US Open razzmatazz

‘US Open not devalued by exodus of WTA top names,’ says US legend who also tips Serena WIlliams to shine

The US Open has not been ‘devalued’ by so many top players in the women’s draw withdrawing, says Pam Shriver.

Six of the top eight WTA players in the world will be missing when the draw for the US Open takes place.

They include world number one and reigning Australian Open champion Ashleigh Barty, and world number two and reigning Wimbledon champion Simona Halep.

Bianca Andreescu, who won the US Open last year has also decided not to play, as have Kiki Bertens, Elina Svitolina, and Belinda Bencic.

Some has suggested that makes the US Open far less significant a tournament to win, but Shriver doesn’t agree.

“I don’t think it devalues the tournament,” Shriver told reporters.

“Anybody that comes through and wins seven rounds, under the circumstances of living in a quarantine bubble, unable to do your normal thing you usually do at a major, it is going to be an incredible performance.”

The exodus of top WTA stars means that world number nine Serena Williams suddenly finds herself the number three seed in New York.

And, according to Shriver, the 23-time Grand Slam champion may be more dangerous than ever.

“Without the crowds there, I wouldn’t be surprised if she actually feels a little less pressure,” she added.

Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.