10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Djokovic’s Grand Slam Quest in Spotlight as World’s Top 103 on US Open Entry List

Novak Djokovic plays for the first men’s calendar Grand Slam since Rod Laver in 1969, and a record-setting 21st major, at the US Open. EPA-EFE/JASON SZENES

Novak Djokovic’s quest for ultimate Grand Slam glory takes center stage at the US Open.

The USTA today announced that 20-time Grand Slam singles champions Djokovic (SRB), Rafael Nadal (ESP) and Roger Federer (SUI) will headline the men’s singles field for the 2021 US Open Tennis Championships, as their race for the men’s major singles title record and Djokovic’s pursuit of the first men’s ‘Calendar Grand Slam’ since 1969 are historic storylines.

No. 1 Djokovic, No. 3 Nadal and No. 9 Federer lead a US Open men’s singles field that features the Top 103 men in the world, including No. 6 and defending US Open champion Dominic Thiem (AUT), former US Open champions Stan Wawrinka (SUI) and Marin Cilic (CRO) and a Top-10 full of young challengers: No. 2 Daniil Medvedev (RUS), a 2019 US Open finalist; No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE), a 2021 French Open finalist; No. 5 Alexander Zverev (GER), a 2020 US Open finalist; No. 7 Andrey Rublev (RUS), second on the tour in wins this year; No. 8 Matteo Berrettini (ITA), a 2021 Wimbledon finalist; and No. 10 Denis Shapovalov (CAN), a 2021 Wimbledon semifinalist.

Djokovic, the singles champion at the Australian and French Opens and Wimbledon this year, will come into New York with a chance to be the third man in history to win all four major singles titles in the same year, following Australian Rod Laver in 1969 and American Don Budge in 1938. Djokovic is also entered into the singles field at the Tokyo Olympics, meaning should he win the Gold Medal in singles there, he would have the chance to join Steffi Graf (1988) as the only players to ever complete the ‘Calendar Golden Slam.’

Dominic Thiem of Austria is reigning US Open champion. EPA-EFE/JASON SZENES

The 2021 US Open will be played Monday, August 30 to Sunday, September 12 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The US Open Men’s Singles Championship is presented by Chase.

Lucas Pouille (FRA), a 2016 US Open quarterfinalist ranked No. 103, is the last man to receive direct entry, while 2012 US Open champion Andy Murray (GBR), ranked No. 104, is currently the first player on the alternate list. Only Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) used a protected ranking (No. 96) to enter. Sixteen more players will gain entry through the US Open Qualifying Tournament, which will be held August 24-27.

Thirty-five countries are represented in the men’s entry list, with 10 Americans qualifying for direct entry: No. 32 Reilly Opelka (Palm Coast, Fla.) No. 37 Taylor Fritz (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.), No. 39 John Isner (Greensboro, N.C./Dallas), No. 47 Sebastian Korda (Bradenton, Fla.), No. 53 Frances Tiafoe (Hyattsville, Md.), No. 54 Tommy Paul (Greenville, N.C.) No. 64 Marcos Giron (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), No. 70 Sam Querrey (Las Vegas), No. 82 Tennys Sandgren (Gallatin, Tenn.), No. 83 Steve Johnson (Orange, Calif.).

The July 19 edition of the ATP rankings was used to determine the US Open main draw entry list. Seeds will be determined and announced closer to the start of the event.

The 2021 US Open will mark the culmination of the US Open Series, the North American summer season of nine WTA and ATP Tour events that began last week in Newport, R.I.