The 2022 US Open main draw will begin on August 29. There have been five teenage winners of the US Open in the Open Era on the women's side. On the men's side, seven teenagers have won a Slam title in the Open Era but only one has achieved it at the US Open - Pete Sampras.
Last year, the women's singles final was contested between two teenagers - Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez. It was the fourth instance at the US Open where the teenage women met in the final at the US Open. The previous instances were the 1988 final between Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatini, the 1997 final between Venus Williams and Martina Hingis, and the 1999 US Open final between Serena Williams and Martina Hingis.
The 2022 US Open champion will feature a good number of teenage players with immense potential who are knocking on the door for the biggest throne. Let's take a look at eight players who are likely to progress deeper into the draw at the 2022 US Open.
#8. Linda Fruhvirtova
At one point during the 2021 WTA season, the youngest player to be ranked within the Top 400 was 15-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova. In 2022, the young Czech broke into the Top 200 after a win against two-time Slam Champion Victoria Azarenka in Miami.
After defeats in the qualifying rounds at Wimbledon and the French Open, Fruhvirtova will finally make her main draw debut at the 2022 US Open.
#7. Ben Shelton
Ben Shelton turned professional during the 2022 US Open series. The reigning NCAA Division I men's singles champion has won 17 of the 24 hardcourt matches in 2022, which includes two wins at the Masters level. Last year, the 19-year-old lost in the second round of the US Open qualifying draw.
He is currently the third highest ranked teenager with a career-high ranking of World No.171. The American finds himself in the section of top seed and defending champion Daniil Medvedev, whom he could face in the third round.
#6. Qinwen Zheng
At the age of 19, Qinwen Zheng is China's second-best women's tennis player. She got her spotlight moment at the 2022 French Open, where she defeated Simona Halep and Alize Cornet to make the Round of 16. She has also recorded wins against Ons Jabeur, Sloane Stephens and Bianca Andreescu this season.
The youngster prefers hardcourts as they suit her aggressive style of play. Currently placed at a career-high rank of World No. 40, Zheng finds herself in top seed Iga Swiatek's section of the draw. However, before setting up a clash against the World No.1, she has to prove herself against the likes of Jelena Ostapenko in the first round and potential match-ups against Anastasia Potapova and Amanda Anisimova.
#5. Linda Noskova
Linda Noskova became the youngest Czech player to qualify for a Major at the 2022 French Open. She lost to fellow debutant Emma Raducanu. A semifinal finish in front of her home crowd in Prague helped her break into the Top 100 rankings. At the age of 17 years, the 2021 junior French Open champion is now set to make her US Open debut.
#4. Leylah Fernandez
Defending runner-up Leylah Fernandez was on a giant-slaying streak last year at the US Open. She won her first title at Monterrey in 2021, and successfully defended it in 2022. The 19-year-old had a promising run at the French Open, where she made the quarterfinals. But a foot fracture that occurred during the tournament has since halted her progress.
Seeded 14th at the 2022 US Open, she will play her opening round match against Oceane Dodin, followed by potential encounters against Liudmila Samsonova, Martina Trevisan and second seed Anett Kontaveit.
#3. Coco Gauff
18-year-old Coco Gauff is currently World No. 12 in the singles and No. 1 in the doubles. The young American made her maiden Major singles final at the French Open this year. She has won two tour-level singles titles this year.
Gauff is the 12th seed at the 2022 US Open. She finds compatriot Madison Keys and former World No.1 Simona Halep in her section of the draw. The US Open remains the only Major where she is yet to get past the third round.
#2. Emma Raducanu
Defending champion Emma Raducanu is the 11th seed at the 2022 US Open. Ever since her fairytale run at the 2021 US Open, Raducanu has a win-loss record of 14-17 in tour-level matches. The Brit's best results in this season include quarterfinal finishes at Stuttgart and Washington.
As the eleventh seed, Raducanu will face veteran player Alize Cornet in the first round and is likely to face former World No.1 Naomi Osaka and sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka in the subsequent rounds.
#1. Carlos Alcaraz
It should come as no surprise that Carlos Alcaraz makes the climax of this list of teenagers to look out for at the 2022 US Open. A quarterfinalist at the US Open last year, the Spaniard made a quarterfinals run at the French Open as well. The 19-year-old has already won 5 tour-level titles which includes 2 Masters 1000 titles.
Placed at a career-high ranking of World No.4 right now, Alcaraz has an impressive win rate of 74% in singles. In 2022, he won titles at Rio, Miami, Barcelona and Madrid with runner-up finishes at Hamburg and Umag.
At the 2022 US Open, Alcaraz finds himself in the same half as Rafael Nadal. The third seed faces a tricky path which includes potential matches against 2022 Cincinnati champion Borna Coric in the third round, 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic in the fourth round and Hubert Hurkacz or Jannik Sinner in the quarterfinals.
In theory, Alcaraz can reach the World No.1 ranking after the US Open. To be the youngest to do so, he has to at least make the finals of the 2022 US Open. Considering what he has achieved in the four years since he turned professional, the Spaniard has all the artillery he needs to overcome this task.