United States Tennis Association (USTA) has announced that all the active former US Open singles champions will be competing in this year’s edition of the Flushing Meadows Grand Slam, slated from August 27 to September 9.
For the first time since 2015, US Open 2018 will feature all 14 active singles champions – seven men and seven women. This comes after Stan Wawrinka and Svetlana Kuznetsova, 2016 men’s and 2004 women’s champions respectively, have been granted main-draw wild cards this week.
The seven men have combined to win each of the last 14 US Open titles, with Roger Federer’s five (2004-08) and defending champion Rafael Nadal’s three (2010, 2013, 2017) leading the way. The forever-linked legends will be joined by two-time winner Novak Djokovic (2011, 2015), Juan Martin del Potro (2009), Andy Murray (2012), Marin Cilic (2014) and Wawrinka.
Outside of that list, the last man to win a US Open title was Andy Roddick, in 2003. The former world No. 1’s lone Grand Slam title is also the last major singles trophy won by an American man.
The full house of men’s champions represents a welcome turnaround from US Open 2017 where five of the ATP’s Top 11 men were absent from the New York showpiece. The absentees’ list included the 2014 finalist Kei Nishikori and Canadian Milos Raonic.
Of the women’s champions, Serena Williams was the first to claim a title. The six-time US Open winner, who missed the 2017 tournament as she gave birth to her daughter, had lifted the 1999 trophy as a 17-year-old for the first of her 23 major singles titles.
Venus Williams is the only other active woman to win multiple US Open titles (2000, 2001), while Svetlana Kuznetsova, Maria Sharapova (2006), Sam Stosur (2011), Angelique Kerber (2016) and defending champ Sloane Stephens complete the star-studded lineup. Across the last 19 years, these seven women have accounted for 13 US Open titles.
The last non-active WTA player to triumph in New York is Italy’s Flavia Pennetta, who won in 2015 and retired at the conclusion of that season.
After Serena, Djokovic, Murray, Wawrinka and Stosur all sat out last year’s US Open, fans and tournament organizers alike are excited about the prospect of a full draw.
Tournament Director David Brewer said, “This really is what Grand Slam tennis is all about: the absolute best, and many of them, competing for the championship. We’re thrilled that we’re going to have the depth of field, from top to bottom, that it looks like we’re going to have. It’s really the ultimate that we could have hoped for.”
The above champions will battle it out once again on the famed hard courts of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center beginning on Monday, Aug. 27. With wildcards Wawrinka and Kuznetsova unseeded, next week’s draw could serve up a meeting of former champions as early as the opening round.