>> Sloane Stephens, welcome
]>> The US Open unveils a new look for its 50th anniversary, but will a new champion hoist the trophy? I'm Reuters sports correspondent Rory Carrol, in Flushing Meadows, Queens, where the US Open kicks off this week. And it presents a new look, the end of a five year $600 million renovation project.
And the biggest change this year, the unveiling of a totally refurbished Louis Armstrong court for an event that expects to see about 700,000 people pass through during its two weeks. Another big change this year is the record prize money. The winners of the singles titles on the men's and women's sides will each walk away with $3.8 million.
In all, prize money at the US Open has increased 57% since 2013. On the women's side of the draw, all eyes will be on six-time US Open Champion Serena Williams, who is attempting to win her first slam since coming back from a difficult childbirth last year. But she will have her work cut out for her.
Her quarter of the draw includes world number one Romanian Simona Halep. As well as her sister, Venus Williams, who is a two time winner at Flushing Meadows. On the men's side, the question is will there be a changing of the guard? The three previous slams this year, all won by familiar faces.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic, all in their thirties. Is it time for a young gun, maybe German Sascha Zverev, Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov, all playing great tennis this year. Is it time for them to finally etch their name into history?