The US Open will be missing several big-name players when it starts in New York on August 30.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will be the most high-profile absentees on the men's side, while the women's draw is hit by the loss of Serena Williams. Several other big names are also out.
We take a look at who will be missing the final Grand Slam of the year and who is still a doubt…
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Federer, Nadal lead withdrawals
For the second year in a row neither Federer nor Nadal will be in New York.
Federer, who won the US Open five years in a row from 2004 to 2008, is set to undergo a third knee surgery to give himself a “glimmer of hope to return to the tour in some shape or form”.
"It's going to be difficult in some ways but, at the same time, I know it's the right thing to do because I want to be healthy, I want to be running around later as well again,” he said in a message on Instagram.
“I am realistic - I know how difficult it is at this age right now to do another surgery and try it. But I want to be healthy. I will go through the rehab process with a goal, while I'm still active, which I think is going to help me during this long period of time."
The 40-year-old had only played five tournaments this year, with his last appearance at Wimbledon where he made the quarter-finals.
Nadal looked to be on course to make the US Open after returning to action in Washington DC at the start of August. However, he has shut down his season due to a foot injury, saying he has been “suffering much more” than he should for a year.
Eurosport expert Alex Corretja said he is a “little bit concerned for the future” after Nadal’s withdrawal.
Defending champion Dominic Thiem, meanwhile, will also miss out due to his persistent wrist injury. The Austrian, who beat Alexander Zverev in last year’s final, will not play again in 2021 after suffering the wrist problem in Mallorca in June.
Stan Wawrinka is also out as he continues to recover from a foot injury. The 2016 champion has not played since losing his opening match to Lloyd Harris at the Qatar Open in March. His withdrawal means that Andy Murray is in the main draw and will face Stefanos Tsitsipas in round one.
Murray took part in doubles at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, reaching the quarter-finals, but he did not end up competing as planned in the singles due to a thigh injury.
Murray eases into second round after Kyrios pulls out of Winston-Salem Open
The US Open was Murray’s first Grand Slam triumph in 2012 but he has only played the tournament twice in the last four years, losing in the second round on both occasions in 2018 and 2020.
Murray is warming up for the US Open by playing in the Winston-Salem Open this week, but British No 3 Kyle Edmund will miss the Grand Slam due to a knee problem.
Nick Kyrgios was set to face Murray in the opening round of the Winston-Salem Open but withdrew at the 11th hour due to a knee problem. However, he plans to play in New York.
“I’m playing the US Open, 100 per cent. It’s not like I’m finishing my season or something. I just need more time to get right. Am I going to push through a [ATP] 250 or am I going to get ready for a Grand Slam that I worked for my entire career to play at?"
American stars withdrawing
Serena Williams withdrew from the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati last week to further work on her fitness and confirmed that she will not play at the US Open as her wait for Grand Slam number 24 continues.
The 39-year-old Williams suffered a leg injury after slipping on Centre Court against Aliaksandra Sasnovich at Wimbledon in June and hasn't played since. She was due to return in Cincinnati but decided to continue to focus on her recovery.
Two-time US Open champion Venus Williams withdrew from Cincinnati for undisclosed reasons and followed sister Serena in withdrawing from Flushing Meadows.
Worse still for USA, world No 5 Sofia Kenin was forced to miss out due to Covid.
World No 13 Simona Halep has had a difficult couple of months but faces Camila Giorgi in the first round.
Halep missed the French Open and Wimbledon due to a left calf tear and has now suffered a "small tear" to her right adductor that saw her withdraw ahead of her second-round match at the Western & Southern Open.
British No 1 Johanna Konta is however in action, although she has a tough draw against Kristina Mladenovic of France.
Konta missed Wimbledon and the Olympics but looked to be trending upwards after beating third seed Elina Svitolina at the National Bank Open in Montreal. However, she withdrew mid-tournament due to the knee issue.
Djokovic bidding for Calendar Slam
World No 1 Novak Djokovic will be aiming for a clean sweep of Grand Slams in 2021 when he heads to New York.
Djokovic has won all three majors so far this year and is bidding to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to complete the Calendar Slam. However, Djokovic has not played since missing out on a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. He said after defeat in Tokyo that he was not in the best physical shape during the tournament.
I am dealing with injuries. Not one, more than one. I hope that it won’t stop me from going to the US Open, which is my next big goal. I have played under medications and abnormal pain and exhaustion.
Full tournament schedule
- Round 1 - August 30, 31
- Round 2 - September 1, 2
- Round 3 - September 3, 4
- Round of 16 - September 5, 6
- Quarter-finals - September 7, 8
- Women’s semi-finals - September 9
- Men’s semi-finals - September 10
- Women’s final, men’s doubles final - September 11
- Men’s final, women’s doubles final - September 12
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