New York: Top-ranked defending champion Novak Djokovic could face Roger Federer in the semi-finals and Rafael Nadal in the final under the US Open draw unveiled yesterday at Flushing Meadows.
Djokovic, who defeated Federer last month in an epic Wimbledon final for his 16th Grand Slam crown, had the 20-time Grand Slam champion and third seed dropped into his half of the draw.
Djokovic is 26-22 all-time against Federer and 28-26 for his career against Nadal in matches among the Big Three.
Federer and Nadal, who have never played at the US Open, could only meet in the final.
Djokovic, who beat Juan Martin del Potro in last year’s US Open final, will play his first-round match against Spain’s 76th-ranked Roberto Carballes Baena.
He could be tested by South African Kevin Anderson or Swiss Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round and face in-form Russian fifth seed Daniil Medvedev in a quarter-final.
Djokovic defended his title at Wimbledon, the fifth time he has managed the feat at a Grand Slam but one he has not achieved at Flushing Meadows after wins in 2011, 2015 and last year.
Medvedev, who opens against 89th-ranked Prajnesh Gunneswaran of India, is coming off an ATP Cincinnati Masters crown after also reaching US Open tuneup hardcourt finals at Montreal and Washington.
Federer will open against a qualifier as will Japan’s seventh-seeded Kei Nishikori, also in his quarter of the draw.
Second seed Nadal, who won his 18th Grand Slam title at this year’s French Open, has Austrian fourth seed Dominic Thiem on his side of the bracket.
Nadal’s first US Open match will be against Australia’s 61st-ranked John Millman, who shocked Federer at the tournament in 2018, while fourth-seeded Thiem’s opener will be against Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano.