From Big-Name Withdrawals to Return of Fans: Everything You Need to Know About the 2021 US Open
The 2021 U.S. Open is underway!
On Monday, the annual tennis tournament — and final Grand Slam of the year — kicked off in Queens, New York. Though celebrations and competitions were scaled back due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the US Open is in full swing.
The tournament began on Aug. 30 and will conclude the weekend of Sept. 11-12 with the women's final on Saturday and the men's final on Sunday.
Here's everything fans need to know about this year's US Open.
How to Watch
The entirety of the tournament will be broadcast on both ESPN and ESPN2. It can also be streamed live on Fubo TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV.
All of the action is guaranteed to be shared across the WTA and US Open's social media accounts @usopen, while the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) is at @ATPTour and WTA (Women's Tennis Association) is at @WTA.
Who Will Headline
All eyes will be on Novak Djokovic, a favorite to secure a win in the men's singles tournament and could make history by winning every major in a calendar year. If successful, Djokovic would become the first singles player to reach the milestone since Steffi Graf in 1988. The Serbian tennis star is also hoping to pass Federer and Nadal for the most Grand Slam singles titles in men's history.
Also in the tournament is Naomi Osaka, who hopes to defend her title and win her third US Open. This comes after the 23-year-old pulled out from the French Open and Wimbledon amid her struggles with depression. After Osaka brought conversations about mental health to the forefront, the USTA announced that the tournament will now have increased mental health resources, such as licensed mental health providers and quiet rooms.
The full men's and women's draws can be found here.
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Return of Fans
The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center will allow fans to attend in full capacity a year after the protocol of requiring empty stadiums due to the pandemic.
This year, all attendees age 12 and older will have to show proof of at least one dose of the COVID vaccine to enter. Face masks will also be required for guests indoors following Mayor Bill de Blasio's ruling that Arthur Ashe Stadium is an indoor venue when its roof is in place.
"Today, the USTA was informed that the New York City mayor's office will be mandating proof of COVID-19 vaccination for entrance to Arthur Ashe Stadium," an announcement shared last Friday read. "Given the continuing evolution of the Delta variant and in keeping with our intention to put the health and safety of our fans first, the USTA will extend the mayor's requirement to all US Open ticket holders 12 years old and older."