On the first day, there are 63 other matches, but they have been put on hold as Williams gets ready for what might be her final singles encounter.
Iga Swiatek is attempting to win her first Grand Slam championship away from Roland Garros’ red clay by receiving the No. 1 seed this year at the U.S. Open.
However, Swiatek had another priority on the eve of the U.S. Open: getting the courage to finally meet Serena Williams, a formidable champion who made Swiatek feel like “a kid from kindergarten just looking at her.”
Swiatek shared a snapshot of herself and Williams on social media on Sunday: Swiatek tweeted, “This is the highlight of my day.” “Congratulations @serenawilliams on your incredible journey and illustrious career. I have the utmost appreciation for all you have done for our sport.
Zhang Zhizhen, 25, and Wu Yibing, 22, are on Monday’s schedule after practising together on Court 8 on Sunday. A small crowd of primarily Mandarin-speaking fans cheered them on and surrounded them for autographs and photos after the training session ended. Until this year, no Chinese man had qualified to play in the U.S. Open.
Americans Elizabeth Mandlik and Brandon Holt, who are both the offspring of U.S. Open singles champions, will play in their first Grand Slam match on Monday. Mandlik, the daughter of Hana Mandlikova, will compete against Slovenian Tamara Zidansek. Holt, the son of Tracy Austin, will compete against Taylor Fritz, the top-seeded American and son of Kathy May, a former player who reached the top 10 in the women’s game.
The winner of the men’s division of the 2020 U.S. Open, Dominic Thiem, will make his tournament debut on Monday after missing the Open in 2017 due to a serious wrist injury. Pablo Carreo Busta, a deft player from Spain who recently won the Masters 1000 tournament in Canada and has twice advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Open, will present him with a challenging challenge.
Williams vs. Kovinic will, however, take centre stage despite the fact that other tennis players have been waiting for opportunities to meet and catch up with Williams.
The Polish sensation Swiatek, age 21, said of the 40-year-old Williams, “I watch her my whole life.” Because she consistently won and reached the semifinals or finals, she was essentially everywhere. She always appeared to be physically stronger than any of her opponents, so I didn’t always feel like I was this kind of player who could play similar tennis. But she’s going to teach you how to exploit your position and how to kind of scare with being No. 1 mentally, for sure. In an effort to do that. I have no idea how it’s progressing.
Venus, 42, and Serena are the only women in this year’s draw who participated in the 1997 Open 25 years ago.
There are several games on Monday that are worth paying close attention to, but it is clear which game is attracting the most attention at this special time and place.