US Open draw: Serena to face Kovinic in first round

Serena Williams will face Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic in the first round of the US Open, the event that is set to be her final tournament.

Earlier this month, the 23-time major champion announced her impending retirement after the US Open. A champion in New York six times, Williams will face No.80 Kovinic for the first time.

The 27-year-old Montenegrin reached a career-high ranking of No.46 in 2016 and became the first woman from her country to win a Hologic WTA Tour title last year at Charleston.

In January, Kovinic broke new ground for Montenegro at the Australian Open after defeating Emma Raducanu to become the first woman from her country to reach the third round of a Slam.

The winner of that opener will face either No.2 Anett Kontaveit or Romania’s Jaqueline Cristian.

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

Also drawn into Swiatek’s top quarter are three former major champions in No.9 seed Garbiñe Muguruza, No.16 Jelena Ostapenko and No.21 Petra Kvitova, as well as the highest-seeded American, No.8 Jessica Pegula. No.24 seed Amanda Anisimova and two-time quarterfinalist Elise Mertens also landed in Swiatek’s quarter.

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

No.4 seed Paula Badosa leads the second quarter of the draw and will take on Lesia Tsurenko in the first round. Reigning champion Emma Raducanu has been drawn into Badosa’s quarter and will open against France’s Alizé Cornet.

The Frenchwoman is set to play her 63rd consecutive Slam, which will break the record for most consecutive Slam main-draw appearances by a WTA player.

 

 

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