Eleven years after being crowned the champion of the US Open champion, Maria Sharapova is back in NY. She does not beat you with sheer power, but she tries to topple her opponent with her court craft, which was great to see during her semi-final run at Wimbledon this year.
"The guys who are hurt lately, it's mostly because they are 30-plus". "I don't think Maria's going to be intimidated, because I don't think anyone intimidates her".
"Facing her, I'm, like, it's going to be a big challenge, first round of Grand Slam".
"Most people think that she has paid her dues and it's time to get back on the circuit".
Former world number one Sharapova won the 2006 US Open as well as Wimbledon in 2004, the 2008 Australian Open and the 2012 and 2014 French Opens. I respect what she's done and how she seems to have recognised where parts of her game are weak, like mentally, and she's gotten in touch or worked with the right people to get herself in a better frame of mind more often.
"I don't know how you can pick anybody in the women's competition", said Chris Evert, speaking on behalf of ESPN.co.uk.
The Russian reached the semifinals in Stuttgart, without dropping a set. "It wouldn't shock me if she pulled off the huge upset". "So many great memories of the tournament, being a champion, coming back to it". She also was the runner-up at the Australian Open this year. "It's a big, big match".
Sharapova faces a hard test Monday in the night feature match at Arthur Ashe Stadium against world number two Simona Halep of Romania.
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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.
Most assuredly, NY fans love nothing more than a show and Nadal can't wait to give them one when he opens play Tuesday.
The US Open is the first grand slam tournament to trial the innovation, with a clock on the scoreboard counting down the time taken by players between points during qualifying.
Alexander Zverev believes Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are still the "biggest favourites" at the US Open, but the German senses an opportunity.
Sharapova's best result in NY was in 2006 when she won her second Grand Slam at 19 years old, defeating Justine Henin in straight sets. One question that both players faced had to do with #Maria Sharapova and the wild card that she received into the main draw of Flushing Meadows. Already world No 2, she has been within one victory of taking over the top spot on three occasions this summer but lost each time.
However, the second seed insists she has no complaints and is just focusing on her upcoming match, rather than the possibility of moving to the top of the WTA rankings. There she had to face the number one seed, Victoria Azarenka.
She's 18 now, a Cinderella story at two Opens, including in 2014 at age 15 when she became the youngest American to win a match here.
Nadal is seeded No. 1 at Flushing Meadows for the first time since 2010 after returning to the ATP's top ranking this week.