Tests ahead for Osaka defence
Unfortunately, men’s champion Dominic Thiem is on the sidelines recovering, but Naomi Osaka will look to hold onto the silverware in New York once again.
The 2018 and 2020 champion, facing world No.86 Marie Bouzkova at the first hurdle, could tie Kim Clijsters and Billie Jean King on three US Open titles with an almighty effort.
In particular, Coco Gauff (2-1 Osaka from a couple memorable major bouts and a three-set triumph for the Japanese star earlier this month in Cincinnati) or resurgent 2016 champion Angelique Kerber represent some second week tests.
Just to add to the equation, fifth seed Elina Svitolina and the returning Simona Halep, free from a calf injury, land in Osaka’s quarter.