US Open Day 2 Preview

Serena Williams returns to Arthur Ashe Stadium for the first time in two years on Tuesday. Bojana Jovanovski will be waiting.

Published August 29, 2011 08:43

US Open Day 2 Preview
Bojana Jovanovski

Tuesday, First Round

Arthur Ashe
Bojana Jovanovski (SRB #54) vs. [28] Serena Williams (USA #27)
First meeting
Williams, whose title runs at Stanford and Toronto saw her come out top of the Olympus US Open Series points standings, is playing for bonus prize money of up to $1 million this fortnight. But money will be the last thing on her mind when she returns to Arthur Ashe Stadium for the first time in two years. As she approaches her 30th birthday, the 13-time Grand Slam champion is gunning to join an elite group of five women who've won this event at least four times in the Open Era, and on recent form the signs are good. For her part, Jovanovski is a talented up-and-comer - the second youngest player in the Top 100 after Christina McHale - who reached her first WTA semi at Sydney at the start of the year and has four Top 20 wins to her name. It will take a monumental effort to improve on her 2-5 Grand Slam record on Serena's stage tonight, but with her blistering ground strokes she has the potential to go toe-to-toe with the great American - especially if Williams is a little nervous.

Louis Armstrong
[Q] Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ #87) vs. [7] Francesca Schiavone (ITA #8)
First meeting
Schiavone, the 2010 French Open champion and runner-up this year, has been remarkably consistent at the majors of late: playing her 45th straight Grand Slam tournament, she has reached at least the round of 16 at seven of her last nine majors, including a quarterfinal run at Flushing Meadows 12 months ago. In order to maintain those high standards the 31-year-old will need to hit the ground running against a player enjoying a mid-career renaissance. Due to a right shoulder injury Voskoboeva missed the second half of the 2010 season and her ranking dropped below 500, but in July the 26-year-old reached her first-ever WTA semi at Baku, notching her first Top 20 win (over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova) along the way. Then, as a qualifier, she scored Top 10 wins over Marion Bartoli and Maria Sharapova to reached the quarters at Toronto. She's already won three matches just to get into the main draw here, so her confidence should be where it needs to be.

Ksenia Pervak (RUS #52) vs. [16] Ana Ivanovic (SRB #19)
First meeting
Pervak has all but halved her ranking this year, starting the season at No.97 and currently tracking one place below her career high of No.51. Much of that movement has been secured in the last couple of months, notably thanks to a breakthrough fourth round showing at Wimbledon, a run that came after four first round losses at majors and included wins over Shahar Peer and Andrea Petkovic. Since then, the 20-year-old lefty has reached her first WTA final, falling to Vera Zvonareva at Baku (a hardcourt event) and been a semifinalist on clay at Bad Gastein. So far her North American swing hasn't lived up to these exploits, a first round loss at New Haven as a qualifier being her best result; former world No.1 Ivanovic equaled her best result of the year when she made the semis at Carlsbad, and will be keen to ensure the young Russian doesn't get her momentum back today.

More to watch…
Fourth seed Victoria Azarenka opens proceedings on Arthur Ashe against Johanna Larsson. That match is followed by top seed Caroline Wozniacki, the first player to be seeded No.1 here in consecutive years since 2001, against Nuria Llagostera Vives of Spain. Li Na, the No.6 seed, plays Simona Halep on Louis Armstrong, while No.11 seed Jelena Jakovic faces US wildcard Alison Riske on Grandstand. Sabine Lisicki, queen of the Xperia Hot Shots and the No.22 seed, tackles Alona Bondarenko on Court 17 while Andrea Petkovic, seeded 10th, plays Ekaterina Bychkova on Court 13.

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