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U.S. Open: Serena Williams opens with teen Taylor Townsend

August 22, 2014 - 12:05am

NEW YORK — Serena Williams will face an up-and-coming American player in the first round of the U.S. Open.

The 32-year-old Williams has won 17 Grand Slam titles. At age 18, Taylor Townsend is in her third major tournament.

Townsend is a former top-ranked junior player who reached the third round at the French Open this year. She got into her first U.S. Open main draw with a wild card.

On the men’s side, Wimbledon champ Novak Djokovic and Australian Open champ Stan Wawrinka could meet in one semifinal. Second-seeded Roger Federer and fourth-seeded David Ferrer are in the other half.

Williams, seeking her third straight title at Flushing Meadows, hasn’t reached the quarterfinals at any of the first three Grand Slam events of 2014.

“The way my year’s been going, I’m worried about every single match,” she said after Thursday’s draw ceremony.

If she makes the quarterfinals, she could meet eighth-seeded Ana Ivanovic, who beat her at the Australian Open. Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova could await in the semifinals.

Kvitova, though, has always struggled at the year’s last major tournament, never even reaching the quarterfinals. After she won her first Wimbledon title in 2011, she lost in the first round at the U.S. Open.

Kvitova could face two-time Australian Open champ Victoria Azarenka in the round of 16. Azarenka lost to Williams in the finals at Flushing Meadows the last two years but is seeded just 16th after an injury-plagued season.

Kvitova and seventh-seeded Eugenie Bouchard could play a rematch of their Wimbledon final in the quarters.

Second-seeded Simona Halep and fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska are in the other half of the draw. Halep could meet five-time major champ Maria Sharapova in the quarterfinals.

Sharapova, seeded fifth, has a tough first-round matchup against fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko, who has been ranked as high as 10th and is a three-time major quarterfinalist.

Seven-time major champ Venus Williams could face Halep in the round of 16, though Williams hasn’t gotten that far at a major tournament since 2011. The 34-year-old Williams, seeded 19th, meets 43-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm in the first round.

Serena Williams could play 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone in the second round. At age 34, Schiavone is down to 76th in the rankings, and in the first round in New York last year she lost 6-0, 6-1 to Williams.

Djokovic could face Andy Murray in the quarterfinals. Murray beat Djokovic for both his major titles but has struggled some this year after back surgery and is seeded eighth.

In the round of 16, Murray could get ninth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat Djokovic, Murray, Grigor Dimitrov and Federer to win the title at the hard-court tournament in Toronto this month.

Wawrinka could meet Wimbledon semifinalist Milos Raonic in the quarterfinals. The seventh-seeded Dimitrov, the other young player to break through with a semifinal run at Wimbledon, could face Federer in the quarters.


At The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, New York

Aug. 25-Sept. 8


1. Novak Djokovic, Serbia

2. Roger Federer, Switzerland

3. Stanislas Wawrinka, Switzerland

4. David Ferrer, Spain

5. Milos Raonic, Canada

6. Tomas Berdych, Czech Republic

7. Grigor Dimitrov, Bulgaria

8. Andy Murray, Great Britain

9. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France

10. Kei Nishikori, Japan

11. Ernests Gulbis, Latvia

12. Richard Gasquet, France

13. John Isner, United States

14. Marin Cilic, Croatia

15. Fabio Fognini, Italy

16. Tommy Robredo, Spain

17. Roberto Bautista Agut, Spain

18. Kevin Anderson, South Africa

19. Feliciano Lopez, Spain

20. Gael Monfils, France

21. Mikhail Youzhny, Russia

22. Philipp Kohlschreiber, Germany

23. Leonardo Mayer, Argentina

24. Julien Benneteau, France

25. Ivo Karlovic, Croatia

26. Gilles Simon, France

27. Santiago Giraldo, Colombia

28. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Spain

29. Lukas Rosol, Czech Republic

30. Jeremy Chardy, France

31. Fernando Verdasco, Spain

32. Joao Sousa, Portugal


1. Serena Williams, United States

2. Simona Halep, Romania

3. Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic

4. Agnieszka Radwanska, Poland

5. Maria Sharapova, Russia

6. Angelique Kerber, Germany

7. Eugenie Bouchard, Canada

8. Ana Ivanovic, Serbia

9. Jelena Jankovic, Serbia

10. Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark

11. Flavia Pennetta, Italy

12. Dominika Cibulkova, Slovakia

13. Sara Errani, Italy

14. Lucie Safarova, Czech Republic

15. Carla Suarez Navarro, Spain

16. Victoria Azarenka, Belarus

17. Ekaterina Makarova, Russia

18. Andrea Petkovic, Germany

19. Venus Williams, United States

20. Svetlana Kuznetsova, Russia

21. Sloane Stephens, United States

22. Alize Cornet, France

23. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Russia

24. Sam Stosur, Australia

25. Garbine Muguruza, Spain

26. Sabine Lisicki, Germany

27. Madison Keys, United States

28. Roberta Vinci, Italy

29. Casey Dellacqua, Australia

30. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, Czech Republic

31. Kurumi Nara, Japan

32. Zhang Shuai, China