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Roger Federer And Novak Djokovic In Same Half As 2019 U.S. Open Tennis

By Ricky Dimon

If there is a rematch of the epic Wimbledon final from earlier this summer at the upcoming U.S. Open, it will come in the semifinals. If there is a first-ever Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal U.S. Open showdown, it will not take place until the title match.

Federer landing in the top half of the bracket with Novak Djokovic was the big development when the men’s singles draw ceremony was held on Thursday afternoon in New York City.

Djokovic and Federer–who had to be separated by a final-set tiebreaker (12-12) at the All-England Club–are joined there by fellow top-eight seeds Daniil Medvedev (Djokovic’s section) and Kei Nishikori (Federer’s section. Medvedev has been the hottest player on tour throughout the North American hard-court swing and he just upset the top-ranked Serb en route to the Cincinnati title. Former U.S. Open champion Stan Wawrinka also finds himself in the top quarter, potentially to meet Dkokovic in round four.

Federer’s quarter looks especially manageable, although potential fourth-round foe David Goffin finished runner-up in Cincinnati and both Nishikori and Milos Raonic are capable of making noise if they are 100 percent. Also watch out for Alex de Minaur as an unseeded floater.

Nadal has to feel good about his draw, mainly because Federer is on the other side. The second-ranked Spaniard is on a collision course for the QFs with Alexander Zverev, but Zverev cannot be expected to make it even that far based on current form. Other candidates are Karen Khachanov, Benoit Paire, Diego Schwartzman, Frances Tiafoe, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Will the upcoming fortnight at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center produce an all-top four semifinal lineup, as was the case at Roland Garros? Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer are obviously favored, but Dominic Thiem will have his work cut out for him in what is by far the most interesting section in the bracket. Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas are the two top-eight seeds, and they will have to contend with the likes of Roberto Bautista Agut, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Nick Kyrgios, and others.

Auger-Aliassime and fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov will go head-to-head in round one of a second consecutive U.S. Open.

Other first-round matchups to watch throughout the field of 128 are Tsitsipas vs. Andrey Rublev, Kyrgios vs. Steve Johnson, Fognini vs. Reilly Opelka, Zverev vs. Radu Albot, Taylor Fritz vs. Feliciano Lopez, Matteo Berrettini vs. Richard Gasquet, and Guido Pella vs. Pablo Carreno Busta.

Nadal–a three-time USO winner–will begin against John Millman, who stunned Federer in the fourth round last year.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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