Nadal, Federer, Sharapova take spotlight at US Open

Monday, 28 Aug, 2017

Four-time US Open champion John McEnroe told ESPN this week that, "at the moment, we're just assuming that Roger is going to pull the rabbit out of the hat again".

Eleven years after being crowned the champion of the US Open champion, Maria Sharapova is back in NY. Maybe I just played bad.

"The guys who are hurt lately, it's mostly because they are 30-plus".

"The American crowd is going to be very respectful of Maria and I would think she will get a warm reception coming back", Evert, a victor of 18 majors during her career, said on a conference call this week.

Plistova said of Sharapova, "I think it's a good story for the tournament that she's back". The Russian received a very controversial wild card into the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, a tournament she has won on three occasions.

If you blink, you may miss the five-time Grand Slam victor Monday night when she battles Halep. The match was highly anticipated, as the Frenchwoman was one of Sharapova's most outspoken critics.

Nadal won his record 10th French Open trophy in June, and Federer won his record eighth Wimbledon title in July. "It's a big, big match".

Both players are prominent in the outright betting with Halep offered by Sky Bet at 12/1 and Sharapova 20/1 to regain the title she won in 2006. She, however, has defeated Halep on all six occasions that they have played, including the French Open final in 2014.

Wimbledon never needed to make the decision on Sharapova because she chose to play the qualifiers - until she pulled out with a thigh injury.

Her only appearance in the past three months came at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California, where she beat Jennifer Brady in the first round but then was forced to withdraw again on fitness grounds, this time because of a sore left forearm. He last swung a racket in competitive mode at the Roger's Cup in Montreal a fortnight ago, losing in straight sets to hotshot Next Gen stud Alexander Zverev while clearly enfeebled by a back issue that he only acknowledged days later. While her appearance in the final previous year proves she has pedigree on this surface, the bad news is that it also means she has 1300 ranking points to defend, leaving the door ajar for seven other women to overtake her over the fortnight. He could meet sixth-seeded Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals. There she had to face the number one seed, Victoria Azarenka.

The absence of Serena Williams has created an opportunity at the top of the WTA rankings, and the fact no fewer than eight women can leave the last Grand Slam of the season as world No 1 makes for the kind of logjam usually only seen amongst yellow taxis queuing in the streets around Times Square.

The tall, elegant Spaniard has to reach at least the fourth round for a chance of grabbing No1, but should not have too much trouble doing so.

Murray withdrew with a sore left hip from the year's final Grand Slam that starts Monday on the NY hardcourts, joining 2016 victor Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic, 2014 runner-up Kei Nishikori and Canada's Milos Raonic among the injured.