Maria Sharapova

Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova to meet in first round in NY

It will be the 22nd career match-up between the two long-time rivals, who somehow have avoided each other at the U.S. Open throughout their long careers.

Twelve months after losing the final to Naomi Osaka, Williams will have to hit the ground running in her quest for a 24th Grand Slam title.

Williams has won the U.S. Open six times, while Sharapova's lone title was in 2006.

Sharapova beat Williams twice in 2004, but has not prevailed since, not counting a walkover in the 2018 French Open, where the American pulled out with an injury.

Maria Sharapova to be reinstated as UN ambassador

It says that the UN is looking forward to working with her to discuss her role "at an appropriate date".

The player admitted in March that she had taken the substance meldonium at the Australian Open in January.

She was subsequently banned for two years by an investigating tribunal.

But last month her suspension was reduced to 15 months after she filed an appeal.

WADA decide not to appeal to CAS over Sharapova ban

Sharapova was given the backdated suspension after she admitted to using meldonium after it was placed on WADA’s list of prohibited substances on January 1.

As with all doping cases, WADA has the right to appeal sanctions given to athletes to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) if they feel the suspension is too lenient or too harsh.

The body has, however, decided not to exercise that option in the case of Sharapova, who announced yesterday she would be appealing the verdict of the Independent Tribunal to the CAS.