Wed | Oct 17, 2018

Serena, Venus in possible US Open reunion

Published:Friday | August 24, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Serena Williams and Venus Williams (left) talk between points in their women's doubles match against Kristina Barrios of Germany and Stefanie Voegele at Wimbledon 2014.

NEW YORK (AP):

Serena and Venus Williams could be headed toward their earliest Grand Slam meeting in 20 years, facing a potential third-round match-up at the US Open.

If the sisters do play each other, the winner might face No. 1-ranked Simona Halep in the fourth round.

That is certainly the most intriguing section of the women's and men's brackets revealed at yesterday's draw for the last major of the year.

This marks Serena's return to Flushing Meadows after missing the hard-court tournament in 2017 - she gave birth to her daughter last September 1.

The 36-year-old American has won six of her 23 Grand Slam titles at the US Open and was given the No. 17 seed by the US Tennis Association - nine places above her current ranking.

Venus, who won five of her seven Grand Slam singles trophies in New York, is ranked and seeded 16th. She faces a tricky first-round match against Svetlana Kuznetsova, whose two major championships include the 2004 US Open.

Kuznetsova was given a wild-card entry for the tournament, where main-draw play begins Monday.

 

POSSIBLE 1998 REPLAY

 

Serena's opener comes against 60th-ranked Magda Linette of Poland. Should the Williams siblings both make it to the third round, they would play each other at a Grand Slam tournament sooner than they have since Venus beat Serena in the second round at the 1998 Australian Open - their very first head-to-head match on tour.

They've gone on to play a total of 29 times - Serena leads 17-12, and that includes nine all-in-the-family Grand Slam finals, most recently at the 2017 Australian Open.

In the men's field, No. 1-ranked and defending champion Rafael Nadal opens against David Ferrer in an all-Spanish rematch of their 2013 French Open final. No. 2 Roger Federer plays Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka in the first round.

Federer faces a potential quarter-final against No. 6 seed Novak Djokovic, the Wimbledon champion who beat him two weeks ago in a tune-up and is considered the tournament favourite. No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev and seventh-seeded Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, are also in Federer's half of the draw along with No. 30 seed Nick Kyrgios, the Australian whom Federer could meet in the third round.

Nadal's half of the draw includes No. 3 seed and 2009 US Open champion Juan MartÌn del Potro - who could face another former US Open champion in Andy Murray in the third round - and fifth-seeded Kevin Anderson, the Wimbledon and US Open runner-up.