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Serena Latest To Skip US Open

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Aug/27/2021

This year’s US Open will be missing yet another big name after Serena Williams announced on Wednesday that she won’t be playing in the tournament as she recovers from a hamstring injury. Williams hasn’t played since tearing her right hamstring during her first-round match at Wimbledon in June. 

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Williams announced her decision on Instagram, saying, “After careful consideration and following the advice of my doctors and medical team, I have decided to withdraw from the US Open to allow my body to heal completely from a torn hamstring. New York is one of the most exciting cities in the world and one of my favorite places to play -- I’ll miss seeing the fans but will be cheering everyone on from afar. Thank you for your continued support and love. I’ll see you soon.”

Williams turns 40 next month and is still looking to tie Margaret Court for the most Grand Slam singles titles with 24. Williams’ 23 Grand Slam championships are a record for the professional era.

Patrick Mouratoglou, Williams’ coach, also posted on social media about her withdrawal, saying, “We’ve done everything we could. It is heartbreaking, but this is the only possible decision.”

Williams has six US Open titles, though she hasn’t won the event since 2014. She made the championship match in both 2018 and 2019 before falling in the semifinals in 2020.

Her last Grand Slam victory was at the 2017 Australian Open. She has made a Grand Slam final four times since (two at US Open, two at Wimbledon) but lost all four in straight sets. 

Men Lacking Some Stars Too 

Williams won’t be the only big-name star missing from the US Open, as Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have already withdrawn from the tournament as well. This is the second year in a row that neither will be competing in the final Grand Slam on the tennis calendar.

Federer is set to undergo the third knee surgery in an attempt to return to the tour at some point in the future. The 40-year-old is tied with Nadal and Novak Djokovic for the most career Grand Slam titles among men with 20. He’s won the US Open five times, winning the title every year from 2004 to 2008.

“It’s going to be difficult in some ways, but, at the same time, I know it’s the right thing to do because I want to be healthy, I want to be running around later as well again,” Federer said in an Instagram post.

Nadal has also been dealing with injuries, deciding to shut down his season due to a foot injury. The 35-year-old Nadal has won the US Open four times (2010, 2013, 2017, and 2019), but his future in the game is in doubt as well.

Also missing this year’s tournament will be the defending men’s champion, Dominic Thiem, who is out with a persistent wrist injury. 

Who’s Left? 

With so many big names missing from the draw, which will be announced on Thursday, who are the favorites to capture the men’s and women’s singles titles this year?

Djokovic is a big favorite on the men’s side, holding a -150 price at BetUS Sportsbook US Open men’s tennis odds. Djokovic is going for a sweep of this year’s Grand Slam titles. The option to fade Djokovic is also available. Bettors get +110 odds for wagering he will not win the US Open.

Daniil Medvedev is considered Djokovic’s biggest challenger, holding +350 odds, while Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas are lurking at +600 and +900, respectively. Matteo Berrettini (+1800), Jannik Sinner (+2000), Andrey Rublev (+2200), and Aslan Karatsev (+3000) are next on the odds list.

On the women’s side, Ashleigh Barty is the slight favorite over Naomi Osaka, though neither is considered the shoo-in that Djokovic is. Barty holds +325 odds at BetUS, while Osaka is listed at +425. Osaka is the defending champion, having topped Victoria Azarenka in the title match a year ago.

Bianca Andrescu, Simona Halep and Iga Swiatek are next, all tied at +1200, followed by Karolina Pliskova at +1400, listed at the BetUS women’s US Open tennis odds.

The tournament begins on Monday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, NY. The women’s singles final will be on Sept. 11, while the men’s singles final will be a day later on Sept. 12.

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