Barty, Serena on US Open collision course
Ash Barty and Serena Williams have been drawn in the same quarter at the US Open, setting up a tantalising final eight match-up if they can both successfully negotiate the first week of the year's final major.
Barty, the second seed, has only played Williams twice in her career, losing in the first round of the 2014 Australian Open when she was still finding her way in the sport and pushing the American to three sets in the 2018 French Open.
But both women have serious work to do to set up the blockbuster.
Williams and Maria Sharapova will finally meet in the US Open - and they'll do it in their very first match.
The bitter rivals have met in the finals of the other three majors and the 2012 Olympics but have never played each other at Flushing Meadows. Williams owns a 19-2 record in their WTA Tour match-ups and has won 18 in a row, but that lopsided number shouldn't do much to dampen the hype around what will be the marquee match of the opening round.
Williams will begin another bid for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title.
Sharapova isn't the same player she was when she won the 2006 US Open championship - or beat Williams two years earlier in the final at Wimbledon - but remains one of the most popular players among fans in New York.
Barty has drawn 77th-ranked Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan in the first round, before facing likely match ups with America's World No. 71 Lauren Davis in the second round and 30th-seed Maria Sakkari (Greece) in the third. Former world number one Ann Kerber could be her fourth round opponent before a meeting with Williams.
Women's top seed Naomi Osaka, who beat Williams in last year's final for her first major title, could face a third-round match against Coco Gauff, the 15-year-old American who made it to the fourth round at Wimbledon and was given a wildcard into the US Open.
The other potential women's quarterfinals are Osaka against No. 7 Kiki Bertens, No. 3 Karolina Pliskova against No. 5 Elina Svitolina and Wimbledon champion Simona Halep against No. 6 Petra Kvitova.
MEN'S DRAW: KYRGIOS IN THE RIGHT QUARTER
Nick Kyrgios will be licking his lips after landing in the quarter of the men's draw which does not feature Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer.
The Australian has avoided the tough early match-ups that have ended his chances at the Australian Open (Milos Raonic, first round) and Wimbledon (Nadal, second round) this year, drawing American Steve Johnson in the first round and the winner of Leonardo Mayer and Antoine Hoang in the second.
A likely third round match-up with Stefanos Tsitsipas will be one to watch but if Kyrgios can win that only 10th seed Roberto Bautista Agut and 4th-seed Dominic Thiem stand in his way of reaching the semis.
The men's draw sent No. 3 seed Federer into the top half, meaning he could play top-ranked Djokovic in the semi-finals. They met in a classic final at Wimbledon, where Djokovic won in a fifth-set tie-breaker.
Federer and No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal have never played each other in New York and could do so this year only if both make the final.
Djokovic might have to beat both to repeat as US Open champion - and could face a tough obstacle just to get there with a potential quarterfinal against No. 5 seed Daniil Medvedev. Medvedev upset Djokovic in the semi-finals of the Western & Southern Open en route to the title in what was his third straight week reaching a final.
Nadal faces a potential first-round test against John Millman, the Australian who knocked Federer out in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows last year.
Other interesting first-round matches on the men's side include an all-Canadian affair between No. 18 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov and Tsitsipas against Andrey Rublev, who routed Federer last week in the Western & Southern Open.
The other potential men's quarters: Federer against No. 7 Kei Nishikori, Nadal against No. 6 seed Alexander Zverev and Thiem against Tsitsipas or Kyrgios.
- with AP