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Sunday, August 30, 2020

Twenty-nine Americans in First Round Action Monday at US Open; Paire Out After Testing Positive for Covid-19 Virus

Monday marks the beginning of the strangest professional major I can remember, with no fans or media on the grounds at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. But the cameras will be there, so I'm sure everyone who loves tennis will be following from their laptops or televisions, and I'm excited and grateful that this tournament is actually happening after so much uncertainty and anxiety in the past several months. 

I said no media will be there, but there is a huge crew from ESPN on site, of course. This is the release they sent out a couple of days ago, with their broadcast schedule and list of commentators, including, for the first time, James Blake. Tennis Channel will be hosting its Tennis Channel Live at the Open show every morning at 7 a.m. Their schedule for the tournament is here.

Monday's schedule features 29 of the 52 Americans, with the top half of both draws starting the singles action. Several of the Americans on the schedule have recently been interviewed by Steve Pratt for the usopen.org website: Jennifer Brady, Maxime Cressy, Hailey Baptiste and Caroline Dolehide. Victoria Chiesa wrote about the young wild cards Katrina Scott and Robin Montgomery for usopen.org

The ATP tour publishes daily notes here, and have posted this article about some of top Challenger players in the draw, including five Americans, four of whom are designated by an asterisk below.

The WTA has featured five Americans in its first round match notes, which I've designated by an asterisk below.

Usopen.org also has this look at some of Monday's intriguing first round matches.

Monday’s first round matches featuring US women:(16)

Coco Gauff* v Anastasija Sevastova[31](LAT)

Alison Riske[13]* v Tatjana Maria(GER)

Hailey Baptiste[WC]* v Kristina Mladenovic[30](FRA)

Danielle Collins* v Anett Kontaveit[14](EST)

Robin Montgomery[WC] v Yulia Putintseva[23](KAZ)

Jessica Pegula v Marie Bouzkova(CZE)

Jennifer Brady[28]* v Anna Blinkova(RUS)

Francesca Di Lorenzo v Aliaksandra Sasnovich(BLR)

Madison Brengle v Lesia Tsurenko(UKR)

Whitney Osuigwe v Kateryna Kozlova(UKR)

Shelby Rogers v Irina Khromacheva(RUS)

Usue Arconada v Kaja Juvan(SLO)

Caroline Dolehide v Anna-Lena Friedsam(GER)

Allie Kiick[WC] v Kateryna Bondarenko(UKR)

Ann Li v Arantxa Rus(NED)

Cici Bellis[WC] v Tamara Korpatsch(GER)

*WTA match notes

Monday’s first round matches featuring US men: (13)

Sebastian Korda[WC] v Denis Shapovalov[12](CAN)

Steve Johnson v John Isner[16]

Reilly Opelka v David Goffin[7](BEL)

Taylor Fritz[19] v Dominik Koepfer

Ulises Blanch[WC]* v Cristian Garin[13](CHI)

Marcos Giron* v Marc Polmans(AUS)

Brandon Nakashima[WC]* v Paolo Lorenzi(ITA)

Michael Mmoh[WC] v Joao Sousa(POR)

Maxime Cressy[WC]* v Jozef Kovalik(SVK)

Jack Sock v Pablo Cuevas(URU)

Mitchell Krueger[WC] v Pedro Sousa(POR)

Thai Kwiatkowski[WC] v Soonwoo Kwon(KOR)

The reason this is such a strange US Open is, of course, the pandemic, and that was brought to the forefront again today when the USTA announced a player had tested positive for Covid-19 and was removed from the draw. Although not mentioned by name in the release, the player is No. 17 seed Benoit Paire of France who was replaced in the draw by Marcel Granollers of Spain, who at 146 has the highest singles ranking of any of the doubles players competing in New York. All singles alternates are taken from the doubles field to avoid adding additional players to the bubble.