WASHINGTON, August 27, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)
The 2020 US Open men’s and women’s singles draws were originally supposed to be broadcast by ESPN at noon Eastern Time on Thursday to great fanfare and excitement. After all, with the cancellation of this year’s Wimbledon and the postponement of the French Open until fall due to the coronavirus pandemic, the US Open is the first major to take place since last January’s Australian Open.
All of that changed Wednesday night after Naomi Osaka spoke out via her social media platforms about racial inequality and social injustice – declaring she would not play her semifinal match in the Western & Southern Open on Thursday – and the U.S. Tennis Association, ATP Tour and WTA listened to her. It decided to recognize the moment in time by pausing tournament play at the Western & Southern Open on Thursday.
Instead, shortly after noon, the US Open posted a singles draw story and the full brackets directly on its website, showing men’s World No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia and women’s World No. 3 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic as the top seeds of their respective brackets for this year’s US Open, which will take place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center from Aug. 31-Sept. 13. There was no fanfare and no made-for-TV presentation of the draw.
As it happened, Djokovic drew 107th-ranked Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the first round, while Pliskova drew No. 145 Angelina Kalinina of Ukraine.
Potential path for Novak Djokovic to No. 18
R1 Damir Dzhumur
R2 Edmund or Bublik
F Thiem/Medvedev/Berrettini/Bautista pic.twitter.com/nl8XnBV1vH
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) August 27, 2020
Among those in the men’s top half of the draw are No. 6 seed David Goffin of Belgium, who drew 39th-ranked America Reilly Opelka; No. 5 seed Alexander Zverev of Germany, who will oppose 2017 US Open finalist Kevin Anderson from South Africa; and No. 4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, who will face No. 41 Albert Ramos-Vinolas from Spain.
The men’s bottom half of the draw includes 2019 US Open finalist Daniil Medvedev from Russia, who is seeded third and will play No. 78 Federico Delbonis of Argentina; 2019 semifinalist; sixth seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy, who opposes No. 117 Go Soeda of Japan; and No. 2 seed Dominic Thiem of Austria, who will face No. 104 Jaume Munar of Spain. It also includes 134th-ranked Andy Murray from Great Britain, who received a wild card into the draw. He will face Japan’s 48th-ranked Yoshihito Nishioka in the opening round.
Meanwhile, the upper half of the women’s draw includes not only the top seed Pliskova but also No. 8 seed Petra Martic of Croatia, 2016 US Open champion Angelique Kerber from Germany, 2018 US Open champion Osaka, who is seeded fourth; and American teen sensation Coco Gauff, who could oppose Osaka in the third round.
The women’s bottom half includes plenty of Americans: 23-time Grand Slam champion and No. 3 seed Serena Williams, No. 7 seed Madison Keys, No. 22 seed Amanda Anisimova, No. 26 seed Sloane Stephens and No. 2 seed Sofia Kenin, who won the most recent major this year, the Australian Open. Forty-year-old Venus Williams, Hall of Famer Kim Clijsters (who received a wild card) and Victoria Azarenka are also in the bottom half.
Serena’s possible route:
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) August 27, 2020
1. Novak Djokovic, 2. Dominic Thiem, No. 3 Daniil Medvedev, 4. Stefanos Tsitsipas, 5. Alexander Zverev, 6. Matteo Berrettini, 7. David Goffin, 8. Roberto Bautista-Agut, 9. Diego Schwartzman, 10. Andrey Rublev, 11. Karen Khachanov, 12. Denis Shapovalov, 13. Cristian Garros, 14. Grigor Dimitrov, 15. Felix Auger-Aliassime, 16. John Isner.
17. Benoit Paire, 18. Dusan Lajovic, 19. Taylor Fritz, 20. Pablo Carreño Busta, 21. Alex de Minaur, 22. Nikoloz Basilashvili, 23. Daniel Evans, 24. Hubert Hurkacz, 25. Milos Raonic, 26. Filip Krajinovic, 27. Borna Coric, 28. Jan-Lennard Struff, 29. Guido Pella, 30. Casper Ruud, 31. Marin Cilic, 32. Adrian Mannarino.
1. Karolina Pliskova, 2. Sofia Kenin, 3. Serena Williams, 4. Naomi Osaka, 5. Aryna Sabalenka, 6. Petra Kvitova, 7. Madison Keys, 8. Petra Martic, 9. Johanna Konta, 10. Garbiñe Muguruza, 11. Elena Rybakina, 12. Marketa Vondrousova, 13. Alison Riske, 14. Anett Kontaveit, 15. Maria Sakkari, 16. Elise Mertens.
17. Angelique Kerber, 18. Donna Vekic, 19. Dayana Yastremska, 20. Karolina Muchova, 21. Ekaterina Alexandrova, 22. Amanda Anisimova, 23. Yulia Putintseva, 24. Magda Linette, 25. Zhang Shuai, 26. Sloane Stephens, 27. Ons Jabeur, 28. Jennifer Brady, 29. Veronika Kudermetova, 30. Kristina Mladenovic, 31. Anastasija Sevastova, 32. Rebecca Peterson.
Note: Because there is no qualifying draw this year, the 128-player draw men’s and women’s brackets are complete and the start of the first round is just four days away.