U.S. Open Tennis: Federer and Nadal on a Collision Course

It also means Nadal and Federer will be playing on the same day for as long as they are in the tournament. You can expect them to take turns being showcased in night matches at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

On Tuesday, Federer gets that spot for his first-round match against the young American Frances Tiafoe. Nadal plays in the afternoon against Dusan Lajovic, of Serbia.

When Nadal and Federer take the court, keep an eye on their success on second serves, which has proved an important statistic in their seasons. And take a moment to appreciate Federer’s backhand, which he has retooled to devastating effect this season.

Photo

Alison Van Uytvanck playing against Zheng Saisai on Monday. Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Times

Here are Six Matches to Watch on Tuesday

How to watch: You can stream matches here, beginning at 11 a.m., Eastern time. TV coverage begins on ESPN at 1 p.m. and switches to ESPN2 at 6 p.m.

No. 12 seed Jelena Ostapenko vs. Lara Arruabarrena

11 a.m., Court 17

Ostapenko, 20, who won this year’s French Open, brings her exciting power game to Flushing Meadows after a summer of disappointment. She has not won a match in the post-Wimbledon hard court season. She plays the veteran Lara Arruabarrena of Spain, who reached her career-high ranking of 52 last month. If Ostapenko can break out of her hardcourt slump and win, the draw is favorable for her to make another run in a major.

No. 6 seed Angelique Kerber vs. Naomi Osaka

Second match, Arthur Ashe Stadium

Kerber, the defending champion, has been struggling with her form this year; she has not won a tournament. Osaka, a 19-year-old from Japan, is no easy out. She played Venus Williams very close in the third round of Wimbledon and almost beat Madison Keys in the third round here last year. If Kerber does not play well, a first-round loss could be in the cards.

Evgeniya Rodina vs. Eugenie Bouchard

Second match, Grandstand

Eugeine Bouchard, ranked 76th, has not been past the second round of a tournament since Madrid in the spring, but has a favorable matchup in Rodina, a Russian journeywoman ranked 89th, who has losing her last five tour matches. The winner would need a boost of confidence as their likely next opponent is fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina.

Marcos Baghdatis vs. Taylor Fritz

Second match, Court 5

Marcos Bhagdatis’s best days at the Open are behind him; his classic with Andre Agassi under the lights was in 2006. As one of the generation of up-and-coming Americans, Taylor Fritz’s best days T The match promises to be entertaining; and the prize is likely a matchup with Dominic Thiem, the No. 6 seed6on one of the tournament’s bigger courts.

No. 15 Tomas Berdych vs. Ryan Harrison

Third match, Court 17

Harrison, long expected to be a top singles player, might finally be coming into his own. He reached a career-high ranking of 40 this summer and looks to continue that success against Berdych a former semifinalist at the Open. Berdych has had a stellar year, but the time when this match was a foregone conclusion is past. If Harrison can start strong and get the crowd on his side, it could a fun one.

No. 3 Roger Federer vs. Frances Tiafoe

Second night match, Ashe Stadium

Roger Federer continues his stellar season against the young American Frances Tiafoe. Their recent history has a common thread in Sasha Zverev: Federer tweaked his back against Zverev in the second set of their final match in Toronto, while Tiafoe scored the biggest win of his career by beating Zverev a few days later in Cincinnati. Most eyes will be on Federer to see how the back holds up. If he’s not fully recovered, Tiafoe’s athleticism could give Federer more trouble than he would like. — DAN GENDLER

College Champion Takes the Court

When Brienne Minor walked across the blue and green court on a tour of Arthur Ashe Stadium, she gasped.

“Breathtaking,” she said.

But it was not overwhelming. Minor, who will play her first United States Open match on Tuesday, is having too much fun to be rattled by the big stage.

“It’s not really about the tennis for me,” said Minor, who became the first African-American to win the N.C.A.A. Division I singles title this spring.

Minor, a junior at Michigan, faces another trailblazer, Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, who at the French Open this year became the first Arab woman to reach the third round of a Grand Slam singles event.

“Obviously I want to play my best, but I don’t know when I’ll be back so I definitely want to take this all in,” Minor said. — KELLY WHITESIDE

A Long Journey to the Open

Just taking the court Tuesday is monumental for Allie Kiick, 22. She entered the U.S. Open qualifying tournament ranked No. 633. She was treated for melanoma on her back last year, and she has had a debilitating case of mononucleosis and four operations on her knees since 2014.

But she won three matches in four days last week, gaining a berth in the Open main draw. She will face No. 25 seed Daria Gavrilova of Australia.

— CINDY SHMERLER

Read more about Kiick here.

Monday’s Highlights

■ Maria Sharapova made an electrifying and emotional return to Grand Slam tennis, upsetting second-seeded Simona Halep in three sets. It was Sharapova’s first match at a Grand Slam tournament serving a doping suspension after the 2016 Australian Open.

■ Fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev got a taste of night tennis at the Open, closing out his first-round match against Darian King after 2 a.m.

■ No. 7 Johanna Konta and No. 13. Jack Sock were among the seeds to lose on Monday

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Source: New York Times

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