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Shapovalov, Sharapova set to share Arthur Ashe spotlight
September 1, 2017 / 1:14 AM / 21 days ago

Shapovalov, Sharapova set to share Arthur Ashe spotlight

Aug 30, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Maria Sharapova of Russia hits to Timea Babos of Hungary in Ashe Stadium on day three at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Denis Shapovalov may not be old enough to drink in New York but is quickly becoming the toast of the Big Apple and the 18-year-old Canadian will again have a chance to light up the U.S. Open when he takes on Briton Kyle Edmund.

After knocking off eighth seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the Canadian giant killer returns to the Arthur Ashe Stadium court chasing a place in the fourth round.

Shapovalov’s hit list includes back-to-back wins over U.S. Open champions Rafa Nadal and Juan Martin De Potro at the recent Rogers Cup in Montreal, and the Canadian will now try to add the 42nd ranked Edmund to his list of scalps.

Another of the tennis young guns in Croatia’s Borna Coric, who took down fourth seed Alexander Zverev in the second round, finds 28th seeded South African Kevin Anderson standing between him and a fourth round berth.

Against some criticism, Maria Sharapova will be back on Arthur Ashe for the third straight match where she will face American wild card Sofia Kenin.

Tennis - US Open - New York, U.S. - August 30, 2017 - Denis Shapovalov of Canada in action during his second round match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France . REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Playing her first grand slam since returning from a 15-month doping ban, Sharapova has enjoyed wild fan support every time she steps on to the court but not everyone is happy to see the five-time winner back in action.

Fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki ripped U.S. Open organisers for putting her on an outside court while Sharapova soaked up the applause on Arthur Ashe.

”When you look at centre court, and I understand completely the business side of things, but someone who comes back from a drugs sentence, performance-enhancing drugs, and then all of a

sudden gets to play every single match on centre court, I think that’s a questionable thing to do,” said Wozniacki. “It doesn’t set a good example.”

There will be no complaints from the home crowd about seeing ninth seed Venus Williams or 10th seed John Isner on the Arthur Ashe stage.

Williams, a twice U.S. Open champion, takes on Greece’s Maria Sakkari before turning over the spotlight to the big-hitting Isner, who goes up against Germany’s 23rd seed Mischa Zverev.

Reporting by Steve Keating in New York. Editing by Ian Ransom

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