U.S. Open Day 2 matches to watch: Serena, Federer play Ashe Stadium
NEW YORK -- Serena Williams and Roger Federer get their campaigns started on Day 2 at the U.S. Open. Click here for the full order of play. Tennis Channel begins live coverage at 11 a.m. ET, ESPN will pick up coverage at 1 p.m. ET and ESPN2 will handle primetime coverage starting at 6 p.m. ET.
Matches on the tournament's seven show courts (Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium, Grandstand, Court 17, Court 5, and the non-Hawkeye courts of Court 11 and Court 13 can also be streamed at USOpen.org.
Serena Williams and John Isner lead the Americans: There are 21 Americans in action on Tuesday, with the most prominent match of the day featuring two of them. No. 1 Serena takes on 18-year-old American wild card Taylor Townsend under the lights on Arthur Ashe Stadium (second night match). Two years ago when she was the No. 1 junior, the USTA refused to pay for Townsend's travel to the U.S. Open to compete, citing concerns about her fitness.
Now in her first full year on the WTA Tour, the Chicago native has climbed over 200 spots in the rankings, is on the verge of breaking into the top 100 and has already made the third round of a major. No doubt she'll embrace the big stage and seize the opportunity to show off her exciting brand of tennis, which features more variety than we've come to expect or see from teenagers on tour. Speaking before the tournament, Serena called Townsend "the future of American tennis." The youngster is still a work in progress -- she struggles with consistency -- but this should be fun to watch.
John Isner also begins his tournament against a young American wild card -- 21-year-old Marcos Giron (second match, Arthur Ashe Stadium). Isner withdrew from the Winston-Salem Open last week with a sprained ankle. His serve should carry him through but as is the case at every Slam, conserving energy and taking care of his body is key in the early rounds.
American youngsters look to make a splash: In addition to Townsend, Wimbledon boys' champion Noah Rubin makes his U.S. Open debut in just his second ATP-level match. He'll play Federico Delbonis (second match, Court 13). Catherine "CiCi" Bellis of California, at 15, is the youngest woman in the draw and earned her spot by winning the USTA wild card playoff. She'll get a shot at a slumping 12th-seed Dominika Cibulkova (third match, Court 6).
Also in action are Madison Keys, CoCo Vandeweghe, Nicole Gibbs, Grace Min, Lauren Davis and Christina McHale. Alison Riske, who upended Kvitova here last year, plays Ana Ivanovic (first match, Arthur Ashe Stadium).
Roger Federer begins his tournament under the lights: Before the present and future of American women's tennis take the court, Federer will open his tournament against Australia's Marinko Matosevic (first night match, Arthur Ashe Stadium). Expect to see Federer in full flight. He rolled past Matosevic in their only meeting earlier this year, losing just two games at the Brisbane International.
Petra Kvitova tries to shake her New York jinx: The Wimbledon champ is in good form after winning the Connecticut Open over the weekend, but she's never made it past the fourth round at the U.S. Open and admits the bustling crowded city just isn't her cup of tea. She could get a tough test against France's Kristina Mladenovic (third match, Arthur Ashe Stadium). Mladenovic stunned Li Na in the first round of the French Open.
Matches to watch
Madison Keys vs. Jarmila Gajdosova (fourth match, Louis Armstrong Stadium): Keys, the highest ranked teenager at No. 27, didn't have a confidence boosting summer hard court season. She won just two matches in three tournaments. Gajdosova is a big hitter who struggles with her control, but if she zones, this won't be an easy match for Keys.
Jack Sock vs. Pablo Andujar (second match, Grandstand): Sock has the firepower and the swagger, but can he pull it together and deliver on the big stage in a best-of-five format? He's been drawn in a section headed by Kei Nishikori, who is coming off injury, and Leonardo Mayer, a solid but beatable Argentine. No. 48 Andujar is a solid veteran, but more of a clay-court specialist. This draw is a big opportunity for him.
Bernard Tomic vs. Dustin Brown (fourth match, Court 5): With Tomic's crafty game and Brown's penchant for shot-making, this could unfold into some five-set drama.
CoCo Vandeweghe vs. Donna Vekic (fourth round, Court 13): Vandeweghe comes into New York full of confidence -- not that she was ever short on that front -- after beating Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic to make the Rogers Cup quarterfinals a few weeks ago. Now ranked No. 38, she just narrowly missed out on being seeded in New York. Vekic on the other hand, is on a four-match losing streak.
Upset special: Kei Nishikori vs. Wayne Odesnik (first match, Court 17): Nishikori pulled out of both ATP Masters 1000 events this summer due to a cyst on his left toe, but he decided to "take a chance" and play the Open. For a player who relies so heavily on his speed and movement, that doesn't sound like it will work out well for him. Odesnik is into the draw after winning the USTA wild card playoff this summer by playing well on the Challenger circuit.