Sharapova v Halep 1st Rd. Headlines Wild Women’s US Open; Preview
by Jeremy Davis | August 25th, 2017, 6:36 pm

When pundits say anything can happen at this year’s US Open, they’re not kidding.
Serena Williams’ pregnancy has left the title up for grabs. Last year’s finalist, Karolina Pliskova, is the No. 1 seed but a handful of players are nipping at her heels for the No. 1 ranking.

Angie Kerber, last year’s US Open winner and No. 1-ranked player, has been in a funk all year and could drop out of the Top 10 after the US Open.

Maria Sharapova received a wildcard after coming back from a doping suspension earlier this year, to the dismay of many fans who through the US Open should follow the French Open’s lead and deny her a wildcard.

Here’s some more storylines and a look at the four quarters of the draw:


Top 4 Seeds: (1) Karolina Pliskova, (8) Svetlana Kuznetsova, (10) Aggie Radwanska, (14) Kristina Mladenovic

Floaters: Alison Riske, (20) CoCo Vandeweghe, (26) Anett Kontaveit, Lucie Safarova

Notes: Pliskova heads the field at the US Open for the first time, but with a handful of players within arms reach of her No. 1 ranking…Tough starts for (20) Vandeweghe against fellow American Riske, and (26) Kontaveit vs. Safarova…Possible 4th rd. meetings include (1) Pliskova vs. (14) Mladenovic and (10) Radwanska or (20) Vandeweghe vs. (8) Kuzy…Local eyes will be on wildcards Brienne Minor, the NCAA champion from the University of Michigan, and former junior world No. 1 who refuses to get fit, Taylor Townsend…Pretty easy start for (1) Pliskova through the first few rounds.


Top 4 Seeds: (4) Elina Svitolina, (6) Angie Kerber, (12) Jelena Ostapenko, (15) Madison Keys

Floaters: Genie Bouchard, Daria Kasatkina, Christina McHale, Yanina Wickmayer, Naomi Osaka

Notes: Can you remember a year ago when Kerber was No. 1? Seems like an eon ago. The No. 6 seed could be one-and-done this year at the hands of the rising Japanese star Osaka in the first round…Kerber is defending 2,000 points and could drop out of the Top 10…Other tough starts are (4) Svitolina vs. Bouchard if the Canadian shows up 2nd rd., (19) Pavlyuchenkova vs. the homecountry favorite McHale, and (28) Tsurenko vs. Wickmayer if the Belgian can remember when she was one of the “next” stars…A good draw for (15) Keys who seems to be back from wrist issues…(12) Ostapenko has been a bust since winning the French Open and lost 1st rd. at Toronto and Cincinnati…(4) Svitolina could take No. 1 at the US Open, and is looking at a blockbuster 4th rd. match with (15) Keys.


Top 4 Seeds: (3) Garbine Muguruza, (5) Caroline Wozniacki, (9) Venus Williams, (13) Petra Kvitova

Floaters: Ekaterina Makarova, Monica Puig, Jelena Jankovic, Camila Giorgi

Notes: This is the toughest quarter of the draw featuring Top 4 seeds that are all Grand Slam winners or former No. 1s, along with an unseeded former No. 1 and an Olympic gold medal winner…Tough starts for (5) Wozniacki vs. a qualifier then the powerful Makarova, (29) Mirjana Lucic-Baroni vs. Puig, (13) Kvitova vs. Jankovic, and (31) Magdalena Rybarikova vs. the tenacious Giorgi…Good draws for both Muguruza and Williams who could meet in the quarters…Muguruza is flying high now but she might not like the New York atmosphere — she is 2-4 career at the US Open.


Top 4 Seeds: (2) Simona Halep, (7) Johanna Konta, (11) Dominika Cibulkova, (16) Anastasija Sevastova

Floaters: Annika Beck, Ashleigh Barty, Sloane Stephens, Maria Sharapova

Notes: Let’s see, not too exciting, hmmmm…did we mention MARIA SHARAPOVA FACES (2) SIMONA HALEP FIRST ROUND? Halep is 0-6 career against Masha…Other upset alerts include (30) Julia Goerges vs. Beck, and (21) Ana Konjuh vs. Barty…The unseeded American Stephens with a good draw to go deep…The Halep-Sharapova winner should ride an easy draw to the quarters where they will meet (7) Konta.

Players withdrawing were former No. 1 Serena Williams, Timea Bacsinszky, former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, Sara Errani, Anna-Lena Friedsam, Kristina Kucova, last year’s doubles winner Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Mandy Minella, Yaroslava Shvedova, Laura Siegemund, and Samantha Stosur.

Wildcards went to Sharapova, France’s Amandine Hesse, Australia’s Arina Rodionova and Americans Kayla Day, Sofia Kenin, Ashley Kratzer, Brienne Minor and Taylor Townsend.

Kerber beat Pliskova 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in last year’s final.

Serena Williams and Chris Evert are tied with the most US Open titles at six. Evert won four in a row (1975-78), the most consecutive.

Former champions in the field are Kerber (2016), Sharapova (2006), Kuznetsova (2004), and Venus Williams (2001-00).


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9 Comments for Sharapova v Halep 1st Rd. Headlines Wild Women’s US Open; Preview

Humble Rafa Says:

Taylor Townsend is double the size of the Big Lady missing the event. Size is not a barrier in women’s tennis.

Willow Says:

Halep / Sharapova as a first round match doesnt get any better, and Simona has a crap record against Maria, hopefully Simona can reverse her losing record, no Serena so field wide open ….

Navdeep Says:

Halep had many golden opportunities. With no Serena n maria and kerber being a total no show she should have ended her quest for a grand slam and same goes for Radwanska also. Now with Maria trying to prove a point it will be even more difficult for Halep to reverse her record. I think she’s going out in the first round sadly.

Willow Says:

Navdeep i agree unfortunatly, shame as both have so much talent too ….

J-Kath Says:

Anyone want to read The Roar – usually a reasonably high-grade publication. If so, you may find some surprises!!

Willow Says:

Thanks for the link J-Kath, i would love a Nadal / Murray final in New York just for a change, its the one permetation we have never had in a GS final, but the tennis gods dont seem to want to grant me my wish ….

Willow Says:

Zverev for the title beating Rafa in the final hmm, i like Zverev, but Rafa more, can these younglings beat an elite player over BO5 though is what i wonder ? ….

Humble Rafa Says:

Mr. Andy Miranda,

I told you this before from Mr. Judy Murray. Now, Small Murray aka Mr. Lady Forehand has made it official that he won’t play the Fish Market Open in the US.

Humble Rafa Says:

For once, the Tennis Gods are smiling at me. I am the only one not
injured. It feels so good.

Top story: Muguruza Outlasts Sabalenka In Doha; Azarenka v Svitolina Thurs.