Novak Djokovic headlines 2021 US Open in NYC as he goes for history

Novak Djokovic US Open
Novak Djokovic could win the first ‘Calendar Grand Slam’ since 1969 should he win the US Open later this summer.
Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced on Wednesday that the “Big 3” of men’s tennis in Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer, will headline the men’s singles field for the 2021 US Open in Queens, which spans from Aug. 30 to Sept. 12.

The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing could very well provide the setting for a tiebreaker between the trio, as they all are tied for the current men’s record in Grand Slam victories at 20. 

Djokovic drew level with Federer and Nadal this year, winning the Australian and French Opens along with a triumph at Wimbledon earlier this month.

A win at the US Open would see Djokovic win the first men’s ‘Calendar Grand Slam’ — winning each of the four major tournaments in one year — since 1969 when Australian legend Rod Laver swept all four championships.

American Don Budge is the only other man to complete a ‘Calendar Grand Slam,’ which came in 1938.

The top-ranked men’s player in the world, Djokovic is also competing in the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics, opening up the chance of him winning the ‘Calendar Golden Slam’ should he win a gold medal and the US Open. Steffi Graff is the only other tennis player to attain such a feat when she did so in 1988.

In total, 103 men have been directly invited to compete in the US Open, including world No. 6 and defending US Open champion Dominic Thiem, former US Open champions Stan Wawrinka and Marin Cilic, and top-10 players like 2019 US Open finalist and world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas, and 2020 US Open finalist and world No. 5 Alexander Zverev. Nadal is ranked third in the world while Federer is ninth.

Sixteen more players will gain entry to the US Open through a qualifying tournament, which is held between Aug. 24-27.