Her first-round opponent at the US Open will be world No 2 Simona Halep. The U.S. Tennis Association awarded a wild card to Sharapova, who is ranked 147th after returning from a 15-month doping suspension in April, so she could have been randomly placed against anyone.
THE return of Maria Sharapova, in a dress encrusted with Swarovski crystals, offers the superstar sideshow, but the main event in the women's singles at this year's US Open is an eight-way shoot-out to be crowned the sport's leading lady. She served a 15-month ban after testing positive for the blood boosting drug meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open. They have played each other 37 times (Nadal leads 23-14, although Federer has won the last four), but never in NY.
After winning two Grand Slam championships last year, including defeating Karolina Pliskova in last year's U.S Open, former No. 1 Angelique Kerber hasn't won a tournament since leaving Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Zverev will face Darian King in his opener at Flushing Meadows, where he has never been beyond the second round.
A hip injury has seen Andy Murray join Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori on the list of absentees.
The projected men's quarterfinals include Nadal vs. Grigor Dimitrov, Federer vs. Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev vs. Marin Cilic and Murray vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. She did win the 2017 Australian Open at the start of the season.
The 30-year-old has played just one match since retiring from the Italian Open in Rome in May with a left thigh injury, and recently withdrew from tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati because of pain in her left forearm. She confirmed her good clay form with a good run that included important wins against players risky on the surface like Daria Kasatkina and Carla Suárez-Navarro, and then met again with Elina Svitolina in the quarterfinals.
In Rome, she achieved yet another good run by reaching the final, with wins over seeds like Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Kiki Bertens, but she surrendered to Elina Svitolina in a final that had been affected by an ankle injury suffered by the Romanian during the match.
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Federer celebrated his 36th birthday on 8 August, and in the history of the tournament, which dates back to 1881, only two players came out victorious at a more advanced age than hers.
Halep is the second seed but by far drew the toughest opening draw against the 2006 US Open champion.
However, the second seed insists she has no complaints and is just focusing on her upcoming match, rather than the possibility of moving to the top of the WTA rankings. "I miss competing and I'll try to get myself back on court as soon as I can, but obviously I'll need to make the correct decision and really think it through these next couple of days with my team". There are just so many factors, especially with it being the last Grand Slam.
"I'm not thinking any more".
Sharapova was 19 when she won her U.S. Open trophy.
The absence of Serena Williams, who is about to have her first child, has given everyone an added spring in their step, renewed belief they can win a grand slam.
"I don't know how you can pick anybody in the women's competition", said Chris Evert, speaking on behalf of ESPN.co.uk.