Serena Williams has beaten Maria Sharapova nearly everywhere. On courts hard and soft, fast and slow, indoors and outdoors. Blue clay was a novelty surface introduced for only one week, in Madrid in 2012; Williams made sure she beat Sharapova there, too.
But Williams and Sharapova, who have met in the finals of the other three Grand Slam events, have never played each other at the United States Open. That will change this year: The eighth-seeded Williams drew the unseeded Sharapova in the first round of the women’s singles competition in a ceremony on Thursday afternoon.
Williams has won her last 18 matches against Sharapova, dating to 2005, and is 19-2 over all against her.
Sharapova has missed most of the season with injuries and is ranked 87th, which made such a star-studded first-round match possible.