All the key facts, head-to-heads and talking points as the second round of the US Open 2019 gets under way.
Alex Macpherson
August 28, 2019

LEARNING

No.5 seed Elina Svitolina faces two-time champion Venus Williams in a Grand Slam first week for the second time this season. The Ukrainian won their Roland Garros first round 6-3, 6-3 to take a 2-1 lead in their head-to-head, having also won 6-2, 6-1 in the third round of Toronto in 2017. Venus's win came 6-4, 6-3 in the second round of Rome in 2015; the 39-year-old has scored two Top 10 wins this season, over Petra Kvitova in Miami and over Kiki Bertens in Cincinnati.

No.2 seed Ashleigh Barty is 1-0 against Lauren Davis in the pros, having won their 2014 Acapulco qualifying tilt 2-6, 6-3, 7-5. The pair also met once in juniors, with a 17-year-old Davis dispatching a 14-year-old Barty 6-0, 6-3 in the first round of the latter's junior Slam debut at the 2011 Australian Open. The American is seeking to score a Top 5 upset at a second consecutive major, having shocked defending champion Angelique Kerber in the second round of Wimbledon.

No.8 seed Serena Williams faces a 2001-born player for the first time in wildcard Catherine McNally. Previously, the youngest active player Serena had played was 2000-born Kaja Juvan at Wimbledon. Serena has an 8-5 record against players born in 1997 or later, and is 2-1 against players born in 2000 or later (with the only loss coming via retirement in the Toronto final this year to Bianca Andreescu after four games). McNally, who reached her first WTA semifinal in Washington last month, has scored seven Top 100 victories in 2019, but today's match will be her first against a Top 20 player.

Qualifier Mariam Bolkvadze faces the first Top 50 player of her career in the form of 2016 runner-up Karolina Pliskova today. Bolkvadze became the first Georgian woman to win a Grand Slam match since Anna Tatishvili, who now represents the USA, reached the fourth round here in 2012.

Rebecca Peterson knocked out a seed at a Grand Slam for the first time in her career in New York last year when she defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the second round. The Swede has the chance to repeat the feat at the same stage when she takes on No.32 seed Dayana Yastremska, whom she beat 6-4, 7-5 in their only previous meeting, in the final of the 2018 Cagnes-sur-Mer ITF W100 event.

Pauline Parmentier, Alizé Cornet, Kristina Mladenovic, Fiona Ferro - Fed Cup 2019 - Getty
Fed Cup teammates Kristina Mladenovic and Fiona Ferro (front) will face off for the third time this year today (Getty)

Kristina Mladenovic, who collected her sixth career Top 20 win at a Grand Slam (and third at the US Open) after upsetting Angelique Kerber in the first round, is rewarded with an all-French clash against Lausanne champion Fiona Ferro - their third meeting of the year. Mladenovic won both previous two, 7-6(4), 6-2 in Rome qualifying and 6-3, 7-6(3) in the first round of Roland Garros, part of a six-match winning streak she currently holds against her compatriots. The 2015 quarterfinalist is 11-5 against her fellow Frenchwomen at WTA level, and 10-2 since 2014.

A battle of variety and finesse finds No.29 seed Hsieh Su-Wei go up against Wimbledon quarterfinalist Karolina Muchova. The Czech won their sole prior encounter 6-2 6-4 in the second round of Doha in February.

No.12 seed Anastasija Sevastova has reached at least the quarterfinals in New York for the past three years, and faces rising 18-year-old Iga Swiatek for the first time today. Swiatek is seeking her third Top 20 win of the year and second at a major, having defeated Wang Qiang at Roland Garros and Caroline Wozniacki in Toronto. The Pole is one of five teenagers remaining in the draw, along with 19-year-olds Bianca Andreescu and Dayana Yastremska, 17-year-old Catherine McNally and 15-year-old Coco Gauff.

2011 Roland Garros girls' champion Ons Jabeur is revisiting her route to that title this week: for the second round in a row, the Tunisian faces an opponent she beat en route in Paris whom she has not met since. In the first round, she  defeated 2011 semifinal foe Caroline Garcia again; today, she plays Aliaksandra Sasnovich, whom she beat 6-4, 6-2 in the second round eight years ago.

No.33 seed Zhang Shuai and Ekaterina Alexandrova will reprise their Toronto second round meeting today, which Alexandrova won 6-4, 6-3.

Six former US Open semifinalists remain in the bottom half of the draw: three in the third quarter (Venus Williams, Madison Keys, Karolina Pliskova) and three in the fourth quarter (Serena Williams, Anastasija Sevastova, Peng Shuai).

TRENDING

ORDER OF PLAY

For full order of play, visit usopen.org.

READING

The all-teenage tilt on Louis Armstrong between Coco Gauff and Anastasia Potapova was "the most exciting of the tournament's first two days", writes Steve Tignor for tennis.com.

Belinda Bencic, who reached the US Open quarterfinals in 2014 when she was just 17 years old, feels that she is close to being part of the conversation for World No.1, writes Reem Abulleil in a Q&A with the Dubai champion for The National.

The sole Georgian representative in the women's draw this week is having a career-best run in New York with neither her coach nor her family present - but Mariam Bolkvadze is used to being on her own, writes Stephanie Livaudais for wtatennis.com.

Bianca Andreescu's self-possession makes for a contrast with introverts such as Naomi Osaka and Ashleigh Barty who have risen to the top of the sport recently, writes Simon Briggs in an exclusive interview with the Indian Wells and Toronto champion for The Telegraph.

From Johanna Konta to Naomi Osaka, many of the WTA's stars have experienced the joys - and otherwise - of the NYC subway, finds David Kane for wtatennis.com.

WATCHING