|Let the games begin in New York. (Getty Images)|
Here is how things look for the schedule on Monday as the U.S. Open gets under way in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. Remember that start times aren't exact (except opening matches).
11 a.m. The defending ladies' champion Samantha Stosur gets the tournament started by begginning her defense of the crown on the court of Arthur Ashe Stadium against Croatia's Petra Martic. Martic is the 65th-ranked woman in the world with a 13-13 record on the season, but she did reach the fourth round at Roland Garros.
While Stosur plays on Ashe, James Blake (remember him?) will get things started vs. Lukas Lacko of Slovakia at Louis Armstrong Stadium. Further down the court list we'll find Li Na of China -- the No. 9 seecd on the women's side, facing Heather Watson of Great Britain on Court 17 and an intriguing first-round matchup for the ladies with Sorana Cirstea facing No. 16 Sabine Lisicki on Court 13. That could be our first seeded player to fall.
|U.S. Open Day 1|
1 p.m.: As always you have to start on Ashe where Andy Murray begins his quest for that elusive first major vs. Russia's Alex Bogomolov Jr, the 73rd-ranked player in the world who is 11-24 on the season.
Meanwhile over at Armstrong Melanie Oudin, everybody's favorite underdog American from two years ago, kicks off this year's Open against the 15 seed Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic. USA's Robby Ginepri (Court 4 vs. Albert Ramos) and Nikolay Davydenko (Court 7 vs. Guido Pella) will also be in action at that time.
3 p.m.: Another one of the favorites gets her tournament started as Maria Sharapova faces Hungary's Melinda Czink on Ashe. Czink is the 88th-ranked woman in the world and is 9-14 on the season, a pretty favorable draw for Sharapova's opener, I'd say.
Over on Armstrong one of the seeded American men gets started with Mardy Fish taking on Go Soeda of Japan. On the grandstand Petra Kvitova, the fifth-seeded woman, draws Polonoa Hercog while the always dangerous Fernando Verdasco faces Rui Machado of Portugal in an Iberian Peninsula showdown on Court 17. Finally on Court 13 is another intriguing first-round match on the women's side with Daniela Hantuchova (unseeded) going against No. 17 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia.
5 p.m.: Maybe this match will go off earler depending on the action on Armstrong but the women's No. 1 seed Victoria Azarenka opens with Alexandra Panova of Russia -- but this could be moved to Ashe should the court be free by then.
At the same time on the Grandstand the Americans will get another shot at taking out a ranked foe as Michael Russell takes on No. 16 Gilles Simon of France. That Grandstand court has proven to be a great American upset spot over the years. The 12th-seeded Marin Cilic will be taking on Marinko Matosevic and all the way out on Court 15 Alejando Falla faces Martin Klizan. Neither is ranked but Falla is a fun one to watch play.
7 p.m.: All eyes of course turn to Ashe at this point. Kim Clijsters goes for a fourth straight U.S. Open title in which she's entered (a fifth straight finals appearance) by opening up against Victoria Duval of the USA. Duval is making her first appearance at the pro level and carries a ranking of 562nd in the world. So if she wins even a couple of games it probably would be considered an upset, but what a way to begin your career vs. a great champ like Clijsters on the biggest court in the States.
Finally the night ends with the star man of the tournament, Roger Federer. In terms of first-round opponents at the U.S. Open he didn't fare too well, drawing Donald Young of the USA. Now Young shouldn't post much of a threat at all to Federer -- he is just 3-21 on the season and is ranked 81st in the world -- but playing a Young American with some U.S. Open experience in New York might push him just a little more than you'd like in the first round.