The 2014 US Open women’s draw was made Thursday and arguably the most anticipated–and hyped–first round match is that between New York’s reigning champion and 17-time Grand Slam singles title winner Serena Williams and young phenom Taylor Townsend, whose impressive back to back singles and doubles wins on the USTA Pro Circuit at Charlottesville and Indian Harbour Beach this year at 17 years of age raised more than a few eyebrows. The former Australian girls singles champion made an impressive run at this year’s French Open as well, knocking out seeded Alizé Cornet before falling to eventual quarterfinalist Carla Suarez Navarro.
Townsend will have her hands full against Williams, however, whose Grand Slam year has been sub Serena-standard, to say the least. Despite five titles in 2014, including Brisbane, Miami, Rome, Stanford and Cincinnati, Williams hasn’t fared as well on the Major stages, dropping a 4th round match to Ana Ivanovic in the Australian Open, a second round loss to Garbiñe Muguruza at Roland Garros, and a 3rd round loss to Cornet at Wimbledon. With two wins in the US Open series, however, Serena appears ready for a run at the US Open title, and while Taylor Townsend has the talent to make an impression on her, don’t expect Serena to take her young opponent lightly.
Some practice video of Townsend from the Indian Harbour Beach ITF earlier this Spring: