Halep will have an intriguing and tricky first-round match Monday night against Maria Sharapova under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Sharapova returned in April following a 15-month drug ban and was granted a wild-card entry, but a sore left forearm has limited her summer schedule to merely one hard-court match. However, she has a 6-0 career record against Halep and five Grand Slam titles to her credit. Halep must try to banish that from her thoughts, too.
"It's going to be a big challenge, first round of Grand Slam to face her. She beat me six times. So maybe I will change this. We will see Monday," Halep said.
Venus Williams, who made her debut here 20 years ago and is the oldest competitor in the women's field at 37, will open Monday against Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia. Williams, who won here in 2000 and 2001, must be considered a contender after reaching the finals at Wimbledon and the Australian Open this year. Also of note, junior Wimbledon champion Claire Liu, 17, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., will make her U.S. Open debut when she faces Yin-Ying Duan of China on Court 10 on Monday morning.
A temporary version of Louis Armstrong Stadium will be used this year following the demolition of the old one after last year's Open. The permanent replacement is scheduled to open next year.
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