US Open 2015: Heather Watson targets maiden win in New York

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Flushing Meadows
Heather Watson
Heather Watson has not enjoyed the best of fortunes at the US Open
US Open 2015
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, Dates: 31 August-13 September
Coverage: Online radio commentary of Heather Watson, plus live radio and text commentary on every Andy Murray match and selected others.

British number one Heather Watson will attempt to win her first US Open match when she plays American Lauren Davis on Monday.

The pair will meet in the opening match on court 17 at 16:00 BST as the final Grand Slam of 2015 gets under way.

Watson, ranked 61st, hopes to claim her first win on her fifth visit to Flushing Meadows.

Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are also in action on day one.

Britons Andy Murray, Aljaz Bedene, James Ward, Jo Konta and Laura Robson begin their campaigns on Tuesday.

Watson puts Wimbledon behind her

Heather Watson at Wimbledon
Watson pushed Williams all the way at SW19

The 23-year-old from Guernsey will be stepping back into the Grand Slam spotlight for the first time since her dramatic defeat by Williams at Wimbledon.

Watson got within two points of defeating the American, only to see Williams fight back.

"You have to get the motivation back after such a big match on a big stage," Watson told BBC Sport.

"You've got to find that fire and that fight every single week, no matter how loud or quiet it is.

"Apart from the few days after the [Williams] match, I haven't thought about it at all really. I'm not looking back now, I'm looking ahead."

Time to end the losing run

The Briton has seen mixed results since Wimbledon, symptomatic of a year in which she has claimed a second WTA title and some impressive wins, but still slipped back from a career-high ranking of 38 in January.

Watson was the 2009 junior US Open champion but has run into the likes of Sharapova, Li Na and Simona Halep in previous visits to the senior tournament and is yet to get past the first round.

Facing Davis, the 5ft 2in world number 84, represents an opportunity to break that losing run.

"I have practised with her a few times - not recently, but I think I know her game pretty well," said Watson. "It won't be easy, she's a tough competitor, but I'm feeling good about myself and my game."

Serena seeks the spotlight

Serena Williams
Serena Williams is aiming to create history in New York

The fact that the women's final has reportedly sold out before the men's for the first time this century highlights the interest surrounding world number one Williams in New York.

She won her fourth straight major title, dubbed a 'Serena Slam', at Wimbledon. Now she has the chance for her first calendar Grand Slam of all four majors in a year.

Her opening match against Russia's world number 86 Vitalia Diatchenko has been given prime-time billing as it opens the first night session at 00:00 BST.

The 33-year-old six-time champion will be calling on the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd to help pull her through the next seven matches.

"It's the biggest stadium for tennis players in the world, it's the biggest stage in the world - New York," she said. "It doesn't get any bigger or better than this."

Nadal faces early test

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal was US Open champion in 2010 and 2013

Williams is expected to face little trouble in her opening match, and men's top seed Djokovic should see off Brazil's Joao Souza in the day's third match on Ashe, but there is danger lurking for two-time champion Rafael Nadal on day one.

The Spaniard has slipped to eighth in the seedings and faces 18-year-old Croat Borna Coric in the second night match at around 02:00 BST on Tuesday.

Nadal is struggling to recapture his best form, and lost his only previous meeting with Coric last year.