With the exception of bees attacking players, Day 1 of the 2014 U.S. Open was quiet with few upsets and all of the top players on the male and female side advancing. Expect more of the same on Day 2, though the star power on display is enough to keep you riveted.
Serena Williams, the top seed on the women's side, will play her first match at Flushing Meadows. No. 2 seed on the men's side, Roger Federer, will also be featured in a prime-time match against Marinko Matosevic.
Those are the two big names we will be watching on Tuesday, but it's just a fraction of the action in New York at the year's final Grand Slam event. Here's a look at the Day 2 schedule, including bracket predictions and top matches to watch.
|Matchup||Start Time (ET)|
|Women's Singles Round 1: Alison Riske vs. No. 8 Ana Ivanovic||11 a.m.|
|Men's Singles Round 1: Marcos Giron vs. No. 13 John Isner||Not before 1 p.m.|
|Women's Singles Round 1: No. 3 Petra Kvitova vs. Kristina Mladenovic||11 a.m.|
|Women's Singles Round 1: No. 1 Serena Williams vs. Taylor Townsend||7 p.m.|
|Men's Singles Round 1: No. 2 Roger Federer vs. Marinko Matosevic||7 p.m.|
|Matchup||Start Time (ET)|
|Men's Singles Round 1: Maximo Gonzalez vs. Sam Querrey||11 a.m.|
|Women's Singles Round 1: Olga Govortsova vs. No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard||11 a.m.|
|Men's Singles Round 1: No. 4 David Ferrer vs. Damir Dzumhur||11 a.m.|
|Women's Singles Round 1: No. 27 Madison Keys vs. Jarmila Gajdosova||11 a.m.|
|Matchup||Start Time (ET)|
|Women's Singles Round 1: No. 24 Samantha Stosur vs. Lauren Davis||11 a.m.|
|Men's Singles Round 1: Pablo Andujar vs. Jack Sock||11 a.m.|
|Women's Singles Round 1: No. 16 Victoria Azarenka vs. Misaki Doi||11 a.m.|
|Men's Singles Round 1: No. 20 Gael Monfils vs. Jared Donaldson||Not before 5 p.m.|
Full Day 2 schedule can be found at USOpen.org
No. 1 Serena Williams vs. Taylor Townsend
Under normal circumstances, you would just pick Serena Williams to win in the first round of the U.S. Open and move on. However, this year has been anything but normal for the top-ranked female player.
Williams has yet to win a Grand Slam event in 2014, failing to make it out of the fourth round in Australia, France and England. It also doesn't help her odds at Flushing Meadows that the last image we have from her at a major was being out of sorts in a doubles match with sister Venus at Wimbledon.
Also making the match interesting is the other player on the court, 18-year-old Taylor Townsend. Williams even remarked during the U.S. Open media day, via Courtney Nguyen of SI.com, that the teenager is the future of American tennis.
She's a lefty. I always wanted to be lefty. That just in general puts you on a whole new level as a player. She's a very aggressive player. She comes to the net. She makes her shots. You don't really see that in tennis so much. You see players that stay back and hug the baselines, as I do. But it's good, refreshing, and I think it's the future of tennis just by doing what she does.
Townsend is on the verge of stardom, currently ranked No. 103 in the world, but got the toughest draw on the bracket out of the gate. This could be the match that pushes her over that hump.
Unfortunately for Townsend, Williams will be more focused and determined than ever to salvage an otherwise disappointing season by her lofty standards. The time will come for Townsend at the U.S. Open. It just isn't right now.
Prediction: Williams wins in straight sets
No. 2 Roger Federer vs. Marinko Matosevic
Speaking of stars trying to salvage their seasons in the year's final major, Roger Federer has been set up with a nice path to the U.S. Open championship. Rafael Nadal isn't playing due to an injury, and fourth-seeded David Ferrer is the only top-five player on FedEx's side of the bracket.
We will find out a lot about Federer's mental and physical state at the U.S. Open in his first match against Marinko Matosevic. The 33-year-old seems to have gotten stronger as the year has moved on, playing in the finals at Wimbledon and the Rogers Cup before winning the Western & Southern Open.
Federer sounds like someone who needed a big win leading into a major tournament, telling OmniSport, via SportingNews.com, that he's feeling more confident now than at any other point in 2014:
This year I played a lot of good matches. Not just Toronto and Cincinnati but really from the first week on I have always played really nice tennis.
Then you come into this U.S. Open just knowing -- you remember how it feels to win tournaments. You remember and you get used to that.
You almost forget how to lose to a point and confidence rises. You're back to winning ways again and everything seems so simple. It's nice feeling that way.
Matosevic is a 29-year-old ranked 76th in the world with a match record of 20-19 this season. He did pull off an upset at Wimbledon, defeating No. 18 Fernando Verdasco in four sets, and holds a victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the AEGON Championships in June.
However, Federer is uncharted territory for Matosevic. The Swiss star looks like a man on a mission, trying to capture his first major title since 2012 and sixth U.S. Open title. He's got a long way to go, but expect a strong start for the No. 2 seed.
Prediction: Federer wins in straight sets
No. 13 John Isner vs. Marcos Giron
It's only fitting for America's biggest tennis tournament that we highlight the top U.S. player in the event. John Isner is one of 21 American men and women in action on Tuesday. While there's certainly more deserved optimism on the female side, the men don't figure to be a factor in the outcome.
Which player needs to make the deepest run at the 2014 U.S. Open?
Isner has a huge serve but hasn't been able to hone that into anything special. His best finish in a Grand Slam event was a quarterfinal appearance in 2011, but the last two years have seen him bow out in the third round.
Further complicating matters this year for Isner is a sprained ankle that forced him to withdraw from the Winston-Salem Open on August 21. That doesn't bode well for America's already-slim U.S. Open hopes.
Marcos Giron is the perfect opponent for Isner to get his feet back under him. The 21-year-old American is ranked 419th in the world and has played just one professional match this season.
Giron is moving onto the big stage against the best player this country has to offer, so a win seems unlikely, though Isner's injury does make it more likely that the young man can remain competitive.
Prediction: Isner wins in five sets
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