Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova is, not surprisingly, getting primetime billing at the U.S. Open.
The two tennis stars’ 22nd career meeting — and first at Flushing Meadows — will be the opening act in Arthur Ashe Stadium for the night session on Monday as the year’s last Grand Slam tournament gets started.
“Of course I’m going to watch it. I know you all are going to watch it. I think everyone in New York is going to watch it,” defending champion and No. 1 seed Naomi Osaka said Friday. “Yeah, I mean, for me, I’m not that surprised that that happened, because, like, at every Grand Slam, there is always some sort of drama. You know what I mean? Like a first round. Like, ‘Oh, my God!'”
The U.S. Tennis Association announced the show-court schedules for both Day 1 and Day 2.
That includes 15-year-old Coco Gauff in action at Louis Armstrong Stadium on Tuesday.
The first match in the main stadium Monday will be French Open champion Ash Barty against Zarina Diyas, followed by defending men’s champion and No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic against Roberto Carballes Baena.
Then at night, Williams-Sharapova will be followed by 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer against qualifier Sumit Nagal.
Williams owns 23 major singles trophies, while Sharapova has five. Both have been ranked No. 1. They’ve met at every other major tournament at least once, including in a final at each, but never before at the U.S. Open. Williams has won 18 matches in a row against Sharapova, and leads their overall series 19-2.