The 2019 U.S. Open begins with a high-profile first-round clash in the women's draw and has the potential to end with another epic between two of the best men's players in the world.
The matchup does not have the intrigue it had a few years ago since Sharapova currently sits at No. 87 in the world rankings and has made just one Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance since 2016.
Sharapova has struggled lately and has not fared well versus the 23-time major champion in her career, with three victories, one of which came by way of a retirement. But since the two carry so much name recognition, it will still be a match many get excited for.
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are expected to control the headlines out of the men's draw again, with the Serbian and Swiss on a collision course for the semifinals.
U.S. Open TV Schedule
August 26: Noon-6 p.m. (ESPN), 6-11 p.m. (ESPN2)
August 27: Noon-11 p.m. (ESPN)
August 28: Noon-11 p.m. (ESPN)
August 29: Noon-6 p.m. (ESPN), 6-11 p.m. (ESPN2)
August 30: Noon-6 p.m. (ESPN), 6-11 p.m. (ESPN2)
August 31: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. (ESPN2)
September 1: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. (ESPN), 7-11 p.m. (ESPN2)
September 2: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. (ESPN2)
September 3: Noon-11 p.m. (ESPN)
September 4: Noon-11 p.m. (ESPN)
September 5: Women's semifinals (7-11 p.m., ESPN)
September 6: Men's semifinals (4-11 p.m., ESPN)
September 7: Women's final (4-7 p.m., ESPN)
September 8: Men's final (4-7 p.m., ESPN)
All TV matches can be live-streamed on Watch ESPN.
Djokovic, Federer and Nadal's most-recent hold on the major championships has lasted three years.
The last person outside of the trio to capture a Grand Slam crown was Stanislas Wawrinka at the 2016 U.S. Open.
In fact, the last of the four majors has featured the most variety in champions over the past decade, with Juan Martin del Potro, Andy Murray and Marin Cilic winning as well as Djokovic and Nadal.
The 38-year-old Federer has the longest drought in New York of the marquee threesome, with his last championship coming in 2008.
Even though he has not won the tournament in 11 years, the 20-time Grand Slam champion is relaxed about his prospects, per ATPTour.com.
“I'm not putting extra pressure on myself. I know it's going to be tough," Federer said. "I'm not coming in as the overwhelming favorite like maybe I did back in 2006 or 2007. I'm very much aware of how I need to approach this tournament mentally. What I'm very proud of is I've had a very consistent last year and a half, two years, ever since my back locked up on me in Montreal. I struggled here as well, struggled for quite a while."
Federer suffered an unexpected fourth-round defeat to John Millman in 2018, but it is highly likely he advances past that stage before his draw gets tougher.
If the bracket holds to form, Kei Nishikori will await Federer in the quarterfinals before a potential semifinal clash with Djokovic.
The matchup with the Serbian would probably be one of the most-hyped contests of the competition since the two took part in a historic Wimbledon final at the start of July.
Nadal is the top-ranked male in the bottom portion of the bracket. The Spaniard could square off with Cilic, the lone Grand Slam champion in his section, in the fourth round, while young stars Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev could pose a threat later on.
Thiem reached the last two French Open finals, but he has not gotten past the quarterfinals in New York, while Zverev is working toward his first Grand Slam semifinal appearance.
John Isner and Taylor Fritz are the two seeded Americans in the men's field. Isner has qualified for a major semifinal once at Wimbledon in 2018, while Fritz has yet to make it past the third round.
The main attraction in the women's draw is the Monday night showdown between Williams and Sharapova.
As the tournament's official Twitter handle pointed out, this is the first time the two titans of the women's game will square off at the U.S. Open.
Defending champion and No. 1 seed Naomi Osaka is one of many current players excited to watch the match, per WTA Insider:
The last four matches between the Russian and American have come at major tournaments, but the last victory in favor of Sharapova was due Williams' injury retirement in the round of 16 at the 2018 French Open.
Sharapova's two other victories occurred in 2004 before Williams pulled off a string of 18 consecutive wins, including seven straight-set triumphs in a row.
Once a victor is determined Monday, the focus of the women's draw should turn back to an overall perspective.
Osaka, Ashleigh Barty and Simona Halep have major titles in 2019, and the top seed is one of four previous U.S. Open champions in the field. Williams, Angelique Kerber and Sloane Stephens are the others.
Osaka, Halep and Stephens are located in the top half of the bracket along with previous major winners Garbine Muguruza and Petra Kvitova.
Barty and Kerber could land in a fourth-round clash, with Williams possibly facing the winner of that match.
Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina and Madison Keys, all seeded in the top 10 and looking for their first majors, reside in the bottom half of the draw.
One of those women could add to the list of champions since Williams earned her 23rd Grand Slam at the 2017 Australian Open. Since then, six players, including Osaka a year ago in New York, won their first major.
Fifteen-year-old American Coco Gauff might not be ready to challenge for a title yet, but she will earn attention after her surprise run to the fourth round at Wimbledon.
Gauff is positioned in a tough spot with a potential second-round matchup against Carla Suarez Navarro and Osaka possibly waiting in the third round.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.