NEW YORK — Serena Williams could face Maria Sharapova for her second straight major semifinal as she seeks to complete the Grand Slam at the U.S. Open.
Thursday’s draw filled the top-ranked Williams’ quarter of the bracket with Americans, nine in all.
In the third round, Williams could face 29th-seeded Sloane Stephens, who beat her in the 2013 Australian Open and is coming off her first WTA title in Washington this month. Another up-and-coming U.S. player, 19th-seeded Madison Keys, could await in the fourth round.
And in the quarterfinals, one potential opponent is her sister, 23rd-seeded Venus Williams. Another possible quarterfinal foe is 12th-seeded Swiss teen Belinda Bencic, who recently upset Williams in Toronto en route to a breakthrough title.
Williams is seeking to complete the first Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988. She beat Sharapova in the semifinals of Wimbledon for her 17th straight victory over the Russian on the way to her second “Serena Slam” — four major championships in a row, but just not in the same year.
On the men’s side, second-seeded Roger Federer and No. 3 Andy Murray could meet in one semifinal, with No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 4 Kei Nishikori, last year’s runner-up, in the other. Djokovic could face Rafael Nadal, who’s seeded just eighth, in the quarterfinals.
Murray has an intriguing opening match with another young player who just missed out on a seed, 37th-ranked Nick Kyrgios.
The 20-year-old Australian comes into the U.S. Open with controversy swirling around him, facing a provisional suspension from the ATP for comments made to Stan Wawrinka in Montreal. During their match Aug. 12, a courtside microphone picked up Kyrgios saying that fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis had slept with a player who reportedly is now Wawrinka’s girlfriend.
Thumbnail photo via Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Serena Williams reacts against Karin Knapp on day six during the Western and Southern Open tennis tournament.
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