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US Open wild card Maria Sharapova: my rivals' criticism was hard to ignore

Maria Sharapova may have benefited from the generosity of US Open officials in being awarded a wild card to the tennis tournament, but she was not dealt such a kind hand from the draw gods.

"That's the one player everybody wanted to see where she would top seed wanted to draw Maria Sharapova first round", former US Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez said.

After winning two Grand Slam championships last year, including defeating Karolina Pliskova in last year's U.S Open, former No. 1 Angelique Kerber hasn't won a tournament since leaving Arthur Ashe Stadium.

She was banned from the tour for 15 months — returning in April — after testing positive for the newly banned drug meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

After having spent four and a half years without signing a single triumph in a Grand Slam tournament, and now well rooted in the thirties, the tennis player switzerland has a chance, starting Monday, to win a third title of the kind in 2017, this time to the worldwide of the United States. She has let many big matches slip, which has prevented her from winning the World No.1 ranking and a first Grand Slam title in the process. Both wound up on the top half of the U.S. Open's bracket.

According to The Independent, Novak Djokovic, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic are all out through injury, as Andy Murray and Roger Federer struggle for fitness. The Russian skipped most of the hardcourt season to prepare and be fit for this tournament, her first Grand Slam since her suspension.

The 30-year-old Sharapova was eligible to make her return to Grand Slam action at the French Open in May, but that country's tennis federation declined to offer her a wild card.

The British No 1 is in the same quarter of the draw as Sharapova or Halep. He won the French Open in 2009, and the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year.

Bournemouth vs. Manchester City. How & where to watch
It continued into the second half, harrying Tyrone Mings into a mistake. "We have to take the positives from that game and try and build on them".

"If I am in semifinals, not, I prefer to play against another one", Nadal said in his syntax-shredding English-as-a-second-language way. Two years before that, at 17, Sharapova won her first major title at Wimbledon.

Sharapova, a tall and lean blonde Russian who's a five-time Grand Slam victor, has earned an estimated $285 million in prize money and modeling endorsements since 2001....from companies like American Express, Nike, and Canon.

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.

"I'm not thinking any more".

Kerber beat Pliskova in last year's final in NY to reach No. 1.

Halep and Sharapova haven't faced each other since 2015, and three of their last four matches went to the third set. "If not, no, we will see".

Also worth watching is 22-year-old Madison Keys, who has bounced back from a long injury absence to win Stanford-though she is in the demanding Svitolina/Kerber/Ostapenko quarter.

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