Though there we no major upsets on the opening day of the 2014 US Open, it was still an entertaining day of action to kick off the year's final major. The top players should be on high alert for Day 2 because rarely does a first round pass without at least one surprising result.
Two popular picks to win their respective titles are slated to begin their journeys on Tuesday. On the women's side, it's Serena Williams, who's trying to end a frustrating Grand Slam season on a high note. At the same time, Roger Federer is looking to win his first major championship since Wimbledon 2012.
Those two superstars will take center stage during the night session. Of course, there's plenty of tennis to play before that point. So let's check out all of the viewing information for the second day of play in New York, followed by a closer look at the players to watch.
|11 a.m. - 7 p.m.||Tennis Channel||First Round|
|1 p.m. - 7 p.m.||ESPN||First Round|
|7 p.m. - 11 p.m.||ESPN||First Round|
Full Order of Play for Day 2
Top Players to Watch
Williams is the two-time defending U.S. Open champion and has won 17 Grand Slam singles titles in her career. Yet, she hasn't advanced beyond the fourth round in any of the majors this year, which is completely out of the ordinary for her.
The last time she played all four majors and didn't win at least one was 2001. The American doesn't think her lack of success this season adds any extra pressure, though. She told CBS News her competitive spirit, not the numbers, is what keeps her going.
"There's nothing that I need," Williams said. "Right now it's just numbers, and everyone is just like, you know, because right now I don't need to win another Grand Slam, I don't need to win another tournament. I could go home and go to bed for as long as I want. But at the end of the day, I'm just playing for pure, just for me."
Her accomplishments are certainly already enough to make her one of the best ever, but the expectations remain sky high every time she takes the court. She starts her latest title defense in New York against potentially the next American star, Taylor Townsend.
While it's a match Williams should win, it's also a good measuring stick for 18-year-old Townsend. And she has enough firepower to make it competitive if the tournament favorite isn't at her best. It should make for an intriguing opener.
Federer's performance in majors over the past five years has led to a new appreciation of his previous dominance. He's managed just two Grand Slam titles over that span despite still being one of the best players in the world. It illustrates just how hard it is to win the biggest events.
The Swiss maestro has enjoyed a resurgence of late. He made it to the Wimbledon final and played well during the U.S. Open Series, highlighted by a triumph in Cincinnati. The strong play makes him a top contender as he seeks his 18th major title.
He also received a boost from the draw. He opens with a very winnable match against Marinko Matosevic on Tuesday night. If the wily veteran can continue to maintain top form, he shouldn't meet much resistance until the latter rounds, as BBC Tennis illustrates:
The biggest key for Federer is efficiency in the early rounds against foes like Matosevic. Limiting his time on court with straight-sets victories will ensure he's got enough left in the tank to compete for a championship at the end of next week.
The fact is well known by now, but it's worth repeating. No American man has won a Grand Slam singles title since Andy Roddick at this event in 2003. It's a drought that weighs on both the U.S. Tennis program and the individual players.
How far will Isner advance?
Although it's an extreme long shot, Isner represents the best hope this year. With Rafael Nadal not playing and Andy Murray not at his best, the door is open a little wider for every player outside what's become known as the "Big Four."
As always, his chances rely heavily on his monster serve. He endured an up-and-down U.S. Open Series, but if he's hitting that shot with power and precision, he's capable of beating anybody. It just comes down to finding the consistency that's been missing so far in the majors.
Like Williams, he starts with a match against a fellow American in Marcos Giron, who's currently ranked outside the Top 400. It should be a pretty routine match for Isner, but keep an eye on his serving. The more free points he gets there, the better his chances for the long haul.