Serena Williams has met, and defeated, rival Maria Sharapova at many a tennis tournament—Wimbledon, the Australian and French Opens—but she’s never gotten the chance to face off against Sharapova at the U.S. Open in New York. That’s all about to change.
For the first time, the two tennis greats will meet on the court at the U.S. Open, it was announced Thursday, after the eighth-seeded Williams drew the unseeded Sharapova, according to the Los Angeles Times.
As the Times notes:
The former U.S. Open champions have faced off in the finals of the other three majors — Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon — but had never crossed paths before in Flushing Meadows. Williams has dominated Sharapova, winning 19 of 21 meetings.
However, despite Williams’ dominance, both Williams, 37, and Sharapova, 32, have faced the challenge of injuries leading into Monday’s match.
The two were scheduled to compete at last year’s French Open before a pectoral injury forced Williams to withdraw, and Sharapova has missed most of the season with injuries, the New York Times reports.
But the “marquee match of the opening round” of the U.S. Open is eagerly anticipated, as the Associated Press explains:
Williams will begin another bid for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title. Sharapova isn’t the same player she was when she won the 2006 US Open championship — or beat Williams two years earlier in the final at Wimbledon — but she remains one of the most popular players among fans in New York.