Sharapova-Halep at US Open; Federer-Nadal could be semifinal

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"I'm not thinking any more. I just really want to go there and to play my best tennis". First round of a Grand Slam. "The tournament decided and they can do anything they want", she said.

Sharapova has never been the most popular in the women's locker room and her counterparts are now numb to the subject on whether she deserved a wild card here.

"She beat me six times".

"So the first week was really just trying to feel better, get better, get back on the court at some stage". The match was highly anticipated, as the Frenchwoman was one of Sharapova's most outspoken critics. She's coming back. She's strong enough to come back, in my opinion.

With the last five editions of the US Open having been won by five different players, and seven players having divided the last nine US Open crowns with only Djokovic (2011, 2015) and Nadal (2010, 2013) claiming multiple titles in this span, predicting the victor of the US Open is never an easy task. In the first round, she had to pull an extraordinary comeback against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

Sharapova was bolstered by fans with "Welcome back Maria" signs in Germany and cheering support last month in Stanford, her first U.S. match in more than two years.

In Rome, Sharapova couldn't make it past the second round as a thigh injury forced her to retire when she was a break up in the third set.

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Sharapova is now ranked 147th and required a wildcard from the United States Tennis Association - something she was refused at the French Open in May.

Roger Federer will head into next week's US Open feeling optimistic he has overcome his injury concerns.

Halep said when she heard the news, she thought of all the tough draws she has been dealt this year and said to herself, "How did this happen again?" The Russian has missed the event due to injuries in 2008, 2013, 2015 and past year she was not able to compete because of the suspension. He could meet sixth-seeded Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals. Victoria Azarenka is absent because of a custody dispute involving her infant son.

More young blood breaking into the top 32 seedings are teenage Ana Konjuh and 21-year-old Anett Kontaveit, while 23-year-old Gavrilova has just won her first title in CT.

Also in contention is Garbine Muguruza, the Spanish/Venezuelan who was so imperious when taking the Wimbledon title and Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, who has won more titles on the tour this year than anyone else. Rafa, the world No. 1, the top seed and a two-time former champion, crowned in 2010 and 2013.

Rafael Nadal and Karolina Pliskova are the top seeds at the 2017 US Open and on Friday, they learned who they were going to play in the first round and who they'd likely play going forward as the official draw was announced. The Russian is 6-0 against Halep, the No. 2 seed in Flushing Meadows. Can Sharapova score a seventh victory over the Romanian?

The Grand Slam tournament starts Monday.