TENNIS

Serena Williams will face Kovinic in the first round

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NEW YORK — In what is expected to be her final tournament, 23-time Major champion Serena Williams will face Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic in the first round of the US Open. For the full draw, Click here.

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Earlier this month, Williams announced his impending retirement after the US Open. Six-time champion in New York, Williams will face No. 80 Kovinic for the first time.

The 27-year-old Montenegrin reached a career-high No. 46 in 2016 and became the first woman from her country to win a Hologic WTA Tour title last year in Charleston. In January, Kovinic blazed new trails for Montenegro at the Australian Open after beating Emma Raducanu to become the first woman from her country to reach the third round of a Slam.

The winner of this opening match will face No. 2 Anett Kontaveit or Romania’s Jaqueline Cristian.

World No.1 Iga Swiatek tops the table and will face Italian Jasmine Paolini in the first round. The winner will face either 2018 champion Sloane Stephens or Belgium’s Greet Minnen.

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Three former great champions in No. 9 seed Garbiñe Muguruza, No. 16 Jelena Ostapenko and No. 21 Petra Kvitova, as well as top-ranked American No. 8 Jessica Pegula, are also being drawn into the first quarter of Swiatek. 24 seed Amanda Anisimova and two-time quarter-finalist Elise Mertens also landed in Swiatek’s quarter.

Ostapenko faces a tough draw against 19-year-old Chinese talent Zheng Qinwen.

4 seed Paula Badosa leads the second quarter of the draw and will face Lesia Tsurenko in the first round. Defending champion Emma Raducanu has been drawn into the Badosa quarter and will open against France’s Alizé Cornet. The Frenchwoman is set to make her 63rd straight Slam, which will break the record for most consecutive Slam main draw appearances by a WTA player.

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Badosa’s quarterback features four seeds who have had consistent success at the US Open, including 2019 semi-finalist and No. 12 seed Belinda Bencic, three-time runner-up Victoria Azarenka, 2021 semi-finalist, 6 seed Aryna Sabalenka and 2016 runner-up Karolina Pliskova.

Two-time champion Naomi Osaka is also in the Badosa district. Osaka will face this year’s Australian Open runner-up Danielle Collins in the first round and could face Raducanu in the third round.

Defending Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, seeded No. 25, will open against a qualifier. The winner would face Venus Williams or Alison Van Uytvanck in the second round.

The third quarter of the draw is the toughest section, anchored by No. 3 seed and last year’s semi-finalist Maria Sakkari and Toronto champion and No. 7 seed Simona Halep. No. 12 seed Coco Gauff, Cincinnati champion Caroline Garcia and Cincinnati semifinalist Madison Keys will also land in this quarter.

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The final quarter of the draw is led by No. 2 Kontaveit and No. 5 Ons Jabeur, who will open against Madison Brengle. Also in the final quarter are 2021 runner-up Leylah Fernandez, San Jose champion Daria Kasatkina and 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova.

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