Serena Williams will start her quest for a 7th US Open name and record-tying 24th Grand Slam victory in opposition to long-time rival Maria Sharapova in america Open ladies’s singles draw unveiled Thursday.
Williams has ruled the Russian megastar of their head-to-head contention, profitable 19 instances with simplest two defeats, together with their previous 18 conferences, maximum lately on the 2016 Australian Open quarter-finals, even though Sharapova complex by way of walkover in opposition to Williams within the fourth around at Roland Garros final 12 months.
8th-ranked Williams is taking a look to check the all time listing of 24 Grand Slam singles titles received by way of Margaret Court docket when the 12 months’s last main championship will get underway Monday.
The 37-year-old American has dropped her previous 3 Grand Slam finals appearances, together with final month to Simona Halep at Wimbledon and final 12 months to Japan’s Naomi Osaka at america Open after a arguable recreation penalty for her tirade at umpire Carlos Ramos.
Match officers have mentioned Ramos won’t paintings any suits involving Serena or Venus Williams, who may just now not face her sister till the semi-finals, being in the similar draw quarter as Czech 1/3 seed Karolina Pliskova.
Serena was once positioned into the similar quarter as Australian 2d seed Ashleigh Barty, the reigning French Open champion whose first fit is in opposition to 77th-ranked Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.
Best-seeded Osaka opens in opposition to Russia’s 93rd-ranked Anna Blinkova and may just face a third-round date in opposition to 15-year-old American Coco Gauff, who eradicated Venus Williams within the first around at Wimbledon in a run to the final 16 in her Grand Slam debut.
Romania’s fourth-seeded Halep, coming off her 2d Grand Slam name, opens in opposition to a qualifier and may just face a semi-final in opposition to Osaka, who defends a Slam crown for the primary time.
“I’m taking a look ahead to the enjoy,” Osaka mentioned. “We all know I find it irresistible right here.”
Osaka retired within the 1/3 set of a quarter-final fit at Cincinnati with a left knee damage however mentioned Thursday she expects no issues of enjoying at america Open.
“It’s geting higher. I’m a quick healer,” Osaka mentioned. “I’m right here and I think like I’ll have the ability to play.”
Osaka mentioned whilst she would possibly watch gamers who’re unfamiliar, she isn’t one to research the draw past her subsequent opponent.
“I love to grasp what that one individual I’m enjoying is,” she mentioned. “I love to center of attention my consideration on that one.”
Pliskova, who misplaced her simplest Grand Slam last to Germany’s Angelique Kerber on the 2016 US Open, performs her first fit in opposition to a qualifier.
Venus Williams, 39, received the 2000 and 2001 US Opens however hasn’t received a Slam since her 5th Wimbledon name in 2008. She opens in opposition to China’s Zheng Saisai and may just meet 5th seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in the second one around.
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