Johannesburg: One could expect world number one Rafael Nadal and third-ranked Roger Federer renew their long rivalry after the duo have been drawn to face each other in the blockbuster semi-finals of the US Open. Nadal, who has begun his fourth stint in numero-uno position, has never locked horns with 19-time Grand Slam champion Federer on the New York hardcourts in the final major of the season.
Although 15-time Grand Slam champion Nadal leads his career rivalry with Federer 23-14, the Swiss tennis maestro has won their previous four meetings, including this year’s Australian Open final. Nadal, who is bidding to clinch his third US Open title, could face France’s Richard Gasquet in the third round before he is likely to meet Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych in the fourth round and seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in the quarter-finals,Sport24 reported.
Federer, on the other hand, will open his campaign at the Flushing Meadows against American Frances Tiafoe while he could cross swords with Australia’s Nick Kyrgios in the fourth round and Austrian seventh-seed Dominic Thiem in the last-eight encounter. British tennis star Andy Murray, who had held the top spot for 41 weeks since November 7, 2016 before losing it to Nadal, will play his first match against America’s Tennys Sandgren while he will posiibly meet French 16th seed Lucas Pouille in last-16 and eighth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in the quarter-finals.
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This year’s US Open will be without several top contenders, with defending champion Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland, two-time US Open winner Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Japan’s Kei Nishikori, the 2014 runner-up, and Canada’s Milos Raonic all pulling out of the tournament due to their respective injuries. US Open, the final Grand Slam of the season, starts this Monday at Flushing Meadows in New York.