Serena Williams bids for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title at the U.S. Open against a field lacking the defending champion and world No. 1.
Williams, the 38-year-old No. 3 seed, opens against countrywoman Kristie Ahn, who made a surprise run to the fourth round in 2019.
Williams, runner-up at the last two U.S. Opens, could play Olympic champion Monica Puig of Puerto Rico in the second round and past U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens in the third round. Williams is again trying to match Margaret Court‘s record for Grand Slam singles titles.
Williams is on the opposite half of the draw from Karolina Pliskova, the top seed with world Nos. 1 and 2 Ash Barty and Simona Halep declining to play due to concerns given the coronavirus pandemic.
The 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu of Canada is also sitting out after, citing “unforeseen challenges, including the Covid pandemic.”
The other top seed in Williams’ half, and a potential semifinal opponent, is Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin.
In the top half, Pliskova could face 2018 U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka in the semifinals. Coco Gauff, the 16-year-old American, is also in the top half, opening against No. 31 seed Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia. Gauff and Osaka could meet in the third round, just as they did last year.
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