For American tennis players, the U.S. Open marks the pinnacle of the season. After eight grueling months traveling on tour, there’s nothing quite like performing in front of the rowdy home crowd in New York City.
This year, there’s a bigger spotlight and a renewed sense of enthusiasm given the incredible depth and talent of American tennis right now. And the doubles game is no exception.
Among the ATP and WTA doubles rankings, there are currently seven U.S. players ranked inside the top 15, nine inside the top 30, and 13 inside the top 50. This deep crop of Americans includes household names and singles stars like Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula, along with exclusive doubles players who are having career-best seasons including ATP world No. 3 Austin Krajicek.
American Women’s US Open Doubles Preview
When looking at the rankings, it’s clear the U.S. women have no shortage of doubles options to make a deep run in New York. American women are currently stacked with five U.S. players in the top 15, seven in the top 30, and nine in the top 50.
- No. 5 Taylor Townsend
- No. 6 Jess Pegula
- No. 7 Coco Gauff
- No. 8 Desirae Krawczyk
- No. 11 Nicole Melichar-Martinez
- No. 28 Alycia Parks
- No. 30 Caty McNally
- No. 33 Caroline Dolehide
- No. 41 Asia Muhammad
Despite this depth and consistency, no American listed above has won a major title in women’s doubles (yet). Coco Vandeweghe was the last American to win a women’s doubles major at the 2018 U.S. Open alongside partner Ash Barty. Since then, the U.S. has had seven different slam finalists who have finished a combined 0-10 in grand slam finals.
With five women’s doubles majors to her resume, No. 82 Bethanie Mattek-Sands is the only active American player in the U.S. Open doubles draw who is a women’s doubles grand slam champion. Let’s hope someone reverses the American finals trajectory soon.
Five U.S. Women’s Doubles Players to Watch
Is this the year someone breaks through to win their first major on U.S. soil? Here’s a look at the top American women contenders.
A U.S. Open finalist last year, the top-ranked American comes into New York in fine form after a surprise run to win the Cincinnati Open title with fellow American, Alycia Parks. Along the way, they knocked out four of the top 5 seeds in convincing fashion to win their first WTA 1000 title together.
No matter her partner, Townsend has proven herself to be one of the top doubles players in the world. Currently, at a career-high ranking of No. 5, she has won three titles in 2023 with three different partners: Adelaide I (Asia Muhammad), Adelaide II (Luisa Stefani), and Cincinnati (Alycia Parks).
At the U.S. Open, Townsend will team up with her 2023 regular partner Leylah Fernandez as the No. 6 seed. Together, the American-Canadian duo referred to as “Tey-Lah” has posted an impressive year and developed quite the fanbase. In just seven tournaments together, they’ve finished runner-up twice at the Miami Open and French Open and now have their sights set on qualifying for the WTA Finals. Currently, they are No. 7 in the race.
- 2023 Record: 29-7 (81%)
- 2023 Titles: 3 (Adelaide 1, Adelaide II, Cincinnati)
- U.S. Open partner: Leylah Fernandez
- Best U.S. Open finish: Townsend (2022 finalist) and Fernandez (Round of 16)
Coco Gauff & Jess Pegula
The top-ranked American team has become arguably the biggest household name in doubles across both tours. With two titles on the year in Doha and Miami, Gauff and Pegula have posted another strong doubles showing on tour in 2023, but they’ve come up short at the grand slam stage. They lost winnable matches in the semi-finals at both the Australian Open and Roland Garros before a disappointing Round of 16 finish at Wimbledon.
Although they haven’t played much doubles together this summer, the American pair swept the North American hardcourt three-peat with consecutive singles titles in Washington D.C. (Gauff), Montreal (Pegula), and Cincinnati (Gauff).
If summer hardcourt current singles results are any indication of current form, the No. 3 seeds should be poised for a deep run in New York. Plus, with the top-ranked Czech team of Katerina Siniakova/Barbora Krejcikova struggling to regain their form, this could be their best shot to strike while the iron is hot and win their first doubles major. The No. 3 seeds face the American wildcard team of Quinn Gleason and Elizabeth Mandelik in the first round.
- 2023 Record: 32-7 (82%)
- 2023 Titles: 2 (Doha, Miami)
- Best U.S. Open Doubles Result: Gauff (2021 finalist), Pegula (Round of 16)
A former NCAA standout at Arizona State University, the talented lefty has quietly made a name for herself over the last few years both in women’s doubles and mixed doubles. Since teaming up with partner Demi Schuurs in March 2022, the two have become a staple at the top of the doubles game with three titles together and a semifinal run at the 2022 WTA Finals.
If ever someone was considered a “mixed doubles specialist”, you could make a strong case for Krawczyk. Since 2021, she has won four mixed doubles majors alongside Neal Skupski and Joe Salisbury– 2021 French Open, 2021 Wimbledon, 2021 U.S. Open and 2022 Wimbledon.
She’ll look to replicate her mixed doubles success in women’s doubles at the U.S. Open with Demi Schuurs this year as the No. 4 seed. They’ll have to battle through a difficult draw that includes a looming potential second-round clash against Victoria Azarenka and Beatriz Haddad-Mia.
- 2023 Record: 35-16 (69%)
- 2023 Titles: 3 (Charleston, Stuttgart, Eastbourne)
- U.S. Open partner: Demi Schuurs
- Best U.S. Open finish: Krawczyk (Semi-finals in 2021), Schuurs (Quarterfinals in 2022)
Standing tall at 5-foot-11, the 30-year-old American brings a powerful game and energy to the doubles court. She has been a fixture in the doubles top 10-20 for the last several years and has enjoyed success with multiple partners. Melichar-Martinez and partner Ellen Perez teamed up midway through 2022 and caught fire during the summer hardcourt swing last year.
The 2022 U.S. Open semi-finalists will come into New York in good form yet again following back-to-back runner-up performances in Cincinnati and Cleveland. At their best, the No. 5 seeds have the upside to beat any team in the draw.
They should have a workable draw in the first few rounds until a potential Round of 16 clash awaits against the No. 9 seeds Gugu Olmos/Chan, a new team who they’ve beaten twice recently in both Cincinnati and Cleveland.
- 2023 Record: 29-23 (56%)
- 2023 Titles: 0
- U.S. Open partner: Ellen Perez
- Best U.S. Open finish: Melichar-Martinez (Finals 2020), Perez (Semifinals 2022)
Women’s Doubles Honorable Mentions
Alycia Parks: Parks’ huge serve and weapons can overpower just about anyone on the doubles court on the right day with the right partner (see Taylor Townsend/Cincinnati title run). But the errors can pile on just as quickly. She’s in the U.S. Open draw with fellow American Sophie Chang.
Asia Muhammad & Caroline Dolehide: Both accomplished former top 25 doubles players who prioritize singles first, and as a result, often pop in and out of doubles events due to their singles schedule. They have a difficult opener against the 2020 U.S. Open champions, No. 12 Laura Siegemund/Vera Zvonareva.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands: Never count out a multi-grand slam champion. Among active U.S. players in both doubles draws, Mattek-Sands holds the most major titles (9) with five women’s doubles titles and four mixed doubles titles. While she may be past her prime, the No. 82 ranked player is always a dangerous floater in the draw, especially when teaming with a powerful partner like Anastasia Potapova.
Jen Brady: The big-swinging American made her long-awaited comeback earlier this summer and has already picked up a few signature wins. She’s entered the U.S. Open with the talented Luisa Stefani. With Brady’s massive forehand and Stefani’s old-school serve and volley game style, the American/Brazilian pair is certainly a dark horse team to keep an eye on.
Caty McNally: Spare a thought for the back-to-back women’s doubles finalist at the 2021 and 2022 U.S. Open, who withdrew with an injury and won’t be able to defend her runner-up performance.
American Men’s US Open Doubles Preview
With only four players in the doubles top 50, the American men’s field lacks the depth of the women but in place offers a top-heavy field. Headlining the U.S. doubles squad are two grand slam champions and top 5 players, No. 3 Austin Krajicek and No. 5 Rajeev Ram.
Outside of Krajicek and Ram, the trending team of Nate Lammons and Jackson Withrow have posted a career-best season and are currently ranked No. 30 and 31, respectively. All four players are former NCAA collegiate tennis standouts who are great examples of college players making a successful career on the pro doubles tour.
Lastly, expect the dynamic American team of Ben Shelton and Chris Eubanks to bring a big crowd, and let’s say a farewell to John Isner and Jack Sock who have both announced their retirement after the U.S. Open.
Six U.S. Men’s Doubles Players to Watch
The 2023 Roland Garros champion and former Texas A&M standout is having a career-best season in 2023. He and his partner Ivan Dodig won their first major title together on the red clay in Paris, and shortly after, Krajicek became the No. 1 ATP doubles player in the world.
Since teaming up with Dodig, the pair have become one of the most consistent and established ATP doubles teams by racking up five titles together in just over a year since teaming up last year. As the No. 2 seeds at the U.S. Open, Krajicek and Dodig will face a Spaniard team of Bernabe Zapata Miralles and Roberta Carballes Baena in the first round before a potential second-round clash against the Tsitspias brothers.
Learn more about Austin’s path to world no. 1 in a recent interview with his coach, Phil Farmer, on the Doubles Only Podcast.
- 2023 Record: 34-12 (74%)
- 2023 Titles: 2
- U.S. Open Partner: Ivan Dodig
- Best U.S. Open Finish: Quarterfinals (2018)
Last year, Ram and partner Joe Salisbury became the first doubles team in over 25 years to win back-to-back titles at the U.S. Open in 2021 and 2022. This year, the defending champions will have a tall task to replicate their success after what has been a disappointing season for them thus far.
Since 2019, Ram and Salisbury have been one of the most consistent teams on tour in terms of results and partnership longevity. In 2023, they haven’t been able to find the same mojo from recent years. Highlights from their year include an ATP 250 title in Lyon and a runner-up performance in Toronto, where they got beaten easily by Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer.
If Ram and Salisbury are able to find their grand slam magic anywhere, New York seems to be the place.
- 2023 Record: 22-17 (56%)
- 2023 Titles: 1 (Lyon)
- U.S. Open Partner: Joe Salisbury
- Best U.S. Open Finish: Two-Time Champion (2021, 2022)
Nate Lammons & Jackson Withrow
If Lammons/Withrow aren’t on your U.S. Open doubles radar, they should be. The pair of Texas residents have enjoyed a stellar breakout year with remarkable consistency and are one of the most in-form doubles teams in 2023.
All four of their titles in 2023 have come on U.S. soil, winning the ATP 175 Phoenix Challenger before capturing a three-peat of summer hardcourt ATP 250s with titles in Newport, Atlanta, and last week at Winston Salem.
The No. 15 seeds should have a fairly straightforward path in the first two rounds before a potential clash awaits with No. 1 Wesley Koolhof/Neal Skupski, who ousted the Americans last year in a tight second-round contest.
- 2023 Record: 37-20 (65%)
- 2023 Titles: 4 (Phoenix, Newport, Atlanta, Winston Salem)
- Best U.S. Open Finish: Quarterfinals (Withrow) and 2nd Round (Lammons)
Chris Eubanks & Ben Shelton
Eubanks’ serve combined with Shelton’s athleticism should bode well for the charismatic American doubles duo. They come into the U.S. Open following a strong doubles performance together in Cincinnati where they defeated two quality opponents – Sander Gille/Joran Vliegen and Matt Edben/Rohan Bopanna – before falling in the quarterfinals to Santiago Gonzalez/Eduardo Roger-Vasselin 7-5, 6-7, 11-9. Shelton also posted a successful runner-up performance at the Citi Open in Washington D.C.
For seeded players, Eubanks and Shelton are not a team you don’t want to see in your section of the draw early on. Speaking of, they’ll face the No. 1 seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski in the first round. I would pencil this match in for a potential upset alert. If nothing else, you can expect Eubanks and Shelton to bring the energy and the fans wherever they play.
- 2023 Record: 2-6 (Eubanks) and 10-14 (Shelton)
- 2023 Titles: 0
- Best U.S. Open Finish: 2nd Round in 2022
Men’s Doubles Honorable Mentions
John Isner/Jack Sock: Both Isner and Sock are hanging up their racquets after the U.S. Open this year. With Isner’s serve and Sock’s doubles talent, the 2022 Indian Wells champions are capable of beating any team when their games and confidence are clicking. Do they still have it in them to make a deep run?
Expect them to get through their first-round match over Galloway/Olivetti before a difficult second round awaits against the winner of No. 13 Lloyd Glasspool/Harri Heliovaara or Marcelo Melo/John Peers.
Steve Johnson/Will Blumberg: Will Stevie Johnson be the next to follow Isner/Sock’s post-U.S. Open retirement strategy? A former doubles semi-finalist here, Johnson is teaming up with an accomplished doubles player himself in Will Blumberg. They have a tricky first-round match against Henry Cash/Julien Patten.
Mackie McDonald: One of the quickest players on tour, Mackie has had a big summer of singles success and has also posted solid doubles results with a multitude of partners within the last year including Ben Shelton, Marcelo Melo and Austin Krajicek. He’s entered in the U.S. Open draw with No. 32 Andreas Mies.
Robert Galloway: A doubles specialist who is quietly having a strong year, The former NCAA standout at Wofford College is currently at a career-high ranking of No. 63. He’s teaming with No. 65 Albano Olivetti and will face Isner/Sock in the first round.
#WatchMoreDoubles With Us In New York
If you’re attending the U.S. Open, look out for The Tennis Tribe team wandering the doubles courts on the grounds. We should be easy to spot in our #WatchMoreDoubles shirts. Come say hello!