As the dust settled over the seedings, especially for the women, the draws pitch men in tough first round battles while the top seeded women have relatively easy matches and a predictable march to the finish line.
On opening day, many compatriots would trade strokes, but Spain stands out as a country from where many players will leave New York after the first round. In the upper half of the draw, top seeded Rafael Nadal will open defense of the title in a contest with fellow Spaniard, David Ferrer, the rugged 34-year old hustler with an impressive career. Fernando Verdasco, seeded 31, will face Feliciano Lopez.
In the lower half, Garcia Lopez is pitted against J. Munar, just as another Spaniard, Alberto Ramos-Vinolas faces Russia’s Karin Khachanov in a match that could go either way.
Other match-ups of fellow countrymen include Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman with F. Delbonis, Canada’s Denis Shapovalov with F. Auger-Allasini and many American players, on account of their large numbers in the Grand Slam of their country. Prominent American players in tough first round matches are Donald Young with third-seeded Juan Martin Del Potro and Ryan Harrison with Wimbledon finalist, Kevin Anderson, the fifth seed.
In the upper half of the women’s event, top seeded Simona Halep will open against Kanepi of Italy. The defending champion and third seeded Sloane Stephens will face Rodina. Serena Williams has a date with Linette but sister, Venus faces danger of early exit in her match against Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia.
In the lower half, second seeded Caroline Wozniacki will take on Australia’s hustler Samantha Stosur; while the fourth seed and Wimbledon champion, Angelique Kerber of Germany has a date with the unknown Gasparyan.
Africa has cause to pay attention to some players in both men and women events. Michael Mmoh would have a tough encounter with Italy’s flashy player Fabio Fognini seeded 14. The promising Whitney Osuigwe is pitted against Italy’s Camilia Giorgi. Tunisia’s Muhammad Jaziri will have a tough match against Spain’s Pablo Carreno-Busta the twelfth seed.