Three days before the start of US Open, the main draw got revealed today with all the direct participants being placed in the field of 128 players, who will compete for the Grand Slam trophy during next fortnight. 16 places are still yet to be filled after the end of qualifying, which are scheduled to be completed tomorrow.
Iga Swiatek comes to New York as a reigning champion. Apart from the title defence challenge, the Pole will try to handle pressure related to keeping the supremacy in WTA rankings. Swiatek needs to go further than Aryna Sabalenka in this tournament in a goal to secure the lead after this year's last Grand Slam. The feelings after draw reveal can be quite mixed for Swiatek's fans. The Pole starts her title defence from the match against Rebecca Peterson. First three rounds should be no problematic for Swiatek, but the level should go significantly up later on. The world's number one can meet Jelena Ostapenko or Veronika Kudermetova in 4th round.
Both the sides of this section contain a truly top notch names, which foreshadows an electric quarterfinal clash, whoever stays in the contention until this stage. Cori Gauff starts the US Open as one of the biggest favorites after her super successful North American hard courts campaign in August. Gauff will play her first match against one of the qualifiers, but every possible following match of her is supposed to be a hit one. Mirra Andreeva is ready for her first ever hard courts Grand Slam tournament, which is also just her second WTA level event on this surface after this week's WTA 250 event in Cleveland. Third round can be highlighted by an absolutely stunning all-American clash between Gauff and Danielle Collins. The Danimal has presented a really impressive performance during the WTA 1000 tournament in Montreal, showing up the signs of coming back into great form. Collins can be a super dangerous opponent for Gauff, while playing in aggresive and dominant mode, which is unplayable for almost everyone, when the American is any near to her top form. The winner of this possible blockbuster can play against Petra Kvitova in 4th round. This year's Miami Open champion start from a match against Cristina Bucsa and can meet Caroline Wozniacki in second round. The former world's number one plays her first Grand Slam's match since 2020 Australian Open from against qualifier. Jennifer Brady is another American, who can play the significant role in this section. Brady does also wait for the opponent from qualies and can play against Kvitova in 3rd round.
Elena Rybakina will try refer to her great results from first part of hard courts season, when she approached the final of Australian Open and got close to win both the Sunshine Double events, claiming the trophy in Indian Wells and reaching out the final in Miami. The next months were not so successful for Rybakina, who was dealing with some sort of health issues. The Kazakh needed to pull out from Roland Garros due to the viral infection, and was suffering for a shoulder injury, which naggled her during American tournaments in August. Rybakina will need to be ready for first round, as she got paired up with one of the most dangerous floaters from all the unseeded players - Marta Kostyuk. The current weeks are not successful for the Ukrainian, who is on the roll of 3 consecutive losses after the American swing. Kostyuk has proven herself to be a dangerous player on hard courts, as she clinched her maiden career's WTA title in March during the WTA 250 ATX Open in Austin. Alja Tomljanovic or Panna Udvardy can be Rybakina's second round's opponent. The Australian comes back to competition after a long break caused by major knee injury.
The road to quarterfinals seems to be quit formidable for Rybakina, though. Belinda Bencic and Victoria Azarenka will be favourites to play against each other in 3th round. Both the players were not successful in recent months, but should not face too much trouble in first two rounds. The winner of this possible match-up can play against Rybakina in round of 16, but the Kazakh will be a favorite of that one, if just stays fit until this point.
Karolina Muchova headlines the other part of this section. The runner up of WTA 1000 in Cincinnati starts her US Open campaign from a match against a wild card receiver - Storm Hunter. Sloane Stephens vs. Beatriz Haddad Maia is one of most interesting first round matches in this quarter. The winner can meet Muchova in third round later on. The 8th seed Maria Sakkari can surely not complain on the luck in the draw. The Greek should face no obstacles to reach out the possible 4th round clash against Muchova. This could be the revenge for this year's Roland Garros first round, when the Czech started her run into final from performing an upset on Sakkari.
Jessica Pegula headlines the third quarter as a top ranked American and current world's number three. Alongside her friend and doubles partner Cori Gauff, Pegula will be surely one of the home crowd's biggest hopes for some big result in singles tournament. In case of making a big run in Flushing Meadows, the American will want to break the series of loses suffered in Grand Slam quarterfinals. Pegula reached out this stage several times but did never advance any further, even despite being considered in a field of top contenders a few times, especially this year. The winner of WTA 1000 in Montreal opens her campaign from a hit clash against Camila Giorgi. The Italian fell down in the rankings down to 52th place, but is always a dangerous player to play against. Giorgi has already won a title on hard courts this year before, being the best player in WTA 250 Merida, six months ago. Another cracking match-up involving Pegula can be a possible third round's clash against Elina Svitolina. The Ukrainian is already seeded with number 26 in New York, just 5 months after her comeback into competition from maternity break. Liudmila Samsonova and Madison Keys are another seeds in this part of 3rd quarter. Both can meet each other in 3rd round and play against Pegula in possible 4th round match-up. Samsonova can be really dangerous opponent after successful American swing, ended up with run into semis in Washington's WTA 500 and approaching the final in Montreal.
Marketa Vondrousova comes into the biggest stage as a recent Grand Slam champion after winning the Wimbledon Championships a few weeks ago. The Czech will start her US Open campaign from playing against qualifier. The match between 22th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova and Leylah Fernandez is the most interesting match-up in this section. The winner can meet Bianca Andreescu in second round, if just the Canadian overcome Lesia Tsurenko in first match. One of those players can be Vondrousova's opponent in third round.
Caroline Garcia approaches New York after last year's impressive run into semifinals. The French will need to handle a pressure related to the defence of ranking points which accompanies her not just in the US Open, but also in other tournaments during this part of the season. Garcia could not refer to the great run of form from last year so far, once losing 4 matches in a row in recent weeks. The 7th seed still competes in the WTA 250 event in Cleveland, where she received a late wild card. This could be a vital move, as Garcia broke herself through and won two matches to reach out the quarters before Thursday. One of the qualifiers will be her opponent in US Open's first round. The path into 4th round looks quite soft for the French, as Anastasia Potapova is the only seeded player there, before the possible 4th round's match-up against Vondrousova or the other players mentioned above.
The last quarter of main draw is really stellar, as it contains four Grand Slam champions and other names, who have celebrated great successes in a recent times or earlier in their careers. Aryna Sabalenka highlights this section, staying in front of another serious chance to become the world's number one. The Belarusian was already close to accomplish this goal during two previous Grand Slams in Paris and London. Especially the Wimbledon Championships is something to regret for Sabalenka, who was two games away from reaching out the final, which would assure her to become the new world's ranking leader. After missing it despite being up a set and break up over Ons Jabeur in the semis, Sabalenka is close to her goal again, while being a virtual ranking's leader including the deduction of points for last year's US Open. The gap is marginal, so she can not fall out of the tournament earlier than Iga Swiatek this time. The performance of Sabalenka during the tournaments in August was quite away from the standards showed during the season's start, when she celebrated her career's maiden Grand Slam title in Melbourne. The world's number two was not such a dominant and consistent player on the court as during the opening months of the season, but is still a huge favourite to play one of the main roles in New York. Sabalenka starts from the match against Maryna Zanevska. Karolina Pliskova can be her first seeded opponent in possible 3rd round's match. The Czech lives a really tough times on court recently, as she won just 2 out of last 11 matches since reaching out the quarterfinals of WTA 500 Stuttgart in April.
Sabalenka's part of fourth quarter contains some really great names, with the match-up between Venus Williams and Paula Badosa being a hit of the opening round. It's the meeting between players, who were dealing with serious injury issues this season. Williams impressed the fans in Cincinnati by defeating the opponent from world's top 20 - Veronika Kudermetova. She was also capable of taking up the fight against Qinwen Zheng in the following round, but came up short in three sets. After withdrawing from WTA 250 in Cleveland, Williams faces Badosa, who missed out the majority of big events in 2023 and fell down into 46th place in rankings. It's the first hard courts tournament for the Spaniard since Miami Open in March and first appearance in general since losing in second round of Wimbledon Championships. The winner of this match can set up another great match against Donna Vekic in second round.
Sofia Kenin is another Grand Slam champion in this section. The American has climbed up through rankings after months of struggling to take up the fight against top players. The 2020 Australian Open champion is back into top 100 and plays against Ana Bogdan in first match. Kenin can set up an intriguing battle against Daria Kasatkina in second round. The 13th seed starts against Alycia Parks, which is another match worth to watch in first round.
Ons Jabeur comes back to Flushing Meadows a year after her run into the big final, where she came up short to Iga Swiatek. The Tunisian can meet Aryna Sabalenka in a possible quarterfinals blockbuster. It would be their second match after famous semis at Wimbledon, as both have already played against each other in Cincinnati, where the Belarusian defeated Jabeur in straight sets. The world's number 5 starts her US Open campaign from match against Camila Osorio. The first possible seeded opponent of Jabeur is Marie Bouzkova. The Tunisian is a strong favorite to advance into QFs, as she can meet the names like Barbora Krejcikova or Qinwen Zheng in 4th round. Zheng done quite well in recent weeks, winning 3 matches in two appearances in Montreal and Cincinnati. Krejcikova lost both her hard courts matches in August, including the latest lose to Clara Tauson in opening round of WTA 250 in Cleveland. The Czech will seek for comeback on winning track during first round's match against Lucia Bronzetti.