Maria Sharapova has come back to the US Open with a wild card invite that put her against the number two player in the world. Simona Halep deserved a better draw because as a higher ranked player, she is to be given the benefit of the doubt by playing lesser players earlier in the tournament. It is hard to play someone in the first round who has won the career Golden Grand Slam. How do you compete with that when you were planning your tournament based on starting slowly? This is why we see tennis tournaments.

She needed a real seeding

You cannot convince on any level that Maria Sharapova is somehow not qualified to play tennis because she was off for two years for what was a silly drug suspension.

The woman can play tennis. She is the only Russian to win the Golden Grand Slam, and she is one of few players to do so. You really mean to tell me that she needed to be at the bottom of the tournament playing the number two seed.

We need to stop it already

The tennis community is somehow convinced that it does not need stars. They must have forgotten that they need marketable stars because they do not have Serena Williams right now. She is out because she just had a baby, and frankly, Maria is just as marketable because she is a known commodity. I would tune in to watch her, but the USTA really thinks she is so uncompelling that she should be that far down the totem pole?

I remember the old tennis days

I want my old tennis back. I need Martina Navratilova, Chrissy Evert, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Boris Becker, Michael Chang, and Stefan Edberg. I want to see the best players at the best tournaments. I want to see something that is compelling, and I want to know who my tennis players are because I want to enjoy tennis.

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Where is the Federer/Nadal final at Wimbledon? Where is Steffi Graf? Heck, give me Jana Novotna. Anything other than a sport that is not marketed properly to me, the fan who wants to care more.

Marketing is easy

Marketing tennis should be painfully simple considering all the best tennis players are elite athletes who are also attractive.

I am not entirely sure why this is so hard, but we seem to be shying away from it and asking the players to do the marketing themselves. We know who Maria Sharapova is because she can play. She won a Grand Slam tournament, and she used that platform for building herself a career outside of tennis. The tennis world did nothing for her. The shame is we effectively shame her for cashing in on her looks. She marketed herself and the sport better than the game ever has.