Zverev believes he can beat the big players at US Open

After missing the second half of last season with a knee problem, Federer has won five titles this year, including the Australian Open and Wimbledon trophies. I had hoped there would be a chance this season, but now that the draw is out, the best they can do is the semifinals.

Five top 11 men's players are among those who have said they will miss the year's final grand slam, which starts on Monday in NY: former world number one Djokovic (elbow), Andy Murray (hip), 2016 champion Wawrinka (knee), Canada's Milos Raonic (wrist) and Japan's Kei Nishikori (wrist).

But, although she is only world number three, many observers believe Spain's 23-year-old Garbine Muguruza, French Open champion last year and victor of this year's Wimbledon title, has the mentality to add another grand slam trophy to her collection.

In a U.S. Open missing a remarkable five of the top-11 ranked ATP players, two giants remain on the marquee, extending their ownership of 2017 into the year's final Grand Slam before the first ball has even been played.

Former world number one Roger Federer, who had been blessed with a body that seemed bullet-proof against the aches, pains and injuries suffered by most top athletes, is in the midst of one of the greatest ever comebacks from injury. Nadal has a fairly easy path to the quarterfinals, but then would face Grigor Dimitrov, who looked wonderful when he won in Cincinnati this month.

Alexander Zverev talks like a champion and now he believes he is ready to become one.


"Tennis is indeed unique in that it is one of the only high level sports played on multiple surfaces at the elite level", said Ellenbecker.

"Ten matches, ten victories to have that match", Nadal said. His summer has included a run to the Wimbledon final, where he lost to Federer in straight sets. And he's done well in many tournaments, but not the Grand Slams, where he has never escaped the fourth round.

Sharapova has missed three of the past four US Opens, her last visit ending in the 2014 fourth round. He has been playing well and has a nice draw.

The controversial Russian - given a wildcard despite returning from a doping violation - opens the initial night session against the world No 2, who she has previously dominated.

But Sharapova is 6-0 lifetime against Halep, 10-0 in US Open first-round matches and has won 22 Grand Slam first-round matches in a row since the 2010 Australian Open.

"Facing her, I'm, like, it's going to be a big challenge", Halep said. "She beat me six times".


Like most players, Halep has exhausted of offering an opinion on Sharapova, although she is among the many who are not in the Russian's fan club. Maybe I will change this. After the hard first round, Halep would have an open event until the quarterfinals, where she could meet Great Britain's Johanna Konta.

On paper, Halep should progress - but the 30-year-old Russian, who won the US Open title in 2006, has a 6-0 win record over her.

The other half of the women's draw is a wildcard.

At 31, top-seeded Nadal captured his 10th French Open this year and reclaimed the No. 1 ranking earlier this month for the first time since 2014. Also in the mix are Angelique Kerber (last year's champion), eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, tenth seed Agnieszka Radwanska and fifteenth-seed American Madison Keys.

There's no Andy Murray to watch in NY, but there's still plenty of British interest at Flushing Meadows.



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