The 2020 US Open: When is it, the high-profile absentees, TV channels, betting, prize money
The 2020 US Open is nearly upon us and we have everything you need to know about it the hard-court Grand Slam in New York.
When is the 2020 US Open?
Following months of “will it or won’t it take place”, the United States Tennis Association and the tennis authorities stuck to their guns and decided to keep the US Open in its original August 31 to September 13 slot.
Where does the US Open take place?
Again after much deliberation due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers opted to keep the 2020 US Open at its traditional home, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows in New York.
This year it is part of a unique doubleheader after the Cincinnati Masters, which runs from August 22-28, was moved to Flushing Meadows due Covid-19.
Welcome to the bubble… pic.twitter.com/sZ6W3EiMue
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 20, 2020
And in case you have been living under a rock, the US Open won’t have any fans while strict health and safety protocols are in place due to the coronavirus.
About the defending champions…
Rafael Nadal won his 19th Grand Slam when beat Daniil Medvedev in five sets to lift the US Open trophy in 2019 while teenager Bianca Andreescu became the 10th youngest woman to win a Grand Slam when she defeated Serena Williams in last year’s final.
However, neither of them will defend their titles as they both withdrew from the tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Who else will miss the tournament?
On the men’s side, 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer will also be absent, but he won’t feature as he is still recovering from knee surgery.
As for those who pulled out because of the coronavirus, Stan Wawrinka, Fabio Fognini and Nick Kyrgios are some of the high-profile withdrawals.
It’s a lot worse on the women’s side as world No 1 Ashleigh Barty, world No 2 Simona Halep, world No 5 Elina Svitolina, world No 7 Kiki Bertens and world No 8 Belinda Bencic won’t play in New York.
What about the seeds for this year’s event?
The seeds will be based on the August 27 rankings, which means world No 1 Novak Djokovic will lead the men’s field and he will be followed by Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev.
On the women’s side, Karolina Pliskova will be seeded No 1 with Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Aryna Sabalenka set to complete the top five.
When does qualifying take place?
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no qualifying matches, mixed doubles and junior competitions at this year’s tournament.
The singles will be a 128-person field with 120 players getting direct entry into the main draw due to their rankings (and protected ranking) and eight players receiving wildcards.
The doubles will be a 32-player field with 28 direct entries and four wildcard teams.
When is the draw?
The main draw will take place on Thursday August 27 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 broadcast partner in Europe.
You can sign up for an Amazon Prime subscription at £7.99 a month and subscribers can sign up for an initial 30-day free trial.
BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra will also provide commentary.
What is the daily schedule of play?
Matches usually start at 11am (16:00 BST) with the night sessions kicking off at 19:00 (0:00 BST). Both the men’s and women’s finals are scheduled for 16:00 (21:00 BST).
Djokovic is the clear favourite with Paddy Power giving odds of 5/6 with Dominic Thiem 5/1 and last year’s runner-up Daniil Medvedev 6/1. Bet365 has Djokovic at 10/11, Thiem at 11/2 and Medvedev 8/1.
Bet365 has Serena Williams is the favourite on the WTA side at 9/2 on Bet365 with Karolina Pliskova 17/2 and Petra Kvitova 9/1.
What about the prize money?
This year’s men’s and women’s champions will walk away with a handy $3m (about £2,2m) winner’s cheque, down $850,000 (£646,000) from the previous year’s $3.85m (£3m).
The overall prize purse stands at $53.4 million (about £41m), down five per cent from the record $57m (£43m) that were awarded in 2019.
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