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Andy Murray is served a kind draw for US Open title tilt


By Eleanor Crooks

Andy Murray will play American Tennys Sandgren in the opening round of the US Open - which also features a blockbuster clash between Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova.

Sharapova will play in a Grand Slam for the first time since the Australian Open in 2016, where she gave the positive drugs test that put her out of the game for 15 months.

The US Open has gone against the grain of its fellow Grand Slams by giving the former champion a wild card, and the organisers have been rewarded with one of the biggest first-round matches in living memory.

Sharapova and second seed Halep, one of the title favourites, have played six times before, including in the French Open final in 2014, with the Russian winning every one.

Murray would have been keeping his fingers crossed for a kind draw as he prepares to test out the hip that gave him such trouble during Wimbledon, and that appears to have played out.

The Scot has not played a match since his quarter-final exit at SW19, losing the World No.1 ranking to Rafael Nadal, and will give the first update about his fitness at a press conference today.

Sandgren is a 26-year-old ranked at 104.

First seed Murray is scheduled to meet is Argentinian Diego Schwartzman in round three.

Murray also cannot meet either Nadal or Roger Federer until the final, with both on the other side of the draw.

British women's No.1 and seventh seed Johanna Konta will face Serbia's Aleksandra Krunic in the opening round.

Konta's fellow Briton Heather Watson takes on France's Alize Cornet.

Top women's seed Karolina Pliskova meets Magda Linette, defending champion Angelique Kerber plays Naomi Osaka and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza faces Varvara Lepchenko.

Belfast Telegraph


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