• 45°

US OPEN ’18: Serena Williams makes her return to New York

By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Tennis Writer
Women to watch at the U.S. Open, where play begins Monday:
___
SIMONA HALEP
Seeded: 1
Ranked: 1
Age: 26
Country: Romania
2018 Match Record: 46-8
2018 Singles Titles: 3
Career Singles Titles: 18
Grand Slam Singles Titles: 1 — French Open (’18)
Last 5 U.S. Opens: ’17-Lost in 1st Round, ’16-QF, ’15-SF, ’14-3rd, ’13-4th
Aces: Won two hard-court titles this season. … Claimed her first Grand Slam title at the French Open in June. … Wins nearly half of all return games, WTA’s best rate.
Topspin: A year ago, exited in the first round against Maria Sharapova. This year, could face a Williams sister in the fourth round. … If she’s healthy, could make a deep run.
___
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI
Seeded: 2
Ranked: 2
Age: 28
Country: Denmark
2018 Match Record: 32-12
2018 Singles Titles: 2
Career Singles Titles: 29
Grand Slam Singles Titles: 1 — Australian Open (’18)
Last 5 U.S. Opens: ’17-2nd, ’16-SF, ’15-2nd, ’14-F, ’13-3rd
Aces: Third among active women with 21 career hard-court titles, trailing only the Williams sisters. … Converts 52.1 percent of break-point chances, No. 2 on tour in 2018.
Topspin: Loves that she no longer has to hear questions about why she hasn’t won a major tournament. … Her counter-punching clearly can succeed in New York, where she’s twice reached the final.
___
SLOANE STEPHENS
Seeded: 3
Ranked: 3
Age: 25
Country: United States
2018 Match Record: 27-13
2018 Singles Titles: 1
Career Singles Titles: 6
Grand Slam Singles Titles: 1 — U.S. Open (’17)
Last 5 U.S. Opens: ’17-Won Championship, ’16-Did Not Play, ’15-1st, ’14-2nd, ’13-4th
Aces: First attempt to defend a Grand Slam title. … Last year’s triumph capped a comeback after foot surgery.
Topspin: Boom-or-bust streak in Grand Slam tournaments continues: She has either reached the final (twice) or lost in the opening round (three times) at her past five majors.
___
ANGELIQUE KERBER
Seeded: 4
Ranked: 4
Age: 30
Country: Germany
2018 Match Record: 40-14
2018 Singles Titles: 2
Career Singles Titles: 12
Grand Slam Singles Titles: 3 — U.S. Open (’16), Australian Open (’16), Wimbledon (’18)
Last 5 U.S. Opens: ’17-4th, ’16-W, ’15-3rd, ’14-3rd, ’13-4th
Aces: Reached at least the fourth round at 12 of 14 tournaments she entered this year, the best rate among top-10 players.
Topspin: Returned to the height of her powers with a Wimbledon title last month; one third of her career trophies came at majors.
___
MADISON KEYS
Seeded: 14
Ranked: 14
Age: 23
Country: United States
2018 Match Record: 21-11
2018 Singles Titles: 0
Career Singles Titles: 3
Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0 — Best: Runner-Up, U.S. Open (’17)
Last 5 U.S. Opens: ’17-Runner-Up, ’16-4th, ’15-4th, ’14-2nd, ’13-1st
Aces: Winning 61.6 percent of service points this season, ranking third on tour.
Topspin: Run to French Open semifinals showed overall development of her game. No reason she couldn’t have another long stay in New York.
___
SERENA WILLIAMS
Seeded: 17
Ranked: 26
Age: 36
Country: United States
2018 Match Record: 12-5
2018 Singles Titles: 0
Career Singles Titles: 72
Grand Slam Singles Titles: 23 — U.S. Open (’99, ’02, ’08, ’12, ’13, ’14), Wimbledon (’02, ’03, ’09, ’10, ’12, ’15, ’16), Australian Open (’03, ’05, ’07, ’09, ’10, ’15, ’17), French Open (’02, ’13, ’15)
Last 5 U.S. Opens: ’17-DNP, ’16-SF, ’15-SF, ’14-W, ’13-W
Aces: Trying to win her first U.S. Open title since claiming a third in a row in 2014. … Missed the tournament last year because she gave birth on Sept. 1.
Topspin: You’ve heard it here before and you’ll hear it again: Never count out Williams, no matter what her form appears to be entering a tournament.
___
MARIA SHARAPOVA
Seeded: 22
Ranked: 21
Age: 31
Country: Russia
2018 Match Record:
2018 Singles Titles: 0
Career Singles Titles: 36
Grand Slam Singles Titles: 5 — U.S. Open (’06), Wimbledon (’04), Australian Open (’08), French Open (’12, ’14)
Last 5 U.S. Opens: ’17-4th, ’16-DNP, ’15-DNP, ’14-4th, ’13-DNP
Aces: 11-0 in first-round matches at Flushing Meadows. … Hasn’t been past the fourth round since 2012; missed the U.S. Open three of the past five years.
Topspin: Made Grand Slam return in New York in 2017 after absence of more than 1½ years because of a doping ban.
___
Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich
___
More AP tennis coverage: https://www.apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis

Comments

Local

County government losing assistant manager, social services director

Education

RSS will collect information on full K-5 return

Nation/World

Barrett emerges as court favorite; Trump to pick by weekend

Local

Tillis says Trump will extend offshore drilling pause to NC

Coronavirus

12% of all Rowan COVID-19 cases currently active

Crime

Blotter: Concord man faces drug charges after hotel disturbance call

Crime

Rockwell teen charged with rape of a 14-year-old girl

Crime

Police: Charlotte man caught stealing funeral home employee’s truck

Local

Rowan Social Services director takes new job in New Hanover County; Heidrick to retire

Ask Us

Ask us: Will masks be required in Rowan County polling locations?

Elections

Political Notebook: Tillis, Cunningham differ on when to fill SCOTUS vacancy

Local

Local state trooper, firefighter returns home after Army deployment

Local

Blast from the past: Concordia Lutheran Church opens time capsule from previous century

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged with damaging video camera, tresspassing

Crime

North Carolina man faces over 300 sex-related charges

News

Coastal flooding along Outer Banks closes roads

Nation/World

GOP hopeful Supreme Court battle will help shift election

Education

‘Better chance of succeeding’: Moody, colleagues reflect on tenure, retirement

News

Collecting garbage: Locals work to beautify High Rock Lake during Clean Sweep

Coronavirus

Salisbury man grateful parents’ story has impacted many

News

Celtics take big lead and hold on to top Heat 117-106

Business

Downtown Salisbury ‘moving swiftly’ with developers interested in Empire Hotel

Business

From fantasy to fact, Cherry builds a Hobbit House at his Treesort

Business

Biz Roundup: CSP seeking to hire 100 new employees for plant expansion