NEW YORK – There will be no shortage of big-name players in action when the U.S. Open begins on Monday but the talk around New York for days has centered around the marquee matchup between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.
Williams and Sharapova – for years the two most recognisable names in women's tennis – will open the evening session at Arthur Ashe Stadium with their first-ever New York meeting in a match that may just have the feel of a championship final.
"Of course I'm going to watch it," defending US Open champion Naomi Osaka told reporters. "I know you all are going to watch it. I think everyone in New York is going to watch it.
"At every Grand Slam there is always some sort of drama. You know what I mean? Like a first round. Like, Oh, my God. So this match just happens to be that for this tournament."
Eighth seed Williams, who is seeking a record-tying 24th career Grand Slam title, owns a commanding 19-2 career record against Sharapova, who last beat the American in 2004 and has fallen to 87th in the rankings amid an injury-hit 2019 season.