Tennis - Former coach Darren Cahill says Wimbledon champion Simona Haley has the game to make a charge for the US Open Grand Slam title, which begins in New York City on Monday. Halep, who has won the French Open and Wimbledon titles in her career thus far, has lost in the first round at New York for the past two years but Cahill says that Halep will be among the top favourites in New York.
"I think Simona can get better, absolutely, and she has a great chance at Flushing Meadows. She's only 27 and, as we've seen over this generation in both the men's and the women's game, a lot of the players are playing their very best tennis in their early 30s, so age is not really a problem for her.
She's been one of the most hungry tennis players I've ever met, which is part of the reason I decided to work with her when she asked four years ago. I could see in her eyes that desire to be as good as she could possibly be and her work ethic is second to none.
She dedicates herself 100 per cent to her tennis, that comes before everything else, and that's part of the reason she's been as successful as she has. Winning a couple of majors has been great for her, but I think she still views every single tournament exactly as she has done before.
She'll take the approach that, 'I'm here, I'm ready and if I play my best tennis, I've got a great chance of winning. Simona is coming in refreshed, relaxed about the year she's had after winning Wimbledon and she's confident."
Cahill says there are about 15-20 women who could go on to become the champion on the women's side and says Serena Williams, one of the other favourites as well, will have a tough time in the first round against former World No.
1 Maria Sharapova. "I think it's wide open. The bookies have Serena as the favourite, but then she has an incredibly difficult draw against [Maria] Sharapova in the first round - even though she has a great record against Maria.
Maria is always the type of player who will rise to the occasion, so it will be a difficult one. If Serena plays her best I'm confident she would win that and then she has to go into any major as a slight favourite with the record that she has.
Beyond that there are 15-20 players who you would not be surprised if they win it - such is the depth of the game on the women's side and the professionalism has improved out of sight over the last 10 years."