There’ll not be a lack of big-name gamers in activity whenever the U.S. Open starts on Monday but the discussion around New York for days has focused around the marquee matchup between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.
“I will see it,” defending U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka told reporters. “I understand you are going to see it. I believe everybody in New York will watch it.
“At each Grand Slam, there’s always some drama. Do you understand what I mean? Just like a first round. So this game only happens to be for this particular tournament.”
“Surely. That is likely to be a game to observe,” explained Canadian adolescent Bianca Andreescu, who’s seeded 15th and plays with her first game on Tuesday.
While this gifted group will certainly draw lots of attention, the expectation for their various games will pale compared with the Williams-Sharapova matchup.
Williams and Sharapova haven’t played since the 2016 Australian Open. They had been put to meet year in the French Open, but Williams withdrew injured minutes ahead of their fourth-round match.
While five-times Grand Slam winner Sharapova could be far out of her top shape, she might still pose a challenge for Williams, who hasn’t competed since retiring in the Toronto closing against Andreescu with back spasms.
And if their battle is highly expected, not everybody in the tennis world intends their day around the game.
“There are lots of other quality initial rounds. It is not the only first round at the attraction,” said French Open winner Barty, that kicks off the action at Arthur Ashe Stadium from Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.
“I believe, more importantly, I am focused on my first round on Monday, and that is all I am concerned about for now.”