The 2012 London Olympic Games have just begun, but not long after is the USTA US Open and the big headliners are Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Remember when it used to be Pete Sampra, Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi? Roddick will be there, but after the rough year and getting ousted by Djokovic from Round 2 at Wimbledon, his marque value has slipped.
The USTA announced today that world No. 1 and five-time US Open singles champion Roger Federer, defending US Open champion Novak Djokovic, and 2010 US Open and 2012 French Open champion Rafael Nadal lead the men’s singles field for the 2012 US Open Tennis Championships. The player field also features former US Open champions Andy Roddick and Juan Martin Del Potro. Each of the world’s top 101 men received direct entry into the US Open, representing 37 countries.
The 2012 US Open will be played August 27 – September 9 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. Both the men’s and women’s US Open singles champions will earn $1.9 million with the ability to earn an additional $1 million in bonus prize money (for a total $2.9 million potential payout) based on their performances in the Emirates Airline US Open Series. The US Open Men’s Singles Championship is presented by Mercedes-Benz USA.
Leading the entry list is world No. 1 Roger Federer, who returned to the top ranking following his title at Wimbledon this year. Federer surpassed Pete Sampras to set the record for the most weeks at No. 1 in the ATP rankings at 287 weeks. Federer is seeking his sixth US Open title, which would surpass Sampras and Jimmy Connors for most US Open men’s singles titles in the Open Era. In 2007, Federer became the only man to win the Emirates Airline US Open Series and US Open titles in the same year.
World No. 2 Novak Djokovic is the defending US Open champion after defeating Rafael Nadal in four sets in the final last year for his first US Open championship. Djokovic won the 2012 Australian Open and reached the final of the French Open. He held the No. 1 ranking from July 2011 up to Wimbledon this year—the first player other than Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to be ranked No. 1 on the ATP World Tour since Andy Roddick in 2003.
World No. 3 Rafael Nadal, who won the 2010 US Open, is seeking his 12th career Grand Slam singles title after winning the 2012 French Open.
Following Federer, Djokovic and Nadal on the entry list are No. 4 Andy Murray of Great Britain, the 2008 US Open runner-up; No. 5 David Ferrer of Spain, a 2007 US Open semifinalist; No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, the 2008 Australian Open runner-up; No. 7 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, the 2010 Wimbledon runner-up; No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia, a 2011 US Open quarterfinalist; No. 9 Del Potro of Argentina, the 2009 US Open singles champion; and No. 10 Nicolas Almagro of Spain.
In all, there are six entrants who have won Grand Slam singles titles in their careers, including 2003 French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain.
Other American men who received direct entry into this year’s tournament include: No. 11 John Isner of Tampa, Fla.; No. 13 Mardy Fish of Los Angeles; No. 43 Ryan Harrison of Austin, Texas; No. 55 Sam Querrey of Las Vegas; No. 58 Donald Young of Atlanta; No. 79 Brian Baker of Nashville, Tenn.; No. 85 Jesse Levine of Boca Raton, Fla.; and No. 96 Michael Russell of Houston.
Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil, ranked No. 101, is the last player accepted directly into the men’s field of 128. Additionally, three players used protected rankings to gain direct entry: Somdev Devvarman of India; Paul-Henri Mathieu of France; and Tommy Robredo of Spain. Sixteen more players will gain entry through the US Open Qualifying Tournament, August 21-24, while the remaining eight spots are wild cards awarded by the USTA.
Among the players competing in the US Open Qualifying Tournament will be the winner of the third annual US Open National Playoffs – Men’s Championship presented by playtennis.com, held during the Emirates Airline US Open Series women’s event in New Haven, Conn., prior to the US Open Qualifying Tournament. The USTA created the US Open National Playoffs in 2010 to allow players 14-and-older, regardless of playing ability or nationality, to vie for a spot in the US Open Qualifying Tournament via one of 13 Sectional Qualifying Tournaments.
The July 16 edition of the ATP World Tour rankings was used to determine the US Open main draw entry list. Seeds will be determined and announced closer to the start of the event.
The 2012 US Open will mark the culmination of the Emirates Airline US Open Series, the North American summer season of 10 ATP World Tour and WTA events that began July 9. The US Open is the highest attended annual sporting event in the world. More than 80 million viewers watched the 2011 US Open on CBS Sports, ESPN2 and Tennis Channel, and international broadcasts reached 180 countries. In 2011, Novak Djokovic captured his first US Open singles title, defeating defending champion Rafael Nadal. In the women’s singles final, Samantha Stosur captured her first Grand Slam singles title by defeating three-time US Open champion Serena Williams.
Tickets for the 2012 US Open can be purchased four ways: 1) at USOpen.org; 2) by calling Ticketmaster at 1-866-OPEN-TIX; 3) at all Ticketmaster outlets; or 4) at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center box office. American Express is the Official Card of the US Open.