Russian Maria Sharapova burst onto the scene as a supremely gifted teenager and won her Grand Slams before serving a 15-month ban for failing a drugs test at the 2016 Australian Open.
Sofia Kenin counter-punched her way back from a set down against Garbine Muguruza to win her first Grand Slam title with a 4-6 6-2 6-2 win.
Williams will face Canadian Bianca Andreescu for the US Open title as the American sets herself up for another attempt to clinch a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam singles title.
Williams, who last faced Sharapova at the 2016 Australian Open, improved to 20-2 in career meetings versus the Russian, who has fallen to 87th in the rankings amid an injury-hit 2019 season that included shoulder surgery in February.
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will open the evening session at Arthur Ashe Stadium with their first-ever NY meeting in a match that may just have the feel of a championship final.
"I am no longer working with Wu," Sven Groeneveld wrote on Twitter. "He has a right to have a coach whose views are better aligned with his mother."
Defending champion Roger Federer, world number two Angelique Kerber and five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova were all crashed out of the Australian Open.
Gutsy Andy Murray fought to the end before losing an epic farewell match at the hands of Roberto Bautista Agut. But it was business as usual for ruthless Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who joined Caroline Wozniacki in round two.
Simona Halep fought back from a set and a break down to finally achieve her "dream" of winning a Grand Slam title, beating Sloane Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in a gruelling French Open final on Saturday.
Serbian star Djokovic had little trouble in reaching round two, though, seeing off Brazilian world number 134 Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
While Nadal dropped a set to win the mens titles, Elina Svitolina defended the women's title, scorching through to her title in a mere 67 minutes.
Nadal and Djokovic have played each other 50 times, but their last meeting came more than a year ago, when Nadal won in the Madrid Open semifinals. Djokovic leads Nadal 26-24 overall, but Nadal holds a 13-7 advantage on clay.
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