Federer, Nadal face ‘roadblocks’ on the path to US Open triumph

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Third seed Federer and top seed Nadal have difficult paths to overcome if they are to meet in a blockbuster semi-final of the US Open.

The draws look fraught with difficulty as Federer and Nadal must face a stir of extreme talent and massive experience in their draws throughout in order to meet each other in the semi-finals.

Federer’s quest for Grand Slam title No 20 will begin against American teenager Frances Tiafoe. The legendary Swiss has already claimed the titles at Australian and Wimbledon and a first US success since 2008 would give him three in a calendar year for the first time since 2007 but should he progress beyond Tiafoe danger lurks.

If Federer can overcome Tiafoe, Mikhail Youzhny is his likely second-round opponent while veteran Feliciano Lopez could await in the third round before a fourth-round blockbuster with 14th seed Nick Kyrgios, who meets fellow Aussie John Millman or Sam Querrey.

Sixth seed Dominic Thiem is a favourable quarter-final opponent although 2009 champion Juan Martin Del Potro, who starts against Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen, could emerge as an alternative in an open section.

Two-time champion Rafael Nadal is the top seed for the first time in three years having returned to the top of the rankings for the first time since July 2014 and he faces Serbia’s world no 84 Dusan Lajovic.

Nadal’s path to a first US Open crown since 2013 looks tricky with Richard Gasquet a possible third-round opponent and Fabio Fognini or Tomas Berdych in the last 16.

With Novak Djokovic and defending champion Stan Wawrinka injured, it is world no 6 Zverev who is seeded fourth, and the in-form German will face a qualifier in the first round as well as a potential quarter-final with 2014 champion Marin Cilic, who himself must overcome Gilles Simon in a tough first rounder.

British No 2 Kyle Edmund will meet 32nd seed Robin Haase and is in Murray’s quarter while British No 3 Aljaz Bedene faces Andrey Rublev before a possible second-round meeting with Cincinnati champion and seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov, who is Nadal’s seeded quarter-final opponent and will open against qualifier Vacvla Safranek.

In his first year as a professional Britain’s Cameron Norrie, the world no 226, battled through qualifying to the main draw and his reward is a first round meeting with Russia’s Dmitry Tursunov.

Andy Murray faces America’s Tennys Sandgren in the US Open first round and has been placed in the opposite half of the draw to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Murray is seeded second after losing the no 1 ranking to Nadal earlier. But, he has not played since his Wimbledon quarter-final defeat to Sam Querrey and has been troubled all season by a hip injury.

A draw against American world no 104 Sandgren should give him a chance to ease into the tournament before a second round-meeting with Rogerio Dutra Silva or Florian Mayer.

Murray’s first seeded opponent is likely to be Diego Schwartzman, although talented Aussie Thanassi Kokkinakis is also a possible threat in the third round. Lucas Pouille lurks as a potential last-16 opponent with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarter-finals and in-form Alexander Zverev in the semi-final.

1 COMMENT

  1. Lolz: With Novak absence, you are trying to ‘scare’ the fans from some unknown 6th seeders against Roger the great Fedrer and Rafael the king Nadal, Lolz again

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