LOOKAHEAD TO MONDAY Some of the usual sights and sounds will be missing on Day 1 of the 2020 U.S. Open, with no spectators in the stands. The first match in Arthur Ashe Stadium features No. 1 women’s seed Karolina Pliskova — she is ranked third, but ascended in the seedings because the two women ahead of her, Ash Barty and Simona Halep, are skipping the tournament — against 145th-ranked Anhelina Kalinina. Pliskova, the 2016 U.S. Open runner-up, is seeded No. 1 for the second time at a major. The men’s No. 1 seed, Novak Djokovic, is scheduled to lead off the night session in Ashe, taking his 23-0 record this season into a matchup against 109th-ranked Damir Dzumhur. That will be followed by 2018 champion Naomi Osaka against Misaki Doi.
MONDAY’S FORECAST Cloudy. High of 76 degrees. 2019 WOMEN’S SINGLES CHAMPION Bianca Andreescu of Canada. 2019 MEN’S SINGLES CHAMPION Rafael Nadal of Spain. LAST YEAR Andreescu stuffed fingers in her ears to drown out a crowd pulling for her opponent, Serena Williams, along the way to a 6-3, 7-5 victory for her first Grand Slam title. At 19, Andreescu became the first woman in the professional era to win the U.S. Open in her tournament debut and the first since Monica Seles in 1990 to lift the trophy in only her fourth Grand Slam appearance. She also was the first player from Canada to win a major singles title. It was the second year in a row that Williams lost in the final at Flushing Meadows. Nadal stopped a surge by first-time major finalist Daniil Medvedev and held on for a 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 victory in 4 hours, 50 minutes to earn his 19th Grand Slam trophy, fourth at the U.S. Open.
WHO’S MISSING Neither Andreescu nor Nadal is entered this year, part of a large group of players who stayed away for one reason or another. Six of the top eight women, including No. 1 Ash Barty and No. 6 Andreescu, are not in the draw. Nadal, who didn’t want to travel during the pandemic, and Roger Federer, who is taking the rest of 2020 off after two operations on his right knee, are the most conspicuous absences among the men, but some of the most attention-grabbing players are out, too: 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro, 2016 champion Stan Wawrinka, Nick Kyrgios, Gael Monfils and Fabio Fognini.
KEY STATISTIC I 13 — Consecutive Grand Slam titles won by Djokovic (5), Nadal (5) or Roger Federer (3), a run that began after Wawrinka’s trophy in New York. KEY STATISTIC II 30 — Number of years since the last time only four of the WTA’s top 10 players participated in a Grand Slam tournament (1990 Australian Open).
PRIZE MONEY Total player compensation: $53.4 million, which is 93.3% of the roughly $57.2 million awarded in 2019. Men’s and women’s singles champions: $3 million each, a drop of $850,000 from 2019.
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