Maria Sharapova is through to the fourth round of the US Open, as she continues to make her somewhat controversial come back form a doping ban. Photo : Kathy Willens/AP Photo

Aaaaand we’re off to picturesque Monza in Italy, with an enchanting title showdown between the prancing horse of Italy and three-pronged German heating up.

Then we nip over to the States, for hard court action out of New York, New York.

Keep an eye out for some solid ball-striking from the Republic of Czech, which begins the race to “Paree” for crucial Ryder Cup points for European players.

Let’s not forget the international footy break, with the last stretch of qualifiers for Mother Russia in 2018. No word on how prepped Vlad and his cronies are, but, vele, these Russians move in silence, like the G in lasagne.

So where does one start with this weekend mash up?

Oh, wait, we can start right here with the Bangladeshi boytjies and dem Windies Wallas.

‘A so dim ting set’, as they say! They are both ideally poised for their series deciders, and showing more mettle than our wilting Proteas. Who knows, maybe that Island flavour koMzansi may rub off. Welcome, Ottis!

So, with the week’s juice as it’s been, expect more of the same from Monza, to Prague, and finally at Flushing Meadows, in the heart of Queens.

With top players like Djok, Murray and ‘Stan the Man’ on the sidelines, the stage is set for the old timers to dazzle once again.

Eish, kodwa, my bones feel some upsets all the way into next week. It’s a hard scrap in majors, with five sets - for the men, that is. Where is the equality, given the equal money? Funny that.

Anyway, the US Open is made for upsets; the raucous crowds, late night action and, yes, the hard court itself.

If you can stay up, do yourself a favour and catch some night action. Alternatively, an early rise will give you a five-set thriller (ala Borna Coric and fourth-seeded Alex Zverev in the early hours on Thursday) with Arthur Ashe filled to the brim, music blaring and spectators chanting.

Gotta be on the bucket list, Fo Sho!

I say waai for a laaitie, because they got them gains. Nadal and Roger can’t meet in the finale, with the best bet being in the semis. Look for someone to say Hello from the other side of the draw, and get early value on an outside winner.

Look for new Yank Kevin Anderson going a long way, and dark horse Mischa Zverev.

For the fairer sex, I’d have to say a local lass, though our Russian face of candy, the not so saintly Maria, chowed Simona Halep first up - and she was supposed to be a favourite of sorts!

As for footy, there are some teams that are in k*k if they are keen on hunting bears bare chest with Putin next year.

Wales are one of them, along with Scotland. I mention these two as they have one of the most expensive players in Gareth Bale, and Thekwini has a Scotsman aplenty, I tell you!

On Saturday, Wales at 13/10 are away to Austria. They are good for their dollar, I reckon, but it’s the boys of kilt (8/10) who I fear may see Lithuanian flames. So I’m staying at bay.

Talking about baes and matters of the heart, I’ve been caught out twice now - by Kearsney’s answer to Johnnie Cochran and the cheeky sports editor of these pages - for leaning towards my team.

Of course, it doesn’t help that they are both Liverpool fans.

That said, I will refrain from making calls with the heart, and I am hoping the expensive Emirates Stadium doesn’t turn into Elland Road.

Bones, over and out - like Oxlade-Chamberlain!

The Mercury

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