Published: Fri, August 23, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka top seeds for the US Open

Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka top seeds for the US Open

Ahead of her U.S. Open defense, Osaka has also been hit with injury, a knee problem forcing her to retire in the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Masters last week.

Number one seed Naomi Osaka starts the defence of her title against Russia's Anna Blinkova.

Osaka beat Williams in last year's women's singles final to become the first major victor from Japan, but the match was marred by controversy when the chair umpire handed the 23-time Grand Slam champion three code penalties - including a rare game penalty - leading the American to spectacularly lose her composure.

Djokovic, a three-time champion from Serbia, defeated Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro in last year's men's final. Williams owns a 19-2 record in their WTA Tour match-ups and has won 18 in a row, but that lopsided number shouldn't do much to dampen the hype around what will be the marquee match of the opening round.

Top seed and world No. 1 Naomi Osaka will begin her title defense at the U.S. Open with a first-round clash against 93rd-ranked Anna Blinkova of Russian Federation, while seventh seed Kei Nishikori faces a yet-unknown qualifier in his opening match.

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He averaged nearly a goal every other game, scoring 12 times in 27 appearances, including four in seven World Cup Qualifiers. However, he grabbed his first goal for the Black Stars later that year, hitting the equaliser in a friendly with Australia.

The other potential women's quarterfinals are Osaka against No. 7 Kiki Bertens, No. 3 Karolina Pliskova against No. 5 Elina Svitolina and Wimbledon champion Simona Halep against No. 6 Petra Kvitova.

She then followed it up with her second Slam at the Australian Open in January.

Sharapova upset Williams to win the Wimbledon title in 2004, a result which prevented the American from claiming a third consecutive title at SW19.

Nadal faces a potential first-round test against John Millman, the Australian who knocked Federer out in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows a year ago.

Three-time US Open champion Djokovic, who comes into the tournament having won his fifth Wimbledon title, is followed in the seedings by 2017 victor Rafael Nadal.

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