US Open 2021: Andy Murray to start against Stefanos Tsitsipas in New York

Andy Murray lifts the US Open trophy in 2012
Andy Murray won the first of his three Grand Slam titles at Flushing Meadows in 2012
US Open 2021
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 30 August-12 September
Coverage: Daily radio commentaries on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra/BBC Sport website and app, with selected live text commentaries and match reports on the website and app

Former champion Andy Murray will face Greek third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the first round of the US Open.

Top seed Novak Djokovic, bidding for a record 21st Grand Slam men's singles title and a clean sweep of the majors in 2021, starts against a qualifier.

Ashleigh Barty, the women's world number one, faces Vera Zvonareva, while Britain's top-ranked woman Johanna Konta plays Kristina Mladenovic.

The final Grand Slam of the season starts in New York on Monday.

Defending women's champion Naomi Osaka, who is bidding for a third title in four years, is seeded third and has been drawn in the opposite half to Australia's Barty.

The Japanese player begins her title defence against Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic.

Naomi Osaka lifts the US Open trophy after winning the 2020 tournament
Naomi Osaka won the 2020 US Open - which was held behind closed doors - by fighting back to beat Victoria Azarenka in the women's final

Britain's Cameron Norrie, seeded 26th, opens against highly-rated Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz, while the nation's top-ranked male player Dan Evans faces Brazilian Thiago Monteiro.

Heather Watson - the only other British player to have gained direct entry into the main draws - plays Slovenia's Kaja Juvan.

American pair Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys meet in a repeat of their 2017 women's singles final - which Stephens won - while Australian Nick Kyrgios meets Spanish former Wimbledon semi-finalist Roberto Bautista Agut in another eye-catching opening match.

No Williams, Nadal or Federer - where are some of the star names?

The tournament - which is the first major since the coronavirus pandemic to be held with a 100% crowd throughout - will be without a host of star names.

American great Serena Williams, who turns 40 next month, pulled out of her home major on Wednesday with the hamstring injury that forced her to retire from her first-round match at Wimbledon.

Hours later, the six-time champion's sister Venus Williams, 41, also withdrew with a long-standing leg injury.

Swiss five-time champion Roger Federer, 40, is out following knee surgery, while long-time rival Rafael Nadal, 35, has ended his season because of a niggling foot injury.

Reigning men's champion Dominic Thiem of Austria will miss this year's tournament - and the rest of the 2021 season - with a wrist injury.

Murray faces difficult test against Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andy Murray
Tsitsipas (left) and Murray have never faced each other in a competitive match

Murray, 34, is one of the few older star names to be playing in New York after overcoming the minor thigh injury which led to him pulling out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games singles last month.

But a draw against 23-year-old Tsitsipas is almost as tough as it could be for the 2012 champion as he aims to test his body in the best-of-five format once again.

Murray reached the third round of Wimbledon in July, but said he needed to weigh up "if all the hard work is worth it" after an encouraging run was ended by Canada's Denis Shapovalov.

Since then, Murray has played in the Tokyo Olympics doubles before travelling to the United States to prepare for the final major of the year.

After a good win against France's Richard Gasquet, the Scot acquitted himself well in a straight-set defeat by Poland's world number 13 Hubert Hurkacz in the Cincinnati Masters second round.

Murray, now ranked 114th, earned another victory against qualifier Noah Rubin at the Winston-Salem Open before losing to American Frances Tiafoe.

Now he turns his attention to Tsitsipas, who reached his first Grand Slam final at this year's French Open, but has never progressed past the third round in New York.

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