Let the madness begin as the 2017 US Open Tennis Championships main draw has surfaced. With a whole weekend left in between the main draw ceremony and the actual start of the matches, what's for sure is that the tennis world will have what to discuss about in the next hours. The women's draw has produced the first earthquake in its bottom half of the draw where the No. 2 seed Simona Halep was given a hard stone to crack in the inaugural round. Maria Sharapova, 2006 US Open champion, will be Halep's opponent in the opening match. Knowing their tumultuous head-to-head history, it's almost certain that at least a thrilling encounter will emerge in the round of 128.

Both sides are eager to have a good start, even though the goals may be a bit different.

Simona Halep and her ominous world No. 1 bid

Currently ranked second in the world, the 25-year-old Romanian will try to accomplish the most elusive goal of her career. Sitting just five points behind the current world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova, Halep already missed three unique opportunities to reach the summit. One by one, those chances got past her.

Whether it was about the French Open final, Wimbledon quarter-final or Cincinnati final, she went on choking each time. 2017 US Open may be her last chance to reach the highest spot as others are marching from behind. Muguruza and even Svitolina are in pole position to race past Halep en route to the world No.


In head to head stats, Sharapova leads Halep by 6-0. Their last meeting occurred almost two years ago during the WTA Finals in Singapore. Even if she will manage to untie the curse, Halep will have to get past a variety of top players en route to the higher stages. The second round could bring Timea Babos on the other side.

Anastasija Sevastova is the projected counter part for the fourth round will Johanna Konta is likely to emerge in the quarterfinals. The semis may oppose Halep and Muguruza but there is a long way ahead before reaching the last four stages.

Maria Sharapova needs a decent run in New York

Given the current state of women's tennis, some may see Sharapova, currently ranked 147th in the world, as a possible unexpected winner.

But, it's long stretched bet as the Russian has skipped the entire summer swing on hard with one exception and that at the start of the session in Stanford. She went on winning her opening match only to withdraw due to an injury next. Although Halep is a consistent player who reached at least the quarterfinals of the last two US Open editions, it's a viable match-up for the Russian knowing their history. Their upcoming clash has all the ingredient required to deliver some high-quality tennis.