Williams sisters could meet in U.S. Open early
NEW YORK Serena and Venus Williams could be headed to their earliest Grand Slam meeting in 20 years, facing a potential thirdround matchup at the U.S. Open.
If the sisters do play each other, the winner might face No. 1-ranked Simona Halep in the fourth round.
That section of the women’s bracket and a possible Roger Federer-Novak Djokovic quarterfinal showdown on the men’s side provided the most intrigue when the brackets were revealed Thursday for the last major of the year.
This marks Serena’s return to Flushing Meadows after missing the hard-court tournament last year. She gave birth to her daughter last Sept. 1.
The 36-year-old American has won six of her 23 Grand Slam titles at the U.S. Open and was given the No. 17 seed by the U.S. Tennis Association.
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 U.S. Open.
Kuznetsova was given a wildcard entry, with main-draw play beginning Monday.
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 first head-to-head match on tour.
They’ve gone on to play 29 times — Serena leads 17-12 — including nine 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 Federer plays Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in the first round.