Serena Williams will face Danka Kovinic in the first round as the American great begins her final US Open campaign.

It will be a final grand slam for 40-year-old Williams, who has won six singles titles in New York and been a runner-up on four occasions.

Her first singles crown in a major came as a 17-year-old at Flushing Meadows, when she beat Martina Hingis in the 1999 final.

Now the end of a glorious career is beckoning for the 23-time singles major winner, who has also landed 16 doubles grand slam titles.

Kovinic is the world number 80 from Montenegro, with the 27-year-old having only won two matches at the US Open in four previous main-draw appearances.

The winner of that match will likely face Estonian second seed Anett Kontaveit in round two. Kontaveit's first-round opponent will be Romanian Jaqueline Adina Cristian.

Defending champion Emma Raducanu, who was a shock winner last year, faces a tricky first-round assignment against France's Alize Cornet.

Cornet is the tour veteran who beat Iga Swiatek at Wimbledon, ending the Pole's 37-match winning streak, and this will be her 64th consecutive grand slam appearance, a record for WTA Tour players.

World number one Swiatek starts against Italian Jasmine Paolini and could face 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens in round two.

Former champion Naomi Osaka, unseeded this year, was paired with Danielle Collins, the 19th seed who was an Australian Open runner-up at the start of the year.

The tournament gets under way on Monday.

Men's defending champion Daniil Medvedev faces American Stefan Kozlov in his opener, while Rafael Nadal, who has not lost a grand slam match all year, faces Australian wild card Rinky Hijikata.

Nadal won the Australian Open and French Open titles before pulling out of Wimbledon ahead of his semi-final against Australian Nick Kyrgios due to an abdominal tear.

That handed Kyrgios a bye through to face Novak Djokovic, who got the better of the Australian, but the Serbian must miss the US Open because his refusal to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus meant he would not be allowed to enter the United States.

Djokovic's absence was confirmed shortly before the draw was revealed.

Fast-rising Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz begins against Argentina's Sebastian Baez, while fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas will face a yet-to-be-determined qualifier.

Emma Raducanu is making a "natural transition" to the WTA Tour, says former British number one Laura Robson.

Raducanu became a grand slam winner in just her second major appearance when she defeated fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez in last year's US Open final, and the first qualifier to win the women's singles at Flushing Meadows.

Since then, the 19-year-old has cracked the top 10 of the WTA Rankings, but has otherwise endured a mixed run of form, with a last-16 exit in the Western and Southern Open her latest result ahead of a return to New York, while she has also changed coaches in a season that has so far failed to produce a trophy.

But Robson thinks they are mere teething troubles for Raducanu, arguing that her difficulties have been blown out of proportion.

"I wouldn't say she struggled," Robson told Stats Perform. "I think she's making it a natural transition to the main tour.

"Emma came through so quickly, then struggling to catch up to the day-to-day life of being a professional tennis player, which is a lot of time away from home, a lot of training weeks, a lot of travel.

"She hasn't been able to put that time in. I thought she played great last week in Washington, and unfortunately, had a very tough draw against Camila Georgi in the first round last night.

"But I think she's playing some great tennis. So, I feel when she's back on the courts at US Open, they really suit her and hopefully some positive vibes will help as well."

Robson, a former Junior Wimbledon champion in 2008, won the WTA Newcomer of the Year prize in 2012 after claiming a silver medal alongside Andy Murray in the mixed doubles at London 2012, but ultimately struggled with a succession of injuries before her retirement this year.

She is loathe to draw parallels between her own experiences and those of Raducanu but hopes time can be afforded to the youngster.

"I mean, I wouldn't even compare my situation to hers, because Emma came through so quickly that it feels like she's only just catching her breath," she added.

"She just needs time to manage her own expectations. I hope she's not even thinking about anyone else's expectations because they really don't matter in the grand scheme of things.

"I think she just needs a good amount of training work, which I know she has been doing anyway. And the results will come because they think she's an incredible ball striker and a great athlete as well."

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Emma Raducanu admitted she has been "too tense" in recent defeats and is aiming to play more freely as she prepares to defend her US Open title.

Raducanu has struggled to follow up last year's shock win at Flushing Meadow, but she appears to have hit form at just the right time.

The 19-year-old has beaten both Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka in straight sets during this week's Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, dropping just four games against Williams and two against Azarenka.

Her win against Azarenka on Wednesday was just Raducanu's third career victory against a top-25 opponent, after beating Belinda Bencic and Maria Sakkari on her way to winning last year's US Open.

Speaking after her win against the Belarusian, Raducanu said: "I think I have tried a lot of things, and this year I think some matches, I have lost a lot of matches from leading situations and probably just played too tense.

"I think that I just need to swing, and I just said that these two tournaments, or this tournament especially, I'm just going to swing freely and take that and see what happens."

Raducanu also said she will wait until after the tournament to reflect on beating two multiple grand slam champions with relative ease.

"I think after the tournament I actually have to take a step back and be like, 'Look, you just beat two unbelievable champions'," she said. "It's a pretty good achievement. You know how difficult the wins are to come by."

The number 10 seed will face seventh seed Jessica Pegula in the third round in Cincinnati on Thursday.

Serena Williams has been drawn to face reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu in a blockbuster first-round match-up at next week's Cincinnati Masters.

Williams, who earlier this week declared her intention to retire after the upcoming US Open, will open her tournament on Monday evening against the 19-year-old Briton who is currently ranked 10th in the world.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion recorded her first singles win in more than a year at this week's Canadian Open, defeating Nuria Parrizas-Diaz on Monday, before losing in the second round to Belinda Bencic.

In between the matches, Williams had signaled her retirement plans in an article in Vogue magazine.

The first-round clash is one of several intriguing matches including 14th seed Karolina Pliskova meeting Venus Williams, two-time major winner Victoria Azarenka facing Estonian veteran Kaia Kanepi.

In-form Simona Halep is drawn against 2021 Australian Open semi-finalist Karolina Muchova, while four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka will face Zhang Shuai.

In the men's singles draw, 12th seed Matteo Berrettini will face Frances Tiafoe straight up, while Nick Kyrgios is scheduled to take on Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Coco Gauff shined on the opening day of the Canadian Open on Tuesday, defeating American compatriot Madison Brengle 6-1 6-3 to move to a record of 14-4 from her past 18 matches.

Gauff, who has not lost to anyone ranked lower than world number 22 Amanda Anisimova since the Australian Open, continued that impressive record by cruising past world number 62 Brengle, winning 58 per cent (34-of-59) of her return points in a dominant showing.

Anisimova, who eliminated Gauff from Wimbledon, also made it through her first match unscathed as she defeated hometown Canadian Carol Zhao 6-1 6-3.

China's Qinweng Zheng put another dagger into the Canadians with her 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 win over Rebecca Marino, but Bianca Andreescu gave the fans something to cheer for as she upset world number nine and winner of this past week's Silicon Valley Classic Daria Kasatkina 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo prevailed against American Claire Liu 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 7-6 (7-5) in a three-and-a-half-hour battle of attrition, while Australian qualifier Ajla Tomljanovic upset world number 16 Veronika Kudermetova 6-4 2-6 7-6 (7-4) in two-and-a-half hours.

It was a disappointing showing from world number 10 Emma Raducanu as she went down 7-6 (7-0) 6-2 to the reigning champion of this event, Italy's Camila Giorgi.

Naomi Osaka also will need an early flight home after being forced to retire against Estonia's Kaia Kanepi, pulling the plug due to a persistent back injury while trailing 7-6 (7-4) 3-0.

In the late session, Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic successfully navigated the challenge of Tereza Martincova 6-4 6-2 to book a second round fixture against Serena Williams, and world number four Maria Sakkari survived a scare to finish strong and defeat Sloane Stephens 6-2 4-6 6-2.

Despite being ranked fourth in the world, Paula Badosa came into her quarter-final showdown with the red-hot Coco Gauff as the underdog, but she played like a favourite en route to a 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 victory.

Usually one of her stronger weapons, Gauff's serve was a liability on Friday, with six double faults in the first set alone to drop the opening frame despite breaking Badosa twice.

In the second set, while Badosa was converting 92 per cent (11-of-12) of her accurate first serves into points, Gauff's figure was down at 53 per cent (eight-of-15) as the Spaniard's return game was at its best.

Badosa will meet seventh seed Daria Kasatkina in the semi-final after the Russian beat Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka 4-6 7-5 6-0. The longer the match went, the less effective Sabalenka became with her ability to return serve.

In the first set, which Sabalenka won, she was successful in 53 per cent (19-of-36) of the points against Kasatkina's serve, and that number plummeted to 14 per cent (two-of-14) in the decider.

Third seed and Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur was eliminated by ninth seed Veronika Kudermetova 7-6 (7-5) 6-2, and she will meet unseeded American Shelby Rogers in the second semi-final after she defeated Amanda Anisimova 6-4 6-4.

Meanwhile, in Washington at the Citi Open, Emma Raducanu felt the effects of her gruelling match 24 hours prior as she went down 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 to Liudmila Samsonova.

On Thursday, Raducanu played in the longest two-set match of the WTA season as she eventually made her way through two tiebreakers against Camila Osorio in two hours and 49 minutes, and she ran out of steam after another tough tie-break against Samsonova.

Samsonova will play China's Xiyu Wang in the semi-final after another upset, knocking out fourth seed Victoria Azarenka in convincing fashion 6-1 6-3.

Estonia's Kaia Kanepi booked her place in the second semi-final after a 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-3 win against Anna Kalinskaya, where she will meet Daria Saville after the Australian got the better of Canada's Rebecca Marino 6-1 7-5. 

Coco Gauff was too sharp with her return game for Naomi Osaka in the second round of the Silicon Valley Classic on Thursday, coming away with a 6-4 6-4 win.

Gauff – the world number 11 and tournament's sixth seed – created 12 break point opportunities in the match, while only allowing one for Osaka, despite eight double-faults.

Ultimately, Gauff won 41 per cent (29-of-71) of the points off Osaka's serve, while converting 85 per cent (28-of-33) of her successful first serves into points.

Earlier in the day in a major upset, top seed Maria Sakkari was eliminated in straight sets 6-1 6-3 by American Shelby Rogers. 

The world number three struggled with her serve throughout, landing only 45 per cent of her first serves, and winning just 52 per cent (12-of-23) of those points.

World number six Aryna Sabalenka needed three sets to defeat unseeded American Carolina Dolehide 5-7 6-1 7-5, and Russia's Veronika Kudermetova had less trouble dispatching Claire Liu 6-2 7-5 to set up an exciting match with Ons Jabeur in the quarter-final.

Meanwhile, in Washington at the Citi Open, Emma Raducanu played in the longest two-set match of the WTA season, defeating Camila Osorio 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-4) in two hours and 49 minutes.

Both women created at least a dozen break point opportunities, with four total breaks each as the young British star battled blisters on her hands.

Raducanu will play Liudmila Samsonova after the Russian eliminated Australia's Ajla Tomljanovich 4-6 6-3 6-2.

In the last match of the day, China's Xiyu Wang got the better of Croatia's Donna Vekic 4-6 7-5 6-1, and she will meet the winner between Tereza Martincova and Victoria Azarenka in the quarter-final.

Naomi Osaka delivered a terrific third set to defeat China's Qinweng Zheng 6-4 3-6 6-1 in the opening round of the Silicon Valley Classic.

Osaka's serve was sharp and it carried her through the match, with 11 aces to Zheng's three, while giving up one break of serve and securing three breaks herself.

After Zheng fought back to win the second set, Osaka was the steady head in the decider, allowing her opponent to implode with three double-faults in crucial points to collect her first win since April.

Osaka will meet Cori Gauff in a star-studded second-round matchup after Gauff dominated Anhelina Kalinina 6-1 6-0.

She was simply too powerful for her Ukrainian opponent, winning 89 per cent (25-of-28) of her first serves to never give Kalinina a chance.

Canada's Bianca Andreescu was eliminated by American Shelby Rogers 6-4 6-2, while Russia's Veronika Kudermetova won a hard-fought battle against Italy's Camila Giorgi 7-6 (7-2) 4-6 7-5.

Meanwhile, in Washington at the Citi Open, Emma Raducanu looked in good touch as she handled the challenge of Louisa Chirico 6-4 6-2 to advance to the second round.

Raducanu will meet Colombia's Camila Osorio after she beat American Sofia Kenin 7-6 (7-2) 6-1, and top-20 talent Victoria Azarenka had no issues against Dayana Yastremska to win 6-4 6-0.

Australian Ajla Tomljanovic continued her strong run of form with a convincing 6-1 6-4 win against American Sloane Stephens, and the Czech Republic's Tereza Martincova recovered from a horrible first set to defeat Xinyu Wang 0-6 6-4 6-4.

Germany's Andrea Petkovic cruised to a 6-2 6-2 win against Denmark's Clara Tauson, and Russia's Anna Kalinskaya defeated American Madison Brengle 6-3 6-0.

Reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu believes she needs to cut herself some slack as she aims to improve her consistency on the court.

Having made her breakthrough at last year's Wimbledon championships, Raducanu went on to claim a stunning success at the US Open.

The Briton defeated fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez in straight sets, becoming the first singles qualifier in the Open Era to win a grand slam title.

Yet with the North American swing fast approaching, Raducanu has not yet come close to replicating that form in 2022.

Indeed, since winning the US Open, she has reached just two WTA Tour-level quarter-finals, while she has failed to progress past the second round in any of the three majors.

While acknowledging she needs to add more consistency to her game, the 19-year-old remains relaxed, insisting she is learning to take a step back and enjoy her situation.

"My goal would be towards consistency," she told the Evening Standard. "But equally, I'm going to try and cut myself some slack.

"I'm young and I have achieved something great. I think I should step back and enjoy it.

"I'd say I am too much of a perfectionist. That drives me crazy sometimes. I obviously think it's a great trait, because I don't think I would have had the results I did without that drive and that wanting to be better.

"But it can be really self-destructive at the same time, because you're never happy and you'll always complain or find something wrong."

The Canadian-born star cites her upbringing, and the high standards set by her parents, as crucial to her success.

She added: "They've always had high standards, and told me when things weren't very good, whereas other people might have wanted to encourage me. My parents always told me how it is, and I always had this sense of wanting to prove them wrong.

"Even in primary school, we had a sprint race on sports day and for seven years straight, I won it. I'm undefeated! I really like to win. I love the fight.

"When things get tough, keep getting yourself back up. Keep persevering. Each time you do, it teaches you a lesson and you accumulate experience. Then you can grow a big bank of knowledge that you can tap into."

Raducanu is ranked 10th in the world by the WTA, and this week joined up with Dmitry Tursunov, who will coach her on a trial basis for next week's Citi Open. She split with former mentor Torben Beltz in April.

Emma Raducanu conceded she "didn't have expectations" for her Wimbledon campaign, following a second-round exit after a 6-3 6-3 defeat to Caroline Garcia.

A dominant showing from Garcia saw her hammer 24 winners, win 71 per cent of points played behind her first serve and win 15 of 18 points when she came to the net – with Raducanu unable to muster a response despite being encouraged by the Centre Court crowd.

Doubts were present ahead of the tournament as to whether the 19-year-old would feature given injury issues, which limited her to only seven games before retiring in her only match at the British grass-court events leading up to the event at SW19.

The world number 11 had the hopes of a nation on her shoulders heading into the campaign but, speaking after her straight-sets defeat to Garcia, downplayed the result.

"Obviously it's tough to lose any match. But it's okay because coming into this I didn't really have any expectations of myself," she told a news conference.

Defeat for Raducanu means she has not won successive matches at a grand slam since her victory at the US Open last year, having also fallen at the second-round stage in both the Australian and French Open.

However, she brushed off any suggestion that she's weighed down by pressure, stating: "I am 19 years old. Yes, I have had attention. But I'm a slam champion, so no one's going to take that away from me. If anything, the pressure is on those who haven't done that."

Raducanu had a slow start to the game, with Garcia securing two breaks in the opening set and causing the British number one trouble with her aggressive approach, taking a 6-3 win.

A brilliant rally in game five of the second set again was finished off by Garcia to help her on her way to another break and, despite a swift response from Raducanu for only her second break of the game, took another to take command of the match.

The world no. 55 then broke Raducanu for the third time in a row to secure her seventh consecutive grass victory – which was her first at Wimbledon since 2014 – leading to a memorable first visit to Centre Court.

"I really enjoyed playing on Centre Court, it was my first time and very special," she said after the match.

"You win a couple of matches in a row and I won a title in Germany but you have to start all over again.

"That is what is nice about tennis - we all start from zero and we have to go for it."

Garcia will play Shuai Zhang in the third round. Zhang defeated Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk in straight sets earlier on Wednesday.

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