By Richard Kent, Staff Reporter
NEW YORK — It has been 24 years since a US Open was played without Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Serena Williams.
Well, the injury bug has struck all of them, and they will each miss the Open, which starts on Monday at Flushing Meadows.
Just hours after her younger sister withdrew, Venus Williams also withdrew due to the same injury as Serena, a torn hamstring.
One could make the argument that the withdrawals will make room for many of the new guard in both the men’s and women’s game.
In reality, even if Federer, Nadal and Williams were in the men’s and women’s draw, the overwhelming favorites would remain as world No. 1’s Novak Djokovic and Ashleigh Barty.
If Djokovic wins the event, he will complete the elusive calendar-year Grand Slam. Last year he was disqualified from the Open.
The biggest challenger to Barty is Simone Halep.
The Open draw took place on the Open premises earlier today.
The Open will be played at 100% capacity and good seats remain for most day and night sessions.