Because Daniil Medvedev, Rafael Nadal, and Dominic Thiem have not played a single match at the US Open since winning their titles but they will all compete in this year's edition, the American Grand Slam will have three players defending their titles.
Medvedev won US Open last year, Thiem won in 2020, and Nadal won at Flushing Meadows in 2019.
Rafael Nadal arrived at US Open after 3 missing years
US Open exclusively captured Rafael Nadal’s first arrival on Arthur Ashe after 3 years of being away from the American Grand Slam, and released the video on their social media.
“The return of Rafa,” the US Open captioned the video compilation. See the video here: Exclusive look of Rafael Nadal’s US Open arrival after 3 missing years “Rafael Nadal is back at the US Open for the first time in 3 years,” US Open pointed out in the comments section of the video.
Besides arriving early at the US Open, Nadal has been seen training hard. Barbara Schett considers the Spaniard a threat if he manages to enter the competition healthy and fit. "If there’s no damage to the abdominal muscle, then he still has a week and a half to improve his health, to improve the trust also that he can extend and he can’t bend on the serve because that’s the trickiest shot, the serve and the smash.
When that is the case, Rafa Nadal certainly can be dangerous again at the US Open. I mean, he’s so fired up at every single Grand Slam. We’ve seen this year playing the best tennis of his life. You can never, ever write him off," said Barbara on Eurosport.
Although Rafael Nadal lost in the first round of Cincinnati, the Spaniard was the only player who managed to steal a set from the champion Borna Coric. ATP world number 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas, world number 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime, and world number 11 Cameron Norrie all failed to win at least one set against the surprising Croatian player.