Maria Sharapova powers past second seed Simona Halep on Grand Slam return
Maria Sharapova v Simona Halep 6-4 4-6 6-3

Maria Sharapova powers past second seed Simona Halep on Grand Slam return

28/08/2017

Maria Sharapova marked her return to Grand Slam action with a turbulent 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory over second seed Simona Halep in the headline tie from the US Open first round.

The Russian slumped to the court in disbelief after edging a gruelling contest, which fell just 14 minutes shy of the three-hour mark.

She ripped through her opponent’s game – particularly the second serve – as she asserted herself as one of the early favourites at Flushing Meadows.

However, her ferocious display was almost undone by an astonishing 64 unforced errors, while she also blew 17 of 22 break point opportunities.

Sharapova’s involvement in New York is a source of controversy, with the 30-year-old granted a wildcard after a 15-month drug ban for meldonium saw her ranking plummet.

She returned to the women’s tour in April, but the French Open ignored her wildcard hopes, while Wimbledon were saved an awkward debate when the Russian dropped out of consideration through injury.

In truth, her victory could have been far more convincing had she not surrendered a 4-1 advantage in the second set, while she also had to save a break point in the final game.

Her reward is a second-round clash with Hungary’s Timea Babos.

An incredible six-way battle for the women’s number one spot is underway at the US Open – down from eight after Johanna Konta and Halep’s shock exits.

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16/01/2018
01:00 | Johanna Konta v Madison Brengle - WTA Australian Open
01:00 | Veronica Cepede Royg - Karolina Pliskova - WTA Australian Open
02:00 | ATP Australian Open
02:00 | WTA Australian Open
02:30 | Tatjana Maria v Maria Sharapova - WTA Australian Open
02:30 | Angelique Kerber v Anna-Lena Friedsam - WTA Australian Open
02:30 | Thomas Fabbiano v Alexander Zverev - ATP Australian Open
03:00 | David Goffin v Matthias Bachinger - ATP Australian Open
03:30 | Eugenie Bouchard v Oceane Dodin - WTA Australian Open
04:00 | Ricardas Berankis - Stan Wawrinka - ATP Australian Open
05:00 | Novak Djokovic v Donald Young - ATP Australian Open
05:00 | Simona Halep v Destanee Aiava - WTA Australian Open
06:00 | Thanasi Kokkinakis v Daniil Medvedev - ATP Australian Open
08:00 | Dominic Thiem v Guido Pella - ATP Australian Open
09:00 | Aljaz Bedene v Roger Federer - ATP Australian Open
09:00 | Garbine Muguruza v Jessika Ponchet - WTA Australian Open
09:00 | Roger Federer v Aljaz Bedene - ATP Australian Open
10:30 | Frances Tiafoe v Juan Martin del Potro - ATP Australian Open
11:30 | Ashleigh Barty v Aryna Sabalenka - WTA Australian Open
19:00 | Olympique Marseille - Strasbourg
20:45 | Leicester City - Fleetwood Town
21:00 | Monaco - Nice
17/01/2018
01:00 | Katerina Siniakova v Elina Svitolina - WTA Australian Open
01:00 | Daria Gavrilova v Elise Mertens - WTA Australian Open
01:00 | Alize Cornet v Julia Goerges - WTA Australian Open
01:00 | Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova v Kateryna Bondarenko - WTA Australian Open
01:00 | Grigor Dimitrov v Mackenzie McDonald - ATP Australian Open
01:00 | Nick Kyrgios v Viktor Troicki - ATP Australian Open
02:00 | ATP Australian Open
02:00 | WTA Australian Open
02:30 | Jana Fett v Caroline Wozniacki - WTA Australian Open
02:30 | Denis Shapovalov v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - ATP Australian Open
02:30 | Belinda Bencic v Luksika Kumkhum - WTA Australian Open
04:00 | Rafa Nadal v Leonardo Mayer - ATP Australian Open
04:00 | Joao Sousa v Marin Cilic - ATP Australian Open
05:00 | Jelena Ostapenko v Duan Yingying - WTA Australian Open
19:00 | Guingamp - Olympique Lyon
20:45 | Chelsea - Norwich City
21:00 | PSG - Dijon
18/01/2018
02:00 | ATP Australian Open
02:00 | WTA Australian Open
19/01/2018
02:00 | ATP Australian Open
02:00 | WTA Australian Open
20:30 | Hertha - Borussia Dortmund
20:45 | Caen - Olympique Marseille
DERBY OF THE WEEK
Arsenal - Chelsea
Derby of the week
21:00
23/01/2018
Derby of the week
W 2.80    
   W 3.50
The odds are correct at the time of publishing
11-01-2018 10:30 and are subject to change
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