Nara expects tough match against Wozniak in U.S. Open first round


Kurumi Nara said Thursday she will go into this year’s U.S. Open as the 31st seed with the same mindset she had last year, when she reached the third round as a qualifier.

Nara, who had never before been seeded at a Grand Slam event, will face Aleksandra Wozniak in the first round. The Canadian is ranked 97th in the world.

“I don’t have any impression of her, having not seen her much,” Nara said. “But whoever your opponent is, she’s going to be tough. So I want to be prepared.

“I’m happy to be seeded, but I want to compete the same way I did last year.”

Compatriot Kimiko Date-Krumm will open her campaign against the 19th seed, two-time champion Venus Williams of the United States. Misaki Doi will face Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka, the 16th seed.

In the men’s bracket, 10th seed Kei Nishikori is slated to play American Wayne Odesnik, who is ranked 180th in the world.

Play begins on Monday and runs through Sept. 8.