Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep avoid answering about Maria Sharapova's wild card

Since the U.S. Open is in the midst of an 11-year contract with ESPN, the two-week tennis major will be on ESPN for its entirety.

"Two weeks after the finals [in Montreal] is a long time, so because you've got two weeks you can take your time", said the Swiss.

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. With Sharapova unseeded due to her suspension and subsequent injury layoff, she is unseeded and was therefore left at the mercy of the draw.

In addition, the British Andy Murray, beaten by Spaniard Rafael Nadal at the top of the rankings of the ATP, is annoyed by pain in one hip and has not played since Wimbledon.

Nadal has a winning record of 13-2 on clay and 8-5 on outdoor hard courts, while Federer leads the indoor hard courts 5-1 and 2-1 on grass.

Maria Sharapova's first Grand Slam match in more than a year will come against second seed Simona Halep at the US Open.

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.

Shaking off criticism after the French Open snub, Sharapova tweeted, "If this is what it takes to rise up again, then I am in it all the way, everyday. She beat me six times", Halep said.

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They have played each other 37 times (Nadal leads 23-14, although Federer has won the last four), but never in NY.

The wild card is just about the worst draw imaginable for Halep, who is making a habit out of flinching with that elusive No. 1 status within her grasp.

"You can not expect to play 50 shots' rally and in 25 seconds be ready to play the next tennis point", he said. The Russian, a five-time Grand Slam champion, returned to the tour in April but her anticipated comeback hasn't been what fans expected as injuries have kept her away from the center stage. "Sounds very good, but the real thing, I prefer to play against another player, an easier one if possible". It gives a certain perspective, noted Severin Luthi, one of the trainers of roger Federer.

"Facing her, I'm, like, it's going to be a big challenge, first round of Grand Slam". She could meet eighth-seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals. It all starts tomorrow, so we'll see what happens, either way, it should be fun and interesting to watch.

Halep and Sharapova haven't faced each other since 2015, and three of their last four matches went to the third set. "I don't think we are both thinking that far ahead".

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.

Among those missing from the women's field are Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka.

  • Lawrence Cooper