| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo Credit: Getty Images for USTA

 

The 2019 US Open officially gets underway on Monday as the main draw of the final Grand Slam of the year begins on the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows. 

The most anticipated opening round clash will be the first one under the lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. It’s the earliest round in which the two have ever played against one another; in fact, Serenapova has never happened prior to the Round of 16 at a tournament. The rivalry has been one decided over the last 15 years with Serena winning 19 of the 21 matches, and the eighth-seeded American will look to add a 20th win to that number as she begins her pursuit of the record-breaking 24th major title. 

The defending champion on the men’s side, Novak Djokovic, will begin his title defense in the final match of the day session on Ashe. The top-seeded Serb squares off against Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena. Djokovic comes in to Queens having played just one tournament since his epic Wimbledon victory earlier this summer, and it was in Cincinnati where he lost in the semifinals to Daniil Medvedev. Djokovic has dominated the last year on the ATP Tour, and is seeking to win his fifth title in the last six Grand Slams. 

The aforementioned Federer follows the Serena-Sharapova clash and takes on Indian qualifier Sumit Nagal, who is just one of two Indians in the draw, the first time since 1988 that India has had two singles players in the US Open. The other is Parajnesh Gunneswaran, who is in action on Monday and also faces a tough first-round clash as he will meet fifth-seeded Medvedev. The Russian dominated the US Open Series tournaments that lead into the US Open, reaching the finals in Washington, D.C. and Montreal before winning Cincinnati, and is as in-form of any player on tour. 

There will be several other former champions hitting the courts on Monday as Venus Williams, Stan Wawrinka and Angelique Kerber open up their US Open campaigns. 

With plenty of the sport’s biggest names in action, Day 1 at the 2019 US Open ushers in another exciting fortnight of tennis in New York City in a big way. Click Here to see the day’s full schedule