Homecoming for Maria Sharapova at US Open
The more things change, the more they stay the same – or so the old adage goes. This certainly rings true after the opening day of the 2017 Tennis US Open at Flushing Meadows, New York. Maria Sharapova had not played a grand slam event since January 2016, when she tested positive for a banned drug at that year’s Australian Open. Yet, it’s as if the five time major champion never even left. Sharapova on Monday night beat the current World No. 2, Simona Halep from the United States, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing, with Sharapova showing a bit of rust during the second set – apparently having become fatigued and subsequently losing a grip on things for 5 games in a row. The third set however was the clincher, with Sharapova returning to form and regaining control of the match.
Sharapova previously beat Halep in the final match of the 2014 French Open.
Will This Be The Big Twenty For Federer?
After having announced a proposed temporary absence from Tennis immediately after Wimbledon 2016, as a result of a knee injury, Roger Federer also sat out of the US Open last year – only bouncing back when the Australian Open swung around. And what a come-back it was – defeating arch-rival Rafael Nadal in a smashing five-setter in order to clinch Grand Slam title No. 18.
After Australia, he gave the French Open a miss – only to return to Wimbledon in probably the best form of his career, making it a record eight. Few players succeed in managing down-time with the efficacy of Federer – with too much rest usually resulting in a difficult clawing back to where they once were, if ever.
Federer seems to have a handle on time management. But then again, Federer has a handle on Tennis.
Is A Dual In Order?
Federer and rival Nadal have met all of thirty seven times – etching a rivalry contested by no other into the pages of Tennis history. Surprisingly enough, not one of those thirty seven times went down on Billie Jean King Stadium soil. 2017 could very well prove to be the year that this happens, much to the delight of American fans – with Federer and Nadal having drawn into the same half of the US Open draw.
A semi-final showdown between two of the greatest players of all time may be on the cards for centre court yet.
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