U.S. Open preview

What: The fourth and final Grand Slam tournament of the year

When: Monday through Sept. 9

Where: USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York

Defending singles champions: Rafael Nadal and Sloane Stephens

Men's top seeds

1. Rafael Nadal, Spain

2. Roger Federer, Switzerland

3. Juan Martin del Potro, Argentina

4. Alexander Zverev, Germany

5. Kevin Anderson, South Africa

6. Novak Djokovic, Serbia

7. Marin Cilic, Croatia

8. Grigor Dimitrov, Bulgaria

WoMen's top seeds

1. Simona Halep, Romania

2. Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark

3. Sloane Stephens, United States

4. Angelique Kerber, Germany

5. Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic

6. Caroline Garcia, France

7. Elina Svitolina, Ukraine

8. Karolina Pliskova, Czech Republic


The stars are out: The U.S. Open has restored star power, a year after the women's draw had just one Grand Slam champion among its top five seeds and three of the top five men in the world rankings missed the event because of injuries. Now Serena Williams, a year after giving birth, is lurking at the 17th seed while the top four seeds — Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki, Sloane Stephens and Angelique Kerber — are the reigning singles champions for each Grand Slam tournament. In the men's draw, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic (who could not play last year) will each be seeking his second Grand Slam title of 2018.

Last year: Rafael Nadal overwhelmed Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 to win his third championship at Flushing Meadows. Stephens capped her rapid rise from a ranking of 957th in early August to Grand Slam champion by beating her close friend Madison Keys 6-3, 6-0 in the first major final for both.

The ageless one: Roger Federer is a full decade removed from his last title at Flushing Meadows. If he can win another at age 37, he would collect a male-record 21st major. A sixth U.S. Open title would break a tie with Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras for the most in the professional era.

News services