Published: Tue, August 29, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Anyone could win US Open - King excited by depth to women's game

Anyone could win US Open - King excited by depth to women's game

Five of the 11 top-ranked men - including last year's finalists Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic - and six-time women's singles champion Serena Williams will be absent from the U.S Open, which begins on Monday in NY, due to injuries and a pregnancy.

The very first round teases us with such mouth-watering clashes like Simona Halep vs Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova vs Jelena Jankovic and Ana Konjuh vs Ashleigh Barty. One of Lepchenko 's best Grand Slam results came at 2015 U.S. Open, when she reached the Round of 16 before falling to Victoria Azarenka.

Another strong spring performer who is hoping to rise at the US Open, Kiki Mladenovic has turned into a Top 15 regular.

Finally, a minor triumph: As I suddenly find myself near the net, Muguruza's partner-I'll assume this wasn't intentional-drills a forehand directly at my midsection, and, in a form of self-preservation that seemed to last all of a microsecond, I throw my body to one side, drop my racket head slightly, loosen my grip a bit just at the moment of impact, and deliver a touch drop volley that neither Muguruza nor her partner can even think of getting a racket on.

Muguruza probably comes in as the favorite, but I don't think she's consistent enough to win two consecutive Slams.

That leaves the window of opportunity wide open for less-decorated players to make a name for themselves, including the 42 members of Team USA filling the draw, the most for the the event in 13 years.

That year the men's and women's singles champions John Newcombe and Margaret Court, respectively, took home the prize money of $25,000 each. She reached the final in Washington and, two weeks later, ousted Agnieszka Radwanska and Elina Svitolina in Cincinnati.

Muguruza's serve was somewhat erratic, but she won 20 of a possible 24 points off of her first serve. This year's event is underway at Flushing Meadows.

Fifteen years Williams' junior, 15th-seeded Madison Keys appears ready to navigate the U.S. Open draw after being reunited with her coach Lindsay Davenport and looking fully recovered from wrist surgery late last year.

"I feel like I'm going to try and not have a lot of expectations with NY", said Muguruza. The semi-final against Pliskova was a bit of a breeze despite having lost to the Czech in the previous six encounters. Truth be told, it wasn't so much a demolition job as it was a humiliation.

Yes, she has not made it past the second round in four attempts in NY.

"I'm just going to go out there and be calm and play as freely as I can". Maybe this year, it is my year. "I never really do well here-I don't know why".

The World No 3 begins her US Open campaign against American Varvara Lepchenko at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday. So, Muguruza will be heedful of the unseeded American.

A lot can change in a year, as Kerber has found out the hard way.

At the French Open final, she led by a set and 3-0 in the second, with three chances to go up to 4-0. From there...let's not get ahead of ourselves. "I just love the US Open - all the fired-up people, the atmosphere and everything that goes with it".

And more importantly, will we see the coronation of Garbine Muguruza as she successfully orchestrates her coup and ascends the throne of women's tennis?

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