NEW YORK (AP) — Maria Sharapova’s first Grand Slam match in more than 1½ years will come against No. 2-seeded Simona Halep at the U.S. Open.
Sharapova’s first-round matchup with two-time French Open runner-up Halep was set up by Friday’s draw, which also put Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the same side of the men’s bracket, meaning they could meet only in the semifinals.
The U.S. Tennis Association awarded a wild-card invitation to Sharapova, who is ranked only 147th after returning from a 15-month doping suspension in April, so she could have been randomly placed to face any other player.
Sharapova was kicked off the tour after testing positive for the newly banned drug meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.
Her five major championships include the 2006 U.S. Open.
The year’s last Grand Slam tournament starts Monday.
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