US Open: No. 2 Simona Halep draws Maria Sharapova in first round

However, her loss to Flavia Pennetta in straight sets could easily be counted as one of the hardest losses of her career, as the Italian moved ahead to clinch her maiden Grand Slam title.

Nadal openly admits he'd rather not have to contend with the legendary Federer at this Open, gracias very much, even with the tennis world drooling over a semifinal prospect. All she has to do is win her first Major, but then NY is arguably her most decent shot at doing just that. "We never played in NY, so I think that would be fun for everybody involved". The 36-year-old did suffer a back injury at the Cincinnati Masters a few weeks ago but said that he is "feeling much, much better than a week ago". We never played here and we are not going to play in the finals.

"I have gone deep with them in previous Grand Slams", said Zverev, who is looking to add a major title to his ever-fattening resume. Federer is seeded No. 3.

Possible women's quarterfinal matchups on the draw's bottom half include Halep or Sharapova against No. 7 Johanna Konta of Britain, a semifinalist at Wimbledon; and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza against No. 5 Caroline Wozniacki or No. 9 Venus Williams, a seven-time major champion and the runner-up at the All England Club last month at age 37.

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The Spaniard, though, thinks policing it with a shot clock would make the titanic matches he has played at the slams against Novak Djokovic in particular, impossible.

"I don't want to put any extra pressure (on myself)", the Czech told a news conference. "I will try to take it as a positive that I was playing so well here a year ago".

According to Kerber, the decision to admit Sharapova into the main draw despite her ranking not warranting it was "not (her) decision". Wear and tear just takes its toll. "Maybe in the most important moments during the matches against her I couldn't step in and just take the opportunity". The highest seeded American on the men's side is John Isner, who is the tenth seed. To me, she's made some really good strides, although she is still a little mechanical at times. Neither of them is in this year's tournament because of season-ending injuries.

Having returned earlier this year from a 15-month suspension for a drugs offence, Sharapova will be making her first appearance in a Grand Slam tournament since last year's Australian Open. "I think she would get a warm reception".

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That's what some folks have come to call the tremendous rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The glamazon Russian at least brings sexy back to a women's field of bewildering interchangeables.

Now 147th world, short of competition after a summer cut short by an injury to an arm, it will have to go through the obstacle Halep, N. 2 world and a finalist this season at Roland Garros and Cincinnati.

At just 23 years old, having shown the form and composure she has to be a double Open victor already, it's hard to think she won't have an impact on proceedings here. After a year which has seen three different Slam winners, there is a real sense in the air that anything could happen at this year US Open. So maybe I will change this.

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