MOSCOW, August 28. /TASS/. Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova is capable of defeating the second seed, Romania’s Simona Halep, in the first round of the US Open and go far in the tournament, but she is unlikely to secure the final victory, Russian Tennis Federation President Shamil Tarpishchev told TASS.
Sharapova was earlier set to serve a two-year suspension for violating anti-doping regulations starting January 26, 2016. However, the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled on October 4, 2016 to cut her suspension term from 24 to 15 months.
She made her return in April at Stuttgart, reaching the semi-finals. Due to an injury, she pulled out of the Wimbledon qualifying due to an injury, while she failed to make the necessary number of rating points to take part in the French Open since she had not received a wild card. US Open will be her first post-ban Grand Slam tournament as she has been granted a wild card into the main draw.
"The first round match between Masha and Halep will be very interesting," Tarpishchev said. "Although everyone expects the Romanian to win, Sharapova may still overcome her. It is Halep who should be scared of Sharapova, as she has the psychological subtext on her side," he added.
"I don’t think that Sharapova will win the tournament but if she defeats Halep, then she will have a favorable bracket," the Russian tennis federation president pointed out.
Sharapova has already played against Halep six times, scoring six victories.
Tarpishchev also said that it was hard to predict which of the female players would win the tournament. "There is a great number of young players who are really fast," he said. "In fact, ten to 12 of them can succeed at the US Open," the Russian tennis federation president noted.