Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will start the 2019 US Open off with a bang, as the two former US Open champions are slated to square off in the opening round of the year's final Grand Slam event.
WTA Staff
August 22, 2019

NEW YORK, NY, USA -- The US Open women’s singles draw has been released and blockbuster matches show up from the outset, with six-time US Open champion Serena Williams and 2006 US Open champion Maria Sharapova squaring off in a dynamic first-round encounter.

No.8 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.

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Williams and Sharapova are located in the bottom quarter of the draw, which is anchored by No.2 seed and reigning Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty, who takes on Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas in the opening round. 2016 US Open champion and No.14 seed Angelique Kerber could be a potential fourth-round opponent for Barty.

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.

21-year-old Osaka could face the rising star Coco Gauff in the third round. 15-year-old wildcard Gauff meets another teenager, Russian Anastasia Potapova, in the first round, and the winner of that match is projected to meet No.29 seed Carla Suarez Navarro in the second round.

Whoever emerges from that section could face No.7 seed Kiki Bertens or No.9 seed Aryna Sabalenka in the quarterfinals, although Sabalenka has another of the blockbuster first-round encounters on her plate: a battle with fellow Belarusian and two-time US Open finalist Victoria Azarenka.

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.

Whichever player emerges from that section is highly likely to face a Grand Slam champion in the quarterfinals, as five major winners are in that section, including No.6 seed Petra Kvitova and 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens.

Garbine Muguruza, Jelena Ostapenko, and Svetlana Kuznetsova are the other Grand Slam champions in the Kvitova/Stephens section. Kuznetsova, the 2004 US Open champion, had a stirring run to the Cincinnati final last week, beating Barty and Stephens in the process.

In the bottom half, along with Barty's quarter, is the quarter topped by No.3 seed Karolina Pliskova, the 2016 US Open runner-up. Pliskova, who will face a qualifier in the first round, could meet No.16 seed Johanna Konta or 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur in the fourth round.

In the other part of that quarter, Cincinnati champion Madison Keys, the No.10 seed, and No.5 seed Elina Svitolina can be found. Two-time US Open champion Venus Williams is a potential second-round opponent for Svitolina, if the American legend can get past recent San Jose champion Zheng Saisai in an opening-round tussle.

Click here for the complete draw at the US Open website!

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