NEW YORK: Carlos Alcaraz has already relinquished the world number one ranking and will not be in the mood to also give up his US Open title when the Spaniard begins defending his Flushing Meadows crown on Tuesday (29 August). .
The final Grand Slam of the season began with a change at the top on Monday after Novak Djokovic defeated France's Alexandre Muller to advance to the second round – a result that meant the Serb will replace Alcaraz as world no the ranking will be updated on September 11th.
But Alcaraz will bear the number one name for the duration of the fortnight's Flushing Meadows games, and he'll open his account with an evening match against Germany's Dominik Koepfer under the lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Alcaraz, who is aiming to be the first man to successfully defend his US Open title since Roger Federer won five in a row from 2004 to 2008, appeared uncertain at times ahead of the final Grand Slam of the season on North American hard courts but should do it There was little trouble dealing with the 75th head.
If Alcaraz can repeat himself as US Open champion, he will end the longest dry spell of a successful men's title defense at a Grand Slam tournament since tennis turned professional in 1968.
With Alcaraz and Djokovic in the spotlight, Daniil Medvedev is the forgotten man, but the third-seeded Russian remains a threat for his second US Open title in three years.
Medvedev will start against 34-year-old Hungary Attila Balazs, who retired from competitive tennis in 2014 and started coaching before resuming his career in 2016.
2012 US Open champion Andy Murray will be looking to turn back the clock when he takes on young Frenchman Corentin Moutet in a contest that could give the 36-year-old Scot a landmark 200th Grand Slam win.
America's Jessica Pegula will be hoping to join the US onslaught in the second round when third seed Italy's Camila Giorgi meets a familiar opponent.
Pegula, whose US Open preparation included a Canadian Open win, and Giorgi have met ten times, with the American winning eight, including both encounters this season.
Serena Williams may have retired, but sister Venus Williams is back at Flushing Meadows, waving the family flag as she takes on Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen in her 100th US Open match.
At 43, the seven-time Grand Slam winner is the oldest player in the women's tournament. She will attempt to advance past the opening round for the first time since 2019 after failing to win a match in her last two appearances.