The U.S. Open will take place August 26 through September 8 in New York

By Georgia Slater
August 23, 2019 08:06 AM

The 2019 U.S. Open has almost arrived, and some of the biggest names in tennis are getting ready to ace their matches.

The tournament, taking place Monday, August 26 through Sunday, September 8 in New York, will have Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka aiming to defend their 2018 singles titles, but here’s who else to look out for on the courts.

Serena Williams

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The famed player, 37, hopes to be awarded a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title. However, her recent injuries are raising questions about her performance ahead of the U.S. Open. Williams withdrew from the Cincinnati Masters, and her final match of the Rogers Cup in Toronto both due to a back injury.

Rafael Nadal

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The Spanish athlete, 33, holds three U.S. titles and recently made history when he came out victorious at the French Open, claiming his 12th title overall from the tournament. The star is undefeated in his French Open appearances and holds the most titles for singles, male or female, in tennis history. This year’s win is his third straight French Open win.

Roger Federer

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The 38-year-old player is ranked third for men’s singles. He recently lost in the third round of the Cincinnati Masters, and lost 3-7 to Novak Djokovic after five sets on Centre Court during Wimbledon in London.

Naomi Osaka

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Osaka, 21, is currently ranked as the second-best women’s singles player in the world. Recently, Williams beat Osaka 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the semifinals of the Rogers Cup, marking the first time the two had played against each other since the former’s dramatic defeat in the 2018 U.S. Open final, according to the New York Times.

RELATED: Every Single Celebrity Who Hit the 2018 U.S. Open in N.Y.C.

Sloane Stephens

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The recently engaged athlete, 26, is ranked No. 11 in the world. Stephens won the U.S. Open in 2017, however, she has struggled in warm-up tournaments leading up to this year’s event. She reached the quarterfinals at the French Open in May before falling to Johanna Konta, who she also lost to at Wimbledon in the third round, according to ESPN. Her only win was at the Western & Southern Open where she defeated Yulia Putintseva in the second round.

Novak Djokovic

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Djokovic, 32, was the 2019 Wimbledon gentlemen’s singles champion. Despite losing to Daniil Medvedev in the semi-final of the Cincinnati Masters, the Serbian tennis player won last four out of the five Grand Slams played.

John Isner

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The American tennis player, 34, took home his first title of 2019 and his 15th career singles title overall at the Hall of Fame Open in late July. He is ranked the No. 14 in men’s singles.

Dominic Thiem

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The No. 4 tennis player from Austria withdrew from the Western & Southern Open last week due to fatigue, according to The Enquirer. In last year’s U.S. Open, he fell to Nadal in a five-set quarterfinal match.

Maria Sharapova

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Maria Sharapova of Russia returns a shot during her first round Women's Singles match against Simona Halep of Romania on Day One of the 2017 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 28, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Russia’s Sharapova, 32, is ranked No. 87 in women’s singles. She was forced to retire for the first time in her career at Wimbledon this year with a left forearm issue, according to CNN. Her appearance at Wimbledon this year was only her second tournament since she had shoulder surgery in January, NBC News reported.

Angelique Kerber

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German player Kerber, 31, defeated Williams in last year’s Wimbledon final 6-3, 6-3, clinching her first-ever win at the British tourament. She is ranked No. 14 in women’s singles and won the U.S. Open in 2016.

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