US Open draw between Serena Williams and Danka Kovinic

Suspension

Serena Williams has stared at all kinds of challenges in her tennis career, but she’s never faced a major tournament like this one.

When the US Open begins Monday in New York, it will likely be the last stop on a farewell tour for one of the greatest athletes of all time. Williams will open her 21st appearance at Flushing Meadows against world number 80 Danka Kovinic, whom she has never faced. The pair will play on Monday, most likely in prime time.

Kovinic, a native of Montenegro, has not progressed past the third round in a major, which she reached at this year’s Australian Open and French Open.

Novak Djokovic has announced that he will not play in the US Open

Williams, who announced his retirement this month Led US Open ticket sales Heaven is the jewel in the ever-decreasing pool of tennis giants in the year final tournament. Four-time US Open champion Rafael Nadal is aiming for his third major slam in 2022 next Withdrawing from Wimbledon Before the semi-final match due to a stomach injury. Two-time US Open champion Naomi Osaka will also compete.

The two best players in the world, Iga Swatik and Daniil Medvedev, will play each other. Medvedev, who beat Novak Djokovic in the US Open final last year In his first Grand Slam title, he missed Wimbledon due to the All England Club banning Russian players.

But neither Djokovic nor Roger Federer will appear in New York. Federer’s absence is not surprising, as the 41-year-old is recovering from knee surgery and has not been involved in this year’s specialty. He last played in the US Open in 2019.

Djokovic, who said after Wimbledon that he will not get a coronavirus vaccine, announced Thursday that he will miss the last major title of the year. The US requires proof of vaccination for non-immigrant non-citizens to enter the country, which means Djokovic’s number of major titles will reach 21 – compared to Nadal’s 22 and Federer’s 20 – until next year.

For Williams, Kovinich is just part of the big challenge that awaits her in New York.

In addition to her own sentiments at the moment and what will surely be an enthusiastic and sold-out crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium when she plays, the 23-time big champ has struggled hard on the court recently.

Williams, who will turn 41 next month, did not look like the player who once ruled tennis for quite some time. She has increasingly turned her attention away from the sport and towards her family and burgeoning career in recent years, having played only four singles matches since Wimbledon in 2021. She has not won two in a row since the 2021 French Open, where she advanced to the fourth round.

Her last match was 65-minute loss to US Open champion Emma Raducano In Cincinnati last week. Her play was riddled with uncharacteristic mistakes, and often missed by her serve – the powerful and distinctive element of her game that revolutionized modern women’s tennis. The match was played with a strip of sports tape on her leg, apparently to relieve left knee pain It said It caused the match to be postponed for one day.

If she defeats the 27-year-old Williams, world number two Annette Kontaveit will likely be waiting for her in the second round.

Serena Williams is nearing retirement with another US Open to amaze us

Elsewhere in the draw, Osaka will face No. 19 seed Danielle Collins, the Virginia graduate who captured the attention of the tennis world as a surprise semi-finalist at the 2019 Australian Open. Collins lost to Ashleigh Barty in the final in Melbourne this year. The pair are in the same quarter of a tie as Radocano and Venus Williams.

No. 12 seed Coco Gauff sits in the quarter for No. 3 seed Maria Sakkari alongside two-time Grand Prix champion Simona Halep, seeded No. 7.

In the men’s draw, the second-seeded Nadal will face Australian Rinke Hijikata in the first round. Medvedev will face 24-year-old American Stephan Kozlov, while 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem faces a tough fight against 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta. Three-time main champion Andy Murray will face a tough test against 24th seed Francisco Cerondolo.

World number two Alexander Zverev announced on Monday that he will not compete while continuing to recover He sustained a severe ankle injury during the French Open semi-finals against Nadal.

The men’s most interesting first-round match might be 23rd seed Nick Kyrgios against fellow doubles partner and close friend Thansi Kokinakis.

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