US Open: Serena and Sharapova in first round showdown
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova have been drawn to play each other in the first round of the US Open at Flushing Meadows.
Seedings were announced yesterday with Williams, bidding for her record 24th Grand Slam, seeded 8 while the vocal 6 foot 2 Russian is unseeded.
Both players have been struggling with injury recently. Williams, 37, has suffered a back problem that caused her to withdraw from Cincinnati and Sharapova, 32, has only played six matches since January due to a shoulder injury.
The two grand slam champions have met in the finals of three majors as well as the 2012 Olympics but have not yet faced each other at the US Open. However, the head-to-head stats are stacked heavily in favour of the American who boasts a 19-3 record. This is the first meeting between the two since the 2016 Australian Open quarter-final in which Williams was victorious 6-4, 6-1.
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Elsewhere, Britain's number 1 Johanna Konta will face Russia's Daria Kasatkina while Harriet Dart is on the brink of making it through qualifying.
Wimbledon wonder woman, 15-year-old Coco Gauff will face Anastasia Potapoca of Russia and champion Simona Halep will match up against a qualifier.
The US Open begins on August 26 and with first round clashes as juicy as this one, it promises to be a scintillating two weeks of tennis to round off the Grand Slam year.