Published: Mon, August 28, 2017
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

Questions abound as Sharapova returns to US Open

Questions abound as Sharapova returns to US Open

Even though Sharapova is now ranked #148 in the world, the former #1 was often topic number one in questioning to the female players Saturday, because the U.S. Open officials granted her "wild card" status.

On Sunday in Cincinnati, Halep had the chance to earn the No. 1 ranking if she won the tournament, but was dominated by No. 3 Garbine Muguruza, 6-1, 6-0.

She was banned from the game for 15-months, after she tested positive for a substance called meldonium during the Australian Open in late January 2016.

The 30-year-old Russian was given a wildcard into the tournament by the US Tennis Association (USTA), a move critics complained about earlier in the season but another key step in the road back for the five-time Grand Slam victor.

Should she get through, Halep is then faced with no fewer than three more contenders for the No1 ranking in the semis. But first she'll need to earn her first victory against Sharapova to do so. "Maybe some players have just had enough of playing hurt and told themselves, 'When I come back, I want to be 100 per's just not fun this way". Rafa, the world No. 1, the top seed and a two-time former champion, crowned in 2010 and 2013.

This time she took a more conciliatory approach and is more concerned about trying to break her duck against the 30-year-old.

On the women's side, projected quarterfinals include matchups between Pliskova and Svetlana Kuznetsova, Kerber and Elina Svitolina, Halep vs. Johanna Konta and Muguruza vs.

The 30-year-old Russian, a victor of five grand slam titles, said she was unaware of the change. Remarkably, the elder Williams won her two titles in NY in 2000 and 2001, and was last No1 more than 15 years ago, yet she is the only woman this year to have reached two Major finals.

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He's back in the field at Flushing Meadows after sitting out the hard-court tournament a year ago while taking off the last half of the season to let his surgically repaired left knee heal.

"But I'll prepare myself the best way possible, so that I will have the best chance to really excel there in NY". She beat me six times.

If her fortunes are to change at the U.S. Open, it wasn't apparent Friday when the draw dealt her another blow.

Wozniacki is seeded No5, but she could face another woman in the No1 frame, 37-year-old Venus Williams, seeded No8. So I think she's okay. This is the fourth and final Grand Slam of the 2017 professional tennis season.

"When it comes to tennis, good or bad - there's really only one thing that I know for certain - I've missed it", Sharapova wrote on the Players' Tribune website. Certainly nothing before this year compares to having to face Sharapova in the first round at Flushing Meadows.

Halep could face another contender for No1, No6 seed Johanna Konta, in the quarters, though the in-form Julia Goerges may have other ideas, and No11 seed Dominika Cibulkova, has just become runner-up in CT. We'll find out when they play each other on Monday.

Serena Williams' continued absence will leave the championship wide-open as the top stars fight for the major title.

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