US Open 2023: Five storylines to look out for in New York
• 6 MINUTE READ
With the final Grand Slam of the 2023 season within touching distance, we’ve highlighted five storylines you ought to look out for at the 2023 US Open.
Are Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic set for a Wimbledon repeat?
Just over a month after their five-set epic during the men’s singles final at The Championships, Wimbledon, Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic went toe-to-toe for the third time since May in a four-hour battle which ultimately saw Djokovic claim the Cincinnati Open title and even up their head-to-head record to 2-2.
Reigning champion Alcaraz has maintained his world No.1 ranking heading into the US Open, while Djokovic’s ranking of world No.2 means they could likely face each other in a second consecutive Grand Slam final – as Djokovic prepares to hunt down an all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles on his first appearance at the US Open since 2020.
With the mouth-watering rivalry between the old and new generations having already gifted us with some of the most exhilarating matches of the year – could we be set for another match-up between the Spaniard and the Serb in New York?
Despite the two undoubtedly entering the tournament as the hot favourites to lift the silverware, it’d be unfair to discount the likes of Jannik Sinner – who clinched a maiden Masters 1000 title in Toronto two weeks ago – Denmark’s Holger Rune and 2021 champion Daniil Medvedev as strong contenders for the title.
Katie Boulter and Jodie Burrage headline British action in women’s main draw
For the first time in their careers, British No.1 Katie Boulter and British No.2 Jodie Burrage have qualified for the US Open women’s main draw and will be waving the British flag for the women in New York.
Both players enjoyed milestone moments during their summer swings, with Boulter lifting a career-first WTA title at the Rothesay Open Nottingham, breaking into the WTA top 100 and being crowned British No.1; meanwhile Burrage reached her first WTA-level final – losing out on the silverware to Boulter - recorded a first Grand Slam win at Wimbledon, entered the top 100 for the first time and more recently, won a maiden WTA doubles title alongside Olivia Gadecki at the Golden Gate Open.
With both Brits growing in form and confidence, their main draw features will certainly be ones to watch as they look to rock the boat.
Can Gauff challenge Swiatek to clinch her first Grand Slam title?
While world No.1 Iga Swiatek is the reigning US Open champion, the Pole has several other WTA stars following closely behind her in the hopes of stealing her crown. One of which is home favourite Coco Gauff.
Having failed to beat Swiatek on their previous seven meetings, the 19-year-old American made it eighth-time lucky last week in Cincinnati after she overcame the four-time Grand Slam champion in three sets, before eventually her sealing career-first WTA 1000 title the next day. With the Washington D.C. and Cincinnati champion entering the tournament in fiery form, could now be her time to shine and earn a maiden major title?
Also in contention for the women’s singles crown is Gauff’s compatriot and doubles partner Jessica Pegula. The world No.4 has tasted victory of her own recently, after sweeping up the WTA 1000 title in Montreal. Meanwhile, second seed Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina and last year’s runner-up Ons Jabeur will also be determined to claim victory in New York.
Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid prepare to hunt down the Calendar Slam
Australian Open. Roland Garros. Wimbledon – the world’s best men’s wheelchair doubles duo Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid are one title away from winning the Calendar Slam for the second time in their careers.
The pair were pipped to the post in last year’s final by Martin de la Puente and Nicolas Peifer, after suffering a 4-6, 7-5, 10-6 to deny the British pair a sixth doubles title in the Big Apple. With Hewett and Reid having picked up an impressive nine titles already this season as a partnership, they’ll undoubtedly be gunning to etch their names on the trophy once again.
Will Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram make it three victories in a row?
Britain’s Joe Salisbury and American doubles partner Rajeev Ram made it back-to-back titles last year at Flushing Meadows after ousting Neal Skupski and Wesley Koolhof in straight sets during the men’s doubles final - wrapping up their second Grand Slam title in as many years.
However, Salisbury enters the tournament as one of a host of British doubles talent set to contest the doubles title and will be eager to put an end to the British, American duo’s two-year reign. Perhaps the hot favourites to lift the trophy – joint world No.1s Neal Skupski and Wesley Koolhof, who were crowned Grand Slam champions for the first time at Wimbledon back in July.