2021 Tennis US Open
With Wimbledon now done and dusted, the focus of the ever-changing tennis tour will now shift towards the American hard-court swing, which consists of a couple of Masters 1000 events in Cincinnati and Montreal/Toronto before culminating in New York in the form of the season-ending Grand Slam, the US Open.
Apart from offering the most prize money of any tournament on the tennis calendar, the US Open lures players through the special place it enjoys in the annual tennis calendar and the set of challenges it offers.
Being the last Major of the year, players are extra motivated to give their best to secure a better year-end ranking despite the physical toll of eight months of constant competition, which in turn determines how a player will be seeded and whether they would be worthy of a bye in the first round of the main draw of events as prestigious as the Master 1000s. Moreover, the Arthur Ashe Stadium at Flushing Meadows can also accommodate up to 23,771 spectators, the most by quite a margin, so anything that happens on the court is bound to draw the crowd attention, something which presents a mental challenge in its own right, especially to the younger, less experienced players out there. But when it comes to this year's edition of the very Major, there is even more, to look forward to.
Perhaps the most significant talking point in the lead-up to the tournament would be the three-way tie between the 'Big 3' members. Mesmerizingly, the three dominant forces of men's tennis in the last fifteen years find themselves in a unique position where they all sit atop 20 Majors each. Therefore, it remains to be seen who amongst them will triumph at Flushing Meadows to reach arguably the greatest height ever in the sport in question and take sole ownership of the all-time Major record by clinching the elusive No.21. Will it be the red-hot Serbian extending his perfect record in Majors this year, or will the Spaniard find his groove and become one of the record holders for most singles US Open titles won, or can the aging Swiss superstar spring a surprise and redeem himself? Only time will tell how all of this plays out!
There is more as well. One of the biggest juggernauts impeding last year's US Open was the set of restrictions placed due to Covid-19, which included the players having to strictly abide by the countless rules of a bio-secure bubble and, worse, no allowance of fans/spectators in the entire fortnight. However, none of that will be something to worry about this year as the United States Tennis Association recently announced to proceed with the tournament at 100 percent capacity after Governor Andrew Cuomo eased all the remaining state restrictions on Covid-19. Moreover, no proof of vaccination will be required alongside having no headache of being socially distanced from one another. As a result, this year's US Open will be one of the first major international sporting events to return to pre-Covid times and atmosphere where not only will the players put an all-out effort to make a mark in the most important season-ending stage, but there would be countless fans to witness all of that play out.