Sharapova to meet Halep in first round at US Open

US Open 2017: Players under the most pressure on the women's draw

"But I will prepare myself as best as possible, so as to have the best chance of success in NY".

The Grand Slam tournament starts Monday.

But the big story is in the bottom section, where the second seed Halep has been drawn in the first round against Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam champion who is playing her first major tournament since returning earlier this year from a 15-month doping suspension.

Halep has previously spoken out against tournaments inviting Sharapova, saying at the Russian's comeback event in Stuttgart in April: "For the kids, for the young players, it is not okay to help with a wild card the player that was banned for doping". The World No. 2 is yet again playing in a tournament where she has the chance to emerge as the World No. 1 player.

Kerber beat Pliskova in last year's final in NY and moved up to No. 1 in the rankings for the first time.

Welcome back to Grand Slam tennis, Maria Sharapova. "It's not my position to talk about this".

Sharapova's first-round match with two-time French Open runner-up Halep was set up by Friday's draw, which also put Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the same side of the men's bracket, meaning they could meet only in the semifinals.

"I was so close many times", Halep said.

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The 30-year-old Russian, a victor of five grand slam titles, said she was unaware of the change. I just want to do my best, to try to win the match and of course to enjoy it.

The bigger question is how her game will match up against a competitive women's field and whether the injuries that kept her out of the grasscourt season and parts of the hardcourt season have healed.

Muguruza's huge improvements in performance have seen her installed as the favourite in the women's draw, but the Spanish star has not previously excelled at Flushing Meadows. "Maybe it's just a little bit hard because she's playing flat, she's playing risky, and maybe in the most important moments during the matches against her I couldn't step in and just take the opportunity".

"That's the one player everybody wanted to see where she would land".

"I feel different about this Grand Slam than I have felt before about the Grand Slams".

Many has been said about Sharapova in the past year. "Sometimes I feel like, Oh, there is a shop, like, three blocks away, and three blocks is incredible, long, and I'm so exhausted". I feel quite well coming into this Open. But now, there are no fewer than eight women who, mathematically at least, could end the final Major of the year as No1.

Kerber, displaced at No1 in the summer, is not among the eight who could reclaim it-her champion's points from previous year have seen to that.

"You could foresee maybe Rafa and me would be back in some shape or form but maybe not quite like this", Federer said. "No doubt she can get back to the top five, but her health concerns me". "Maybe in the most important moments during the matches against her I couldn't step in and just take the opportunity".

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