As the doubles draws wind down in New York, six seeded teams have made it through to the quarterfinals, while on the women’s side, seven seeds have advanced to the elite eight.

Who isn’t there, though, might be among the biggest surprises of the entire tournament.

Mate Pavic and Nikola Mektic, the top team on the ATP Tour this year, entered the US Open as heavy favorites, having won nine titles this year, including Wimbledon and the Olympics. The Croats’ run in New York never really got started as they were stopped by Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow, a pair of Americans battle-tested on the Challenger Tour.

Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, the French Open and Olympic champions, also saw their dreams of another major title in 2021 quickly come to an end. The second-seeded Czechs were upended in the first round, too, losing to Magda Linette and Bernarda Pera in straight sets.

Those teams that pulled off the upsets couldn’t sustain their momentum, but unseeded pairs are still alive in their spots in the draw: For the men, it’s Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey, and among the women, it’s Elena-Gabriela Ruse and Monica Niculescu.

Johnson and Querrey are two of the three American men left in the tournament and will next face Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau, the sixth seeds who’ve had a solid campaign in their first year playing together. Rajeev Ram, the other American, and Joe Salisbury—who’ve had much of their success on hard courts—will take on the Matt Ebden and Mel Purcell, the only other unseeded team remaining on the men’s side.


On the bottom half of the draw, the seeds played through to their expected places. Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, this year’s Roland Garros champs, will go against John Peers and Filip Polasek in one quarter, while Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares—the 2016 US Open winners—will play Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos, runners-up in ’19 who are currently on a seven-match winning streak.

Going one better than those two are Samantha Stosur and Shuai Zhang, with eight matches on the trot. The 14th seeds have yet to drop a set as they try to capture their second career Grand Slam title together, but their next matchup is a tough one against the 10th seeds, Caroline Dolehide and Storm Sanders. The other contest on the bottom half of the draw sees Niculescu and Ruse taking on Alexa Guarachi and Desirae Krawczyk, the seventh seeds eyeing their second major final together after last year’s French Open run. While those two haven’t had a strong run at the Slams this year, Krawczyk is still in contention for her third major victory in a row in mixed doubles.


Speaking of winning three Slams in 2021, Elise Mertens is trying to pull off that feat, too, in women’s doubles. Mertens and Su-Wei Hsieh, the top seeds and this year’s Wimbledon winners, will have a tough task ahead as they get set to play Coco Gauff and Caty McNally, the 11th seeds and huge fan favorites. Fifth seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Luisa Stefani, arguably the team of the summer, takes on Marie Bouzkova and Lucie Hradecka in the top half’s other quarter.

Veterans Hradecka and Stosur are the only women left in the draw that have triumphed in New York as everyone else tries to add their names to the list of champions, too.