New York - Five-time champion Roger Federer could find himself up against Novak
Djokovic in the quarter-finals of the US Open, where Serena and Venus
Williams could meet in a third-round blockbuster.
second seed, opens against Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka, anchoring a
bottom quarter of the men's singles draw announced Thursday that also
features sixth-seeded Djokovic, the reigning Wimbledon champion who
bested the Swiss great in the final at the Cincinnati Masters last week.
Alexander Zverev and seventh-seeded Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open
champion, are also in Federer's half of the draw. So is mercurial
Australian Nick Kyrgios, the 30th seed who could face Federer in the
"Of course Novak and Roger, they are doing very well
and especially they like the hard courts," top seed and defending
champion Rafael Nadal said as the draw was revealed in Lower Manhattan.
"Let's see. Let's see what's going on."
Spain's Nadal opens his
defence against a familiar foe in fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in a
rematch of their 2013 French Open final.
It will be a 31st career
meeting between the Davis Cup team-mates, with Nadal leading the series
24-6. If he advances on schedule to the quarters, Nadal could encounter
fifth-seeded Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson in a rematch of last
year's Flushing Meadows final.
Andy Murray, playing his first
Grand Slam since Wimbledon of last year and still battling to regain
full fitness in the wake of January hip surgery, was handed a relatively
gentle return to the major stage, drawing Australian James Duckworth,
ranked 445th in the world, in the opening round.
If the Scot, who
won his first Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows in 2012, gets past
Duckworth he would face either Fernando Verdasco or Feliciano Lopez in
the second round before a possible third-round clash with third-seed
Juan Martin del Potro.
Argentina's Del Potro, the 2009 US Open winner, opens against a qualifier.
the same quarter, eighth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria received a
nightmare draw: a first-round meeting with 2016 champion Stan Wawrinka,
who received a wildcard after missing last year through injury.
Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam champion, ousted Dimitrov in the first round at Wimbledon in July.
On the women's side, the Williams sisters feature in a talent-laden top quarter headed by world number one Simona Halep.
seeking a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, is seeded 17th
despite her world number 26 ranking, US Open officials taking into
account her six titles at Flushing Meadows in determining her seeding
for the tournament she missed last year as she gave birth to her
daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian jr last September 1.
Serena opens against Poland's
Magda Linette, but her seeding won't protect her from a possible
third-round clash with her 16th-seeded sister.
It would be their earliest meeting in a Grand Slam since Venus beat Serena in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open.
Venus faces a potentially difficult first round match against 2004
champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, who received a wildcard into the main
draw as she continues her return from left wrist surgery.
gunning for a second major of the year after her victory at Roland
Garros, opens her campaign against Estonian Kaia Kanepi, a
quarter-finalist last year.
The Romanian has impressed in the
hardcourt build up to the US Open, her runner-up finish in Cincinnati
last week following a victory in Montreal - where she beat defending US
Open champion Sloane Stephens in the final.
Stephens, the third
seed, faces Russian Evgeniya Rodina in the first round, with the winner
to face a qualifier in the second round. Should Stephens get through she
could find former world number one Victoria Azarenka waiting in the
Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber, seeded fourth,
faces Russian Margarita Gasparyan in the first round, while in the same
quarter Maria Sharapova opens against a qualifier and sixth-seeded
Caroline Garcia of France faces Briton Johanna Konta.
Caroline Wozniacki, who has battled injury since winning her first
Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, faces a tough first-round clash
with former US Open winner Samantha Stosur of Australia.