Venus Williams - Wimbledon 2023

US Open 2023: Popcorn matches from the women’s singles draw

The US Open has delivered another exciting women’s Grand Slam draw and now fans cannot wait for the final major of the year to begin.

Join us, at Tennishead, as we preview five of the most highly anticipated first round matches:

Venus Williams (WC) vs Paula Badosa

Venus Williams is gearing up to compete at an astounding 24th US Open tournament, and she will play former No.2 Paula Badosa in the first round.

In the build-up to her home major, the 43-year-old picked up her first top 20 win since 2019 over Veronika Kudermetova in Cincinnati.

However, there have been some concerns for the two-time US Open singles champion after she withdrew from the WTA 250 event in Cleveland with a knee injury.

It is not just Williams that has struggled with her fitness in recent times, with Badosa only playing two matches since June due to a stress fracture in her back.

Jessica Pegula (3) vs Camila Giorgi

Jessica Pegula is heading into her home major with higher expectations after her second WTA 1000 triumph in Montreal.

However, the third seed will have her work cut out for her when she plays former Canadian Open champion Camila Giorgi in the first round.

The American’s best performance came at the US Open last year when she reached the quarter-final, whereas Giorgi achieved her best result in New York 10 years ago after getting to the fourth round.

Pegula will be encouraged by her head-to-record with the Italian, as she has six wins in their seven previous WTA meetings.

Beatriz Haddad Maia (19) vs Sloane Stephens

Beatriz Haddad Maia is a seeded player at the final major of the year, but her first round opponent of Sloane Stephens has the far greater pedigree at the US Open as a former champion.

Despite being a champion at the New York major, Stephens has not surpassed the third round of the tournament since 2018.

It will only be Haddad Maia’s third appearance in the main draw of the US Open, and the Brazilian has reached new heights at major tournaments this year with a semi-final at Roland Garros.

Haddad Maia and Stephens have only played each other once before, with the former getting the better on the hard courts of Acapulco back in 2019.

Elena Rybakina (4) vs Marta Kostyuk

It is another tricky first round match for talented Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk, who has drawn against a top 10 seed in three out of the four majors this year.

Kostyuk has lost her last three matches, but Rybakina is also facing her own issues after retiring from her third round match in Cincinnati.

The pair have only played on the main WTA tour once before, in a match that took place earlier this year, and it was in-fact Kostyuk who got the upperhand on the hard courts of Adelaide.

Ons Jabeur (5) vs Camila Osorio

Ons Jabeur will be looking to bounce back from her emotional second Wimbledon final defeat when she returns to the US Open, where she was also the runner-up last year.

The Tunisian will play former US Open girls champion Camila Osorio in the first round, in a rematch of their second round match two years ago.

Osorio will be hoping for a more even contest this time round, as she only managed to win one game against Jabeur back in 2021.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.