Serena Williams will play Maria Sharapova in a blockbuster first-round encounter at the US Open at Flushing Meadows in New York.
Number eight seed Williams and Sharapova will be facing off for the 22nd time in their careers, with Williams holding a 19-2 lead in their head-to-head rivalry. Surprisingly, this will be their first-ever meeting at the US Open.
Williams and Sharapova have not faced off since the 2016 Australian Open; they were scheduled to play each other in the fourth round of 2018 Roland Garros before Williams withdrew due to injury.
The top quarter of the draw is headed by World No.1 and defending champion Naomi Osaka, who faces off against Anna Blinkova of Russia in the first round. Osaka has won the last two hardcourt majors, going 14-0 between last year’s US Open and the 2019 Australian Open.
Also in the top half of the draw is the quarter led by No.4 seed and Wimbledon champion Simona Halep, who opens against a qualifier. Halep has two bold-faced possible fourth-round opponents, as Rogers Cup champion and No.15 seed Bianca Andreescu and two-time US Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki, the 19th seed, lurk in her section.
Novak Djokovic begins his title defence against Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena and could face former champion Stan Wawrinka or 2017 finalist Kevin Anderson in the fourth round.
A potential blockbuster is looming for the three-time US Open titlist in the quarter-finals against fifth seed Daniil Medvedev, who just won the biggest title of his career at the Western & Southern Open. Medvedev has beaten Djokovic twice this season, including in the Cincinnati semi-finals.
Elsewhere in the men’s draw, Spain’s second seed Rafael Nadal opens his campaign against Australian John Millman, who last year stunned Roger Federer in the fourth round. Nadal, a three-time champion, could meet another dangerous Aussie in Thanasi Kokkinakis — who also upset Federer last season (in Miami) — in the second round and fellow Spanish lefty Fernando Verdasco in the third round.
Meanwhile, 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer will face a qualifier and could meet 15th seed David Goffin in the fourth round. He is seeded to meet former finalist Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals.
Sixth seed Alexander Zverev, who opens against Moldovan Radu Albot while eighth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas opens against Russian Andrey Rublev, who upset Federer last week in Cincinnati.
The 2019 US Open, the last major of the year serves off on Monday, 26 August 2019.