TORONTO, Aug. 12, 2019 (Xinhua) -- Serena Williams of the United States returns the ball against Bianca Andreescu of Canada during the women's singles final at the 2019 Rogers Cup in Toronto, Canada, Aug. 11, 2019. Serena Williams of the United State. Image Source: IANS News

New York, Aug 23 : Five-time champion Serena Williams will be facing 2006 winner Maria Sharapova in the first round of the 2019 US Open. This though the 22nd time that the two former world number ones will clash, it is the first time ever they will do so at the US Open.

Serena has been chasing a 24th Grand Slam title and a first since her victory at the 2017 Australian Open after which she had taken a lengthy break from the game to give birth to her daughter.

Sharapova has only managed to beat Serena twice. Defending champion Naomi Osaka, who beat Serena in the final in 2018, starts against Russian Anna Blinkova while Wimbledon winner Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova both play qualifiers.

India's Prajnesh Gunneswaran has been handed a tough draw in the form of a first round clash with the fifth ranked Daniil Medvedev, who beat world no.1 Novak Djokovic on his way to a title at the Cincinnati Masters this month.

Djokovic, the defending champion, has been drawn in the same half as five-time champion Roger Federer while Rafael Nadal has the likes of Nick Kyrgios, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Roberto Bautista Agut and Alexander Zverev in his half.

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