2016 US Open Draw – Serena Williams Top Seeded

The 2016 US Open Draw was released on Friday. Who are the contenders?

The draw for the women’s US Open was released on Friday, an event where Serena Williams is the top seed. However, despite having the highest seed possible, the American picked up a difficult first-round opponent. Williams will face Ekaterina MakarovaΒ to open the tournament, a player that has enjoyed some success in majors in the past.

Makarova made the semifinals of the 2014 US Open, at a time in her career when she enjoyed a lot of success. She has since faded a little and entering the US Open she is ranked 36th in the world. That makes her one of the highest-ranked non-seeded players in the tournament and for that reason picking her up in the first round is a bit of bad luck for the World No. 1.

However Williams does own a 4-1 heads up record against Makarova. Furthermore, the American is nearly unblemished in the first rounds of majors. Williams did miss Cincinnati with a shoulder injury and it’s fair to say that Makarova is good enough to take the World No. 1 out if she’s less than 100%. However, Serena will likely advance passed Makarova in the Flushing Meadows tournament.

If the seeds held up then the quarterfinals at the 2016 US Open would look like this:

(1) Serena Williams vs (5) Simona Halep

(4) Agnieszka Radwanska vs (6) Venus Williams

(8) Madison Keys vs (3) Garbine Muguruza

(7) Roberta Vinci vs (2) Angelique Kerber

Of course, the seeds don’t always hold up in Grand Slam events and there are some dangerous low-seeded players. Petra Kvitova, following her bronze-medal run at the Olympics, looks like she might be getting back into form after a poor start to the season. The Czech player is seeded 14th and shares a quarter with Kerber for what could be an important quarterfinal match.

Monica Puig, who won the gold medal at the Olympics, is seeded 32nd in the US Open. She could face the off-form Muguruza in the third round, a match that would certainly be one to watch.

In another section of the draw Eugenie Bouchard, like Makarova, is one of the more dangerous non-seeded players. The Canadian could bust through to the third round in New York to face Radwanska, a match that might have some late-round implications. The Polish player has let down a little in recent months while Bouchard seems to be building toward something again.

The 2016 US Open starts main-draw matches on Monday and the women’s tournament will conclude on September 10th. The World No. 1 ranking is at stake in the event as Williams could yield it to Kerber, who is just 190 ranking points behind Serena.

Shane Lambert