Flushing Meadows, NY (SportsNetwork.com) – Former champions Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams highlight the opening day of play Monday at the 2014 U.S. Open.
Djokovic captured his lone U.S. Open title in 2011 and has lost in the final each of the last two years. He fell to Rafael Nadal in last year’s final, but the Spaniard won’t be around to defend his title because of a wrist injury.
The top-seeded Djokovic will play the final match of the night session on Monday at Ashe Stadium against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman.
Murray, who beat Djokovic for the 2012 crown, is seeded eighth this year and will play Dutchman Robin Haase at Armstrong Stadium in the afternoon.
Sharapova will start the night session at Ashe against fellow Russian Maria Kirlienko. Seeded fifth this year, Sharapova won the 2006 U.S. Open championship and has not been back to the final since. She missed last year’s tournament because of a shoulder injury.
Williams, back-to-back U.S. Open champion in 2000 and 2001, will play Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm in the afternoon at Ashe. The American will try to avoid a fourth straight early exit at Flushing Meadows, as she has lost in the second round each of the last three years.
Women’s second seed Simona Halep will open the day at Ashe Stadium against American Danielle Rose Collins. Other top women on the schedule include fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska and sixth-seeded Angelique Kerber. Radwanska will take on Canadian Sharon Fichman and Kerber will meet Russian qualifier Ksenia Pervak.
While 32 women’s matches are on the docket for Monday, just 24 men’s matches will be played.
Third-seeded Australian Open champ Stan Wawrinka will play in the afternoon at Ashe Stadium against Czech Jiri Vesely and fifth-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic has the last match at Armstrong Stadium against Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel. Ninth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France will open against Argentina’s Juan Monaco on the grandstand.