US Open Tennis 2018: TV Schedule, Start Times for Friday Night Draw

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IAugust 31, 2018

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 29: Serena Williams of the United States in action against Carina Witthoeft of Germany while wearing a tennis outfit designed by Virgil Abloh and designed in conjunction with Nike, in the second round of the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre on August 28, 2018 in New York City, United States. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)'n'n'n
TPN/Getty Images

Serena and Venus Williams headline the Friday night action at the U.S. Open, as the two sisters kick off proceedings at Arthur Ashe Stadium at Flushing Meadows.

Their third-round clash will be followed by Juan Martin del's Potro meeting with Fernando Verdasco. The Argentine is the third seed in New York and yet to drop a set in this year's tournament. Verdasco saw off former champion Andy Murray in the second round.

Over at Louis Armstrong Stadium, the action begins with Milos Raonic up against Stanislas Wawrinka. They are followed by eighth seed Karolina Pliskova's third-round meeting with America's Sofia Kenin.

The evening session on both courts begins at 7 p.m. ET (midnight BST). Live coverage is available in the United States on ESPN. In the United Kingdom, the action can be found on Amazon Prime. A complete television schedule is available from the tournament's official website.

Crystal Chatham/Associated Press

The Williams sisters will meet for the 30th time in their professional careers when they play on Friday. Serena leads the way with 17 wins, including 10 at Grand Slams, while Venus has 12.

Per ESPN Stats & Info, it's the earliest they have met at a Grand Slam since 1998:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Serena Williams' win set up the 30th tour-level meeting between the Williams sisters. It is their earliest meeting at a major since the 2nd round at the 1998 Australian Open, the 1st professional meeting between the two sisters. Serena leads head-to-head, 17-12. https://t.co/fJ5MbkDT9Z

Serena has had a comfortable tournament so far. She despatched Poland's Magda Linette with little fuss in the first round. The six-time champion beat Carina Witthoft by straight sets in the second round.

Venus has found it tougher going than her younger sister. The 16th seed was taken to three sets in her opener by Svetlana Kuznetsova. She followed that up with a win over Italy's Camila Giorgi.

Guardian journalist Bryan Armen Graham highlighted the effect of the Williams' sisters meeting on tournament tickets:

Bryan Armen Graham @BryanAGraham

The get in the door price for Serena-Venus at Arthur Ashe Stadium tomorrow night has more than doubled since yesterday afternoon. https://t.co/4EYjm4UCBM

While Serena has the better record of the two players, she will be well aware that Venus has won their only meeting of 2018 so far. The 38-year-old claimed a 6-3, 6-4 victory in the third round at Indian Wells. The match was the first time Venus had beaten her sister in straight sets since the 2008 Wimbledon final.

Friday's second match on Arthur Ashe also promises much excitement as Del Potro faces Verdasco. The powerful Argentine is in search of his second U.S. Open title and has been in good form in New York with comfortable wins over Donald Young and Denis Kudla.

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 29:  Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina celebrates victory during his men's singles second round match against Denis Kudla of The United States on Day Three of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on A
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The 29-year-old has explained why he is expecting a tough test on Friday night from the Spaniard, per ATP World Tour.

"Fernando is a really good player," he said. "I don't like to play against a lefty because they can mix it up all the time. They play different angles of the game. They make variations all the time. It's not going to be easy for me."

Del Potro will be expected to get past Verdasco despite his impressive win over Murray. The Argentine is a powerful opponent with a ferocious forehand and has shown signs of being back to his very best in 2018.