US Open 2021 Draws: 3 big matches to watch out for in women’s singles round 1 ft. Halep vs Giorgi- The 2021 US Open presents some fascinating first-round encounters, featuring some of the game’s hottest players, most interesting personalities and enduring crowd favorites in both the women’s and men’s draws. While it’s tough to pick just a few standout matches, here are three of the best openers on the women’s side.
US Open 2021 Draws: Simona Halep (ROM) (12) v Camila Giorgi (ITA)
Upset alert. Giorgi, the petite Italian who pound-for-pound is the hardest hitter on tour, has always been a dangerous early-round opponent whom few top-ranked players wanted to see across the net. With her surprising victory at the Master’s 1000 event in Montreal two weeks ago, Giorgi is for sure the most feared unseeded player in the women’s draw. The streaky 29-year-old Italian defeated fourth-ranked Karolina Pliskova in straight sets to claim her first 1000-level title. (Ranked No.71, Giorgi upset four seeded players — No. 9 Elise Mertens, No.7 Petra Kvitova and No.15 Coco Gauff, in addition to Pliskova — to become the lowest-ranked champion in Canada since No.80-ranked Serena Williams took the title in 2011). Halep is a two-time Slam winner, but she has been hampered by leg injuries; the Romanian did not play either the French Open or Wimbledon, and she pulled out of last week’s Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati after her first-round win with a small abductor tear. If Halep isn’t healthy, look out.
US Open 2021 Draws: Madison Keys (USA) v Sloane Stephens (USA)
It was only four short years ago in Flushing that this all-American matchup constituted the women’s final: Unseeded Stephens claimed her first, and only, major title with a one-sided win over her close friend Keys. Since then, both women have had their ups and downs on tour, with neither able to repeat the success of 2017. Keys, the big-serving Californian and former Top 10 player, is down to No. 41 in the rankings and hasn’t advanced beyond the fourth round at a major since 2019. Stephens reached the final at Roland Garros in 2018, but like Keys, she hasn’t been past the fourth round at a major in the last two years, falling to No. 64 in the rankings. Keys retains her daunting power game, and Stephens is still as fleet of foot as ever. Even though neither American has been able consistently to live up to her immense potential, it should be a treat to see these two friends and former finalists face off in the first round.
US Open 2021 Draws: Danielle Collins (USA) (26) v Carla Suárez Navarro (USA)
The American Collins, a University of Virginia grad seeded 26th, is on a hot streak. She claimed back-to-back singles titles in Palermo in July and earlier this month in San Jose, winning 10 consecutive matches on her way to compiling an outstanding 29-10 record on the year. The Floridian is a feisty, hard-hitting backcourt player who makes for a supremely tough out. Suárez Navarro, 32, is a former Top 10 player embarking on her farewell tour after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in September 2020, just weeks after announcing retirement plans. Now cancer-free, the Spaniard is going out on her terms; the US Open will be her final pro tournament. Suárez Navarro has always been one of the most well-liked players on tour, and after her brave bout with cancer, it’s hard to imagine anyone not rooting for a great exit for the popular player, who owns one of the prettiest one-handed backhands and biggest smiles in the game.
US Open 2021 Draws: 3 big matches to watch out for in women’s singles round 1 ft. Halep vs Giorgi