Serena, Nadal head up US Open first night

Top-ranked Serena Williams, trying to complete the first calendar-year grand slam since 1988, and 14-time major winner Rafael Nadal will play the two featured Monday night matches at the US Open.

The first day of competition at the year’s final major tennis event also includes the first matches for world No.1 Novak Djokovic, Japanese fourth seed Kei Nishikori and the man who beat him in last year’s US Open final, Croatian Marin Cilic.

Russian third seed Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams are also in action on the women’s side.

Williams will be first on Arthur Ashe Stadium in the night session, facing Russia’s Vitalia Diatchenko, with Spanish eighth seed Nadal following against Croatian Bora Coric, who beat him in their only prior meeting last year in Basel.

Djokovic has the last match of the afternoon at Ashe against Brazil’s Joao Souza, taking the court after Venus Williams plays her first match against Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig.

Nishikori opens matters on Louis Armstrong Stadium against Frenchman Benoit Paire while Cilic follows against Argentina’s Guido Pella.

Sharapova takes the Armstrong last against Australian Daria Gavrilova.

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