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Nick Kyrgios faces his friend Thanasi Kokkinakis for the first time at Tour level in New York on Monday.

US Open Preview: 5 Things To Watch On Day 1

Kyrgios & Kokkinakis clash, Medvedev begins title defence

The US Open action kicks off Monday with a host of big names seeking a strong start at the fourth and final Grand Slam of the year. They include defending champion and top seed Daniil Medvedev, while regular doubles partners Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis meet in a blockbuster opening-round clash.

ATPTour.com looks at five things to watch on opening day at Flushing Meadows.

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1) ‘Special Ks’ Clash: Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis' close on- and off-court relationship has been a defining feature of their success as a doubles team in 2022, but how will the Australian duo react to being on opposite sides of the net?

The pair’s first tour-level singles meeting rounds off the night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium, where 23rd seed Kyrgios will hope to maintain his strong form at the majors after reaching his maiden Grand Slam final at Wimbledon in July. Both players have already enjoyed hard-court success in 2022 — Kokkinakis claimed his first ATP Tour title in Adelaide in January, while Kyrgios lifted his seventh tour-level trophy in Washington, D.C. earlier this month.

2) Medvedev Meets Home Favourite: Medvedev competes on Arthur Ashe Stadium for the first time since clinching his maiden Grand Slam crown there a year ago. The top seed takes on Stefan Kozlov, the World No. 111 who will be looking to channel the support of his home crown on his US Open main draw debut.

Medvedev has a story of his own with the New York fans, however, appearing to have won them over with a combination of blistering on-court performances and dry wit in interviews after a rocky start. "I feel like in New York I have a special relationship with the crowd," he said in his pre-tournament press conference. "I have no idea how it's going to go this year, but I'm happy to be here and happy to experience whatever's going to happen."

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3) Scene Set For Tsitsipas?: Has the time come for a deep Stefanos Tsitsipas run at the US Open? The fourth seed is yet to make it past the third round in four main draw appearances in New York, but he has already found his winning groove on the hard courts of North American this summer with a run to the championship match at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati two weeks ago.

Tsitsipas opens against another player high on confidence, however, in Daniel Elahi Galan. The Colombian did not drop a set in his three qualifying matches to reach the main draw in New York for the first time.

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4) Former Champs In Action: Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem all know what it takes to go all the way in New York. The 2012, 2016, and 2020 champions, respectively, they nonetheless face tricky opening duels as they bid to kick-start another successful fortnight at Flushing Meadows.

Murray takes on the fast-rising 24th seed Francisco Cerundolo, Wawrinka meets the dangerous Frenchman Corentin Moutet, and Thiem faces Montreal champion Pablo Carreno Busta.

5) Wu & Zhang Fly Flag For China: Wu Yibing and Zhang Zhizhen made history with their successful qualification campaigns last week in New York, where the duo are set to become the first Chinese men in the Open Era to compete in the US Open main draw.

Both players are in action on Day 1 in the Big Apple, where 2017 boys’ singles champion Wu is hoping to upset 31st seed Nikoloz Basilashvili on Court 13. Zhang, who made his Grand Slam main draw debut at Wimbledon in June, meets the powerful Dutchman Tim van Rijthoven.

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