US Open: Simona Halep ready for Maria Sharapova test

Maria Sharapova

Not only will it be Sharapova's first major tournament since returning from her suspension after failing a drug test for meldonium, the 2006 U.S. Open champion will get a marquee matchup as a wild card against world No. 2 Simona Halep in the first round.

Halep claimed that when she received the message that she would play Sharapova [VIDEO] in the first round her reaction "was normal".

Epa05933196 Maria Sharapova of Russian Federation returns against Anett Kontaveit of Estonia during their quarter-final match at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, 28 April 2017.

It will be quite the welcome back to NY for five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova next week at the U.S. Open.

They have played each other 37 times (Nadal leads 23-14, although Federer has won the last four), but never in NY. The Russian chose to withdraw from all her previous tournaments prior the last Grand Slam of the year in order to be fully fit to compete.

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.

Federer has a 35-3 record this year, having taken his Grand Slam tally to 19 titles with wins at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

For the full draw and schedule, visit the U.S. Open's official website.

Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a forehand against Alexander Zverev of Germany (not pictured) during the men's final at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament at Uniprix Stadium.

"I never came to a Grand Slam without playing any tournaments (right) before", he said.

The 30-year-old Sharapova was eligible to make her Grand Slam return at the French Open, but that country's tennis federation declined to offer her a wild card. He surprisingly withdrew from the U.S. Open on Sunday, citing the injury as the reason.

Possible women's quarterfinal matchups on the draw's bottom half include Halep or Sharapova against Johanna Konta; and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza against Caroline Wozniacki or Venus Williams, a seven-time major champion.

He's back in the field at Flushing Meadows after sitting out the hard-court tournament a year ago while taking off the last half of the season to let his surgically repaired left knee heal. "So maybe I will change this", Halep said. "But I have had the experience of that position before". While her appearance in the final previous year proves she has pedigree on this surface, the bad news is that it also means she has 1300 ranking points to defend, leaving the door ajar for seven other women to overtake her over the fortnight. But Kerber's 2017 has been rough, including a first-round loss at the French Open, and she is seeded No. 6 at the U.S. Open. We'll find out when they play each other on Monday.

"You can not expect to play 50 shots' rally and in 25 seconds be ready to play the next tennis point", he said. This is the fourth and final Grand Slam of the 2017 professional tennis season.

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