Former US Open champion Andy Murray has been drawn to face world No 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the first round of this year’s final Grand Slam of the year; the clash at Flushing Meadows will be the pair’s first career meeting
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 26/08/21 6:42pm
Andy Murray has been handed a blockbuster US Open first-round clash against Greek world No 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Murray, the 2012 champion in New York, will take on the Greek French Open finalist for the first time.
The Scot, currently ranked No 114, will head to Flushing Meadows having failed to make an impact at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati before he suffered a disappointing exit to Frances Tiafoe at the Winston-Salem Open earlier this week.
Tsitsipas reached the French Open final in June, but was beaten in the first round at Wimbledon this summer and he has not been beyond the third round of the US Open.
Former world No 1 Murray will look to use all his experience to test the 23-year-old, who has been earmarked as one of the so-called Next Gen.
British No 1 Dan Evans faces Brazilian world No 93 Thiago Monteiro, while Cameron Norrie will take on Spanish rising star Carlos Alcaraz.
The 18-year-old, who won his first ATP title in Umag earlier this year, is already ranked No 54 and has been tipped as Rafael Nadal’s successor.
World No 1 Novak Djokovic will be chasing history at year’s tournament as he hopes to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to complete a calendar Grand Slam but his path may get much tougher with potential clashes against Matteo Berrettini and Alexander Zverev.
He will open against a qualifier, with 2019 finalist Daniil Medvedev up against veteran Frenchman Richard Gasquet.
Zverev, who could be Djokovic’s semi-final opponent, has been the form player coming into Flushing Meadows, having upset the Serb on way to the singles gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and then rolling to victory at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati.
Last year Zverev was denied a maiden major at the US Open after being beaten in the final by Dominic Thiem, who is unable to defend his title due to a wrist injury.
In the women’s draw, British No 1 Johanna Konta will play Kristina Mladenovic of France in the first round, and Heather Watson faces Slovenian Kaja Juvan.
World No 1 Ashleigh Barty opens against 2010 US Open finalist Vera Zvonareva, while defending champion Naomi Osaka has been drawn against Marie Bouzkova.
Projected R16 by seed: Barty vs.  Brady
 Bencic vs.  Swiatek
 Pliskova vs.  Pavlyuchenkova
 Kvitova vs.  Andreescu
 Svitolina vs.  Halep
 Kerber vs.  Osaka
 Krejcikova vs.  Muguruza
 Mertens vs.  Sabalenka#USOpen
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) August 26, 2021
Second seed Aryna Sabalenka goes up against Nina Stojanovic, while the clash of the first round will see a rematch of the 2017 final between Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens.
This year’s tournament has already witnessed several high-profile withdrawals, with Thiem being joined on the sidelines by Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Nadal.
The action starts on Monday, with the tournament being held with capacity crowds after taking place in a secure bubble last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.