Serena Draws Sharapova At US Open; Barty Back To No. 1?
by Staff | August 24th, 2019, 9:40 pm
  • 6 Comments

Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will collide for the first time at the US Open Monday evening after being draw to face-off in the first round.

Serena has won 19 of 21 matches against her “rival” who hasn’t won since the 2004 WTA championships almost 15 years ago.

Since then, it’s been all Serena, however both former No. 1s and Hall of Famers enter with some question mark. Serena has been troubled by a back while Sharapova has been dealing with a bad shoulder.

While that is the marquee match of the first round, there is a lot going on with the draw.

The also-injured Naomi Osaka will try to defend her biggest career title by also recovering from a knee injury. The Japanese star opens against the young 20-year-old Russian Anna Blinkova then could either teen Coco Gauff or Anastasia Potapova who meet in the first round. The struggling Kiki Bertens is in the quarter along with the steady Anett Kontaveit and the powerful but slumping Aryna Sabalenka who opens against 2-time finalist Victoria Azarenka.

The second quarter is home to Simona Halep who has lost her last three matches at the US Open. She’ll try to break that skid against American lucky loser Nicole Gibbs who is coming back from a cancer scare. The Romanian is joined by other Slam winners Petra Kvitova, Garbine Muguruza, Jelena Ostapenko, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Caroline Wozniacki and 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens. Plus Indian Wells and Cincinnati winner Bianca Andreescu. It’s by far the toughest quarter.

Former finalists Madison Keys and Karolina Pliskova are the favorites in the third quarter. Keys, who just won her biggest career title in Cincinnati, could face Sofia Kenin the Elina Svitolina before her Pliskova quarterfinal collision. The Czech has little in the way of opposition with Carolina Garcia projected as her third round seed then Johanna Konta in the 16s. Venus Williams lurks as a second round opponent for Svitolina who opens against American teen Whitney Osuigwe.

Serena is in charge of the last quarter but Ash Barty’s been the better player this year. The Australian could get a rematch with Maria Sakkari – they just met – then former champion Angelique Kerber before possibly Serena. If her back is ok, The 6-time champ Serena could have tricky Su-Wei Hsieh, then the former semifinalist Anastasija Sevastova in a rematch of the their semi from a year ago.

Projected Round of 16 Matches
Osaka-Bencic
Bertens-Sabalenka
Halep-Andreescu
Kvitova-Stephens

Svitolina-Keys
Pliskova-Konta
Serena-Sevastova
Barty-Kerber

Also at stake in the No. 1 ranking. Since Osaka is defending title points, she will have to win it again just to have a chance. Barty will be No. 1 until either Halep wins the title or Pliskova makes the quarterfinals.


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6 Comments for Serena Draws Sharapova At US Open; Barty Back To No. 1?

RZ Says:

I’m most interested in seeing what Andreescu can do at the Open. When she’s been injury-free, she’s been the strongest hardcourt player this year. But she doesn’t seem to be able to stay uninjured. Maybe the day off between matches will help her. The fact that other top players are ailing too (Osaka, Serena, Barty, Kerber) could help too.


SG1 Says:

Agree with RZ. But Bianca’s going to need some straightforward matches in the 1st week. If she has to play 4 or 5 three setters to win, I think she’ll flame out at some point.

With so many players getting hurt, it seems like time for the ATP and WTA tours to find a way to shorten points. The game seems to have become almost too physical which leads to young players developing potentially chronic injuries. Even the Big 3, with their extraordinary conditioning, aren’t immune to injury these days.


chrisford1 Says:

Always good for Serena’s morale to get Doormatopova to thump. She may have some sour feelings about a NYC based journalist adding her to the “40 Biggest Jerks in Sports History” list he compiled. But that’s sports progress for you. Equal treatment for male and female hind sphincters.


skeezer Says:

^sour grapes. Shrapova is better at selling Candy. Tennis against Serena she no can do.


Van Persie Says:

Skeezer,

lol. You blew it. CF1 was never a Masha fan, so no sour grapes here. 😉


Van Persie Says:

But I can empathize with you, Skeezer, since you saw Olderer losing a set and struggling to close a match against Sumit Nagal :)

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