US OPEN '18: Williams, Murray, Wawrinka return to New York

Roger Federer practiced in Grandstand on Wednesday as part of Fan Week

Roger Federer practiced in Grandstand on Wednesday as part of Fan Week

There will be a long list of U.S. Open returns on Day 1 at Flushing Meadows.

"I get excited to think about it, but just to be able to play another Grand Slam is a blessing in itself".

Germany's Alexander Zverev needs to improve the psychological side of his game to take the next step in his career and win a Grand Slam, according to former players Chris Evert and Brad Gilbert.

Serena Williams participates at the Arthur Ashe Kids' Day at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, in NY.

Should Halep remain number one for the rest of the year, a scenario that appears highly likely, only Wozniacki (71 weeks), Justine Henin (117) and Serena Williams (319) will have spent more weeks in the position since the latter first hit top spot in July 2002.

Even so, it is extremely unlikely that the victor of this year's US Open would come outside of Federer, Nadal or Djokovic. He could play former US Open champ Andy Murray in the third round, but Murray is unseeded and has been battling a hip injury that has limited his play this year.

After a three-year grand slam title drought, Rafael Nadal burst into 2017 with a blockbuster year, claiming the French Open crown and, later, the top prize in Flushing, Queens.

Novak Djokovic is enjoying his time in NY so far.

Yet few would count out No. 2 seed Federer, even as erratic as his gifted game looked against Djokovic on Sunday in Ohio. "If you have to do it, this is one of the places".

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Eighteen-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime, meanwhile, is the first player born in the 2000s to qualify for a grand slam and faces his fellow Canadian teen and best friend Denis Shapovalov in one of the matches of the first round.

Here, Press Association Sport Tennis Correspondent Eleanor Crooks picks out 10 other players looking to make headlines in NY.

Zverev had been courting Lendl (and Boris Becker) for some time, but the will officially debut on Tuesday in NY. The loss to del Potro was followed by semifinal defeats against Djokovic in both 2010 and 2011, blowing two match points in both. He is once again climbing in the rankings and winning when it matters most.

The move comes as no surprise, with Zverev having spent time with Lendl on an informal basis earlier this year, but now he has tempted the 58-year-old back on tour for the first time since his second split from Murray last November. "This is why I took him", added Zverev, who said he also considered hiring German great Boris Becker. That's left him only four tournaments in five months, perhaps explaining some of the shots that once were winners but were sprayed around the court against Djokovic.

The years pass, but now for the young of the Next Generation it's time do show the world they are competitive at the highest level, especially against the top players. Hall of Famer Rod Laver said. He has managed to reach the quarter-finals of a major only once in 13 attempts.

June 19, 2018 - A lengthy 342 days since his last competitive outing, Murray finally makes it back on court in the Fever-Tree Championships against Nick Kyrgios.

Federer won't second-guess his scheduling, believing he's made the right decisions for his preparation.

Djokovic, fresh from his victory at Wimbledon and back to his best after his injury troubles, is the bookmakers' favorite to win the US Open title ahead of defending champion Nadal, while Federer himself is happy to play down his own chances. "Last year has been a very special year after a couple of years", Nadal said Friday.

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