Will the 2017 US Open hold the same excitement without Serena?

We have been following the US Open Series leading up to the final Grand Slam of the year next month and have been disappointed about the lack of excitement we’ve see. It’s very obvious that with Serena Williams not on the tour this year, the tournaments seem a little lackluster. 

But at the same time, we have been able to watch the players who have been dominating the tennis scene in Serena’s absence and have been able to appreciate the talent of these players. We can agree that rarely has the word “Open” in the US Open been more fitting. Pulling from this article from the U.S. Open website, we will give you a close look at who you will see next month in Flushing Meadow.

The former U.S. Open champions who have earned direct entry into the 2017 main draw are reigning champion and current world No. 3 Angelique Kerber, two-time U.S. Open winner and world No. 9 Venus Williams, 2004 winner and world No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova and 2011 champion Sam Stosur.

Other notable entrants include Wimbledon champion and new world No. 5 Garbiñe Muguruza and French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko. Other Grand Slam champions earning direct entry into the main draw are two-time Australian Open champ Victoria Azarenka, 2010 French Open winner Francesca Schiavone and two-time Wimbledon victor Petra Kvitova.

In addition to Azarenka, several past U.S. Open runners-up are also in the main draw, including 2008 finalist Jelena Jankovic, two-time runner-up and current world No. 7 Caroline Wozniacki and 2015 finalist Roberta Vinci.

Topping the entry list is 2016 runner-up Karolina Pliskova – who became world No. 1 following Wimbledon – and French Open finalist and world No. 2 Simona Halep. Rounding out the Top 10 are world No. 4 Johanna Konta, No. 6 Elina Svitolina and No. 10 Agnieszka Radwanska.

What is noticeable in this listing is the lack of American players. But the U.S. is proud of its talented group of players who have been making their way up the ranking. Along with Venus, Sloane Stephens, and Taylor Townsend, there are Madison Keys, CoCo Vandeweghe, Lauren Davis, Alison Riske, CiCi Bellis, Christina McHale, Shelby Rogers, Varvara Lepchenko, Madison Brengle, Jennifer Brady and Julia Boserup, who, at No. 105 in the world, was the last direct acceptance.

The Open may not hold the same excitement with Serena absent, but this will give us the chance to focus on the future champions of the sport.