WTA Tour side, Serena Williams became the biggest casualty after withdrawing due to a torn harmstring.
What about the seeds for this year’s event?
The seedings are based on ATP and WTA Rankings from August 23, 2021 that means Novak Djokovic is the top seed on the men’s side with Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev completing the top five.
With Thiem, Nadal and Federer absent, it means the likes of Denis Shapovalov, Casper Ruud, Pablo Carreno Busta and Hubert Hurkacz are seeded in the top 10.
Great Britain will have two seeded players in the men’s draw with Dan Evans seeded 24th and Cameron Norrie 26th while Andy Murray is also in the main draw following several withdrawals.
On the WTA side, Ashleigh Barty is seeded top and she is followed by Aryna Sabalenka, Naomi Osaka, Karolina Pliskova, Sofia Kenin, Elina Svitolina, Bianca Andreescu, Iga Swiatek, Barbora Krejcíkova and Garbine Muguruza.
Serena Williams is seeded 22nd with fellow American Coco Gauff seeded 23rd.
British No 1 Johanna Konta has dropped outside the world top 30 so won’t be seeded while Heather Watson will also be in the main draw.
When does qualifying take place?
The qualifying event kicks off on August 24 and the final round of matches are scheduled to take place on August 27 and no spectators will be allowed to attend.
Seven British players, including teenager Emma Raducanu, are in the qualifying draw.
When is the draw?
The main draw will take place on Thursday August 26 at around 12:00 New York time (17:00 BST).
Which TV channels will broadcast the tournament?
Amazon Prime Video will air the US Open in the United Kingdom and Ireland while Eurosport is the exclusive continental broadcast partner in Europe. BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra will also provide commentary.
You can sign up for an Amazon Prime subscription at £7.99 a month (Prime Video subscription is £5.99/month) while you can also do an initial 30-day free trial.
ESPN will provide comprehensive coverage in the United States.
What is the daily schedule of play?
Matches are scheduled to start at 11am local time (16:00 BST) with the night sessions kicking off at 19:00 (0:00 BST). From the quarter-finals onwards, play will start one hour later (14:00 local time and 17:00 BST) while the men’s and women’s finals are set for 16:00 (21:00 BST).
Having already won three Grand Slams this year, it is no surprise that Novak Djokovic is the favourite to win the US Open and Planet Sport Bet has the world No 1 at 4/6 to complete his Calendar Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows.
However, there is better value in Alexander Zverev – fresh from winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics and the Cincinnati Masters – as the Germany is 6/1 to win a first major at the US Open.
You can also get Stefanos Tsitsipas at 9/1 while the big-serving Matteo Berrettini is a handy 18/1.
But defending US Open champion Naomi Osaka is the favourite at 4/1 with Planet Sport Bet while you can never discount Serena Williams with the 23-time major winner 10/1.
What about the prize money?
The total prize money is up compared to 2020’s coronavirus-hit event and the 2019 edition. This year $57.5 million will be shared while the pool was $53.4m in 2020 and $57.24m in 2019.
However, there is a decrease in the winners, semi-finalists and quarter-finalists’ cheques while those who lose in the first few rounds will get more money.
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