Tennis

Denis Shapovalov earns U.S. Open important draw spot; girls’s draw pits Sharapova towards Halep in first spherical

NEW YORK — Maria Sharapova’s first Grand Slam match in additional than 1 half of years will come towards No. 2-seeded Simona Halep on the U.S. Open.

Sharapova’s first-round matchup with two-time French Open runner-up Halep was arrange by Friday’s draw, which additionally put Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the identical aspect of the lads’s bracket, which means they may meet solely within the semifinals.

The U.S. Tennis Affiliation awarded a wild-card invitation to Sharapova, who’s ranked solely 147th after coming back from a 15-month doping suspension in April, so she may have been randomly positioned to face some other participant.

Sharapova was kicked off the tour after testing optimistic for the newly banned drug meldonium on the 2016 Australian Open.

Her 5 main championships embody the 2006 U.S. Open.

The 12 months’s final Grand Slam event begins Monday.

Two Canadians, Vasek Pospisil and Eugenie Bouchard, made the primary draw immediately and so they had been joined on Friday by Montreal Rogers Cup semifinalist Denis Shapovalov, who gained his closing qualifying match. Three different Canadians misplaced their qualifying matches Friday.

Pospisil, at present ranked No. 78 on this planet, performs veteran Fernando Verdasco within the first spherical. He’s in Federer’s quarter of the draw. They’ve solely met as soon as, earlier this 12 months in Doha, the place Verdasco gained 7-5, 6-0.

Bouchard, ranked No. 74, has drawn a first-round match towards Russian Evgeniya Rodina, the world No. 83 participant. Rodina has not made it out of the primary spherical at a Grand Slam occasion this 12 months whereas Bouchard had two wins in Australia and one on the French Open this 12 months. Bouchard and Rodina have by no means confronted one another.

If Bouchard wins, she would probably meet the very best seed in her quarter of the draw, Toronto Rogers Cup champion and world No. Four Elina Svitolina, within the second spherical.

Shapovalov survived a three-set match towards Jan Satral of the Czech Republic, profitable 6-7 (2), 6-1, 6-Three to make the primary draw. Francoise Abanda misplaced her closing qualifying match Friday 6-3, 6-Four to fellow 19-year-old Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia. Peter Polansky fell 6-3, 6-Four to American Tim Smyczek and Frank Dancevic misplaced to Radu Albot of Moldova 6-2, 6-4.

When the qualifiers had been slotted into the draw on Friday night, Shapovalov drew world No. 53 Daniil Medvedev of Russia within the first spherical.

Nadal is seeded No. 1 at Flushing Meadows for the primary time since 2010 after returning to the ATP’s high rating this week. Federer is seeded No. 3. They’ve performed 37 head-to-head matches, together with 12 at main tournaments — no less than twice in a closing — however by no means at Flushing Meadows in any spherical.

Federer beat Nadal within the Australian Open closing in January. Nadal then gained his 10th French Open trophy in June, and Federer gained his eighth Wimbledon title in July.

Federer owns a document 19 Grand Slam championships. Nadal ranks second amongst males with 15.

The underside half’s semifinal might be No. 2 Andy Murray vs. No. Four Alexander Zverev.

The potential males’s quarterfinals might be Nadal towards No. 7 Grigor Dimitrov, Federer towards No. 6 Dominic Thiem, Murray towards No. eight Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Zverev towards No. 5 Marin Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion.

Potential girls’s quarterfinal matchups on the draw’s backside half embody Halep or Sharapova towards No. 7 Johanna Konta of Britain, a semifinalist at Wimbledon; and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza towards No. 5 Caroline Wozniacki or No. 9 Venus Williams, a seven-time main champion and the runner-up on the All England Membership final month at age 37.

Williams’ sister, 23-time main champion Serena, is just not taking part in within the U.S. Open as a result of she is pregnant and anticipating to offer delivery in September.

On the highest half of the bracket, the quarterfinals might be No. 1 Karolina Pliskova towards 2004 U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova; and defending champion Angelique Kerber or French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko towards Svitolina or No. 15 Madison Keys of the U.S.

Kerber beat Pliskova in final 12 months’s closing in New York and moved as much as No. 1 within the rankings for the primary time. However Kerber’s 2017 has been tough, together with a first-round loss on the French Open, and he or she is seeded No. 6 on the U.S. Open.

The 30-year-old Sharapova was eligible to make her return to Grand Slam motion on the French Open in Might, however that nation’s tennis federation declined to supply her a wild card. Sharapova then was going to attempt to qualify for Wimbledon in June, however she ended up skipping the grass-court portion of the season due to an injured left thigh.

Sharapova has been collaborating in tournaments by way of wild-card invites, starting on purple clay at Stuttgart, Germany, in April.

Sharapova was 19 when she gained her U.S. Open trophy. Two years earlier than that, at 17, Sharapova gained her first main title at Wimbledon. She has since accomplished a profession Grand Slam.

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