5 unseeded players who can cause upsets and disrupt the draw at US Open 2022 ft. Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka will be entering the US Open main draw as an unseeded player
Naomi Osaka will be entering the US Open main draw as an unseeded player

The US Open draw is out, and this year the draw is much more open than it has been previously. With Novak Djokovic’s withdrawal, Rafael Nadal’s injury struggles, and defending champion Daniil Medvedev’s less-than-perfect form, there are no obvious favorites this time around at Flushing Meadows.

The North American hardcourt swing has seen first-time Masters 1000 champions Pablo Carreno Busta and Borna Coric win in Montreal and Cincinnati respectively.

On the women’s side, defending champion Emma Raducanu has been unspectacular and will struggle to advance to the deciding stages. Meanwhile, Caroline Garcia has surprised the tennis world with her magnificent run in Cincinnati to clinch her second WTA 1000s title.

With unexpected winners taking center stage in recent times, the US Open could see many lower-ranked players try to cement their names on the tour.

Let’s have a look at five such players who will be unseeded at the US Open but may wreak havoc and disrupt the draw:

5) Sebastian Korda

Western & Southern Open - Day 6
Western & Southern Open - Day 6

Home hope Sebastian Korda has established himself as a fearsome opponent in the past two years. The 22-year-old has managed to make deep runs at Slams previously. The American, however, hasn’t progressed past the first round at his home Slam. Korda retired mid-match in his first-round encounter against Nikoloz Basilashvili in 2021, while in 2020, the youngster was dismissed by Denis Shapovalov in his opening match.

Contrary to his results, Korda has displayed good skills that make him a competitor that cannot be overlooked.

4) Jack Draper

Winston-Salem Open - Day 5
Winston-Salem Open - Day 5

British tennis player Jack Draper has had a colossal rise in the rankings chart in 2022. Draper, who was ranked World No. 265 at the dawn of the year, is now standing at a career-high of World No. 55. Draper has registered 13 wins against 7 losses so far this season. The 20-year-old will be making his US Open debut in this edition and will face Emil Ruusuvuori in his first-round match-up.

Draper, who is currently contesting the quarterfinals of the Winston-Salem Open, defeated the 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem in the previous round in North Carolina. Draper also notably downed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round of the Canadian Open.

Draper entered the main draw by competing in the qualifiers and progressed all the way to the quarterfinals where he was seen off by eventual champion Pablo Carreno-Busta.

3) Ben Shelton

Atlanta Open - Day 4
Atlanta Open - Day 4

American Ben Shelton has created a lot of buzz in recent days. Shelton turned pro just a couple of days prior to the US Open draw release. The 19-year-old has been granted a wild card and will thus be making his Grand Slam main draw debut at Flushing Meadows. He managed to reach the second qualifying round of the 2021 edition. Impressively, Shelton has also been crowned the NCAA champion for 2022.

Ranked No. 171 in the world, the teenager had a breakthrough at the recently concluded Cincinnati Masters when he reached the third round of the tournament by outclassing Lorenzo Sonego in the opening round and French open finalist Casper Ruud in the next round. He fell to British No. 1 Cameron Norrie in the round of 16.

Shelton, who is just the third-highest ranked teenager after Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune, will look to make a deep run at the US Open in front of his home crowd.

Lotta love for the Gators🐊🙌🏽

2) Naomi Osaka

Western & Southern Open - Day 4
Western & Southern Open - Day 4

For the first time since 2017, Naomi Osaka will be entering the US Open main draw as an unseeded player. The former World No. 1 hasn’t had an ideal year. Plagued by injuries, Osaka has spent the majority of her season off the court. The two-time US Open champion made a comeback at the Silicon Valley Classic and has since contested the Canadian Open and the Cincinnati Open, incurring bleak results.

Osaka has been drawn against Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins in the first round. Collins isn’t in top form at the moment and she too will be entering the final Grand Slam of the season on the back of injuries. One, however, cannot count the four-time Slam winner out of any tournament, let alone one where she was twice a champion in 2018 and 2020.

1) Bernarda Pera

Day One: The Championships - Wimbledon 2022
Day One: The Championships - Wimbledon 2022

Croatia-born American Bernarda Pera has grabbed people’s attention by her fabulous display of tennis in the foregoing month. Thanks to her two back-to-back titles, followed by another final, the 27-year-old rose from the rank of World No. 130, to a career-high rank of World No. 49 within the span of a month.

Pera claimed her maiden WTA title at the 2022 Hungarian Open. In the subsequent week, she found herself in the same position as he hoisted her second consecutive trophy at the German Open. Pera then battled it out at the Thoreau Tennis Open, where she made her third successive final, but came up short this time around against compatriot Coco Vandeweghe.

She has currently advanced to the quarterfinals of the Tennis in the Land championship where she will face fellow American Sofia Kenin for a spot in the last four.

Pera will enter the US Open confident and is slated for a clash against Anhelina Kalinina in the first round.

WTA roundup: Bernarda Pera nabs second straight title with Hamburg win

A few other players worth mentioning include: Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Andy Murray, Jenson Brooksby, Sloane Stephens, Alize Cornet, Bianca Andreescu and Ajla Tomljanovic.

Also Checkout:- US Open 2022 Schedule

Rafael Nadal and wife Maria Francisca Perello spotted with infant son. click here for pictures.

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Edited by Keshav Gopalan
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