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Federer-Nadal On US Open QF Collision Course

New York, U.S.A.

Federer© Getty ImagesRoger Federer could face Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals as he attempts to win a sixth US Open title.

There will be no repeat of the 2012 US Open final as top seed Novak Djokovic and defending champion Andy Murray have been drawn in the top half of the 128-man draw. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are both in the bottom half of the draw and could meet in a blockbuster quarter-final clash. 

World No. 1 Djokovic is attempting to reach the final at Flushing Meadows for the fourth year in a row. He won the title in 2011 with victory over Nadal and has a 39-7 event record. The Serb opens his campaign against Ricardas Berankis and could face Benjamin Becker or Lukas Rosol in the second round. He has the possibility of a third-round clash with No. 25 seed Grigor Dimitrov, who defeated the Serb at the Mutua Madrid Open earlier this year. No. 16 seed Fabio Fognini is projected to meet Djokovic in the fourth round.

Sixth seed and 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro is in the top quarter of the draw and could meet Djokovic in the quarter-finals. The two last met in a classic Wimbledon semi-final, which Djokovic won in five sets to improve to a 9-3 FedEx ATP Head2Head lead over del Potro. Del Potro faces Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the first round, with the prospect of either 2001 champion Lleyton Hewitt or American wild card Brian Baker in the second round. Tommy Haas, Alexandr Dolgopolov and Jurgen Melzer are also in that section of the draw.

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Third seed Murray opens his title defence against Michael Llodra, whom he has beaten in all three of their previous meetings. The Scot won his first major championship at Flushing Meadows last year, beating Djokovic in five sets, and added to his Grand Slam collection with victory at Wimbledon in July. He would face Victor Hanescu or Leonardo Mayer in the second round and is projected to meet No. 28 seed Juan Monaco in the third round. Murray could face No. 15 seed Nicolas Almagro in the fourth round.

Murray suffered a quarter-final loss to Tomas Berdych last week in Cincinnati and is seeded to meet the Czech again in the US Open quarter-finals. Murray beat Berdych in the semi-finals of his title-winning run last year, but trails the Czech 4-6 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry. Berdych plays Paolo Lorenzi in the first round and could go on to face No. 9 seed Stanislas Wawrinka in the fourth round. Also in that section are James Blake, Marcos Baghdatis and Kevin Anderson.

World No. 2 Nadal goes in as arguably the man to beat, having won back-to-back ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles in Montreal and Cincinnati. Nadal will be looking to become the first player to complete the Canada-Cincinnati-US Open treble since Andy Roddick in 2003. The Spaniard, who won the career Grand Slam with victory at the US Open in 2010 (d. Djokovic), faces upcoming American Ryan Harrison in the first round with the prospect of recent Montreal semi-finalist Vasek Pospisil in the second round. In what would be a re-match of last week’s Cincinnati final, Nadal could meet John Isner in the fourth round. Isner is seeded No. 13 and may meet Gael Monfils in the second round.

Should it come to pass, Nadal and Federer would meet for the 32nd time in the quarter-finals. It would be their earliest ever meeting at a Grand Slam championship. Nadal edged the Swiss in their Cincinnati quarter-final contest last week and leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 21-10. The 32-year-old Federer is seeded seventh and is bidding to reclaim the US Open trophy he won five years in a row between 2004-08. The Basel native begins his campaign against Grega Zemlja. The first seed he could meet would be No. 26 Sam Querrey in the third round. In the fourth round he would likely face Kei Nishikori, Bernard Tomic or Tommy Robredo.

This year’s Roland Garros runner-up David Ferrer heads up the third quarter as the fourth seed. The Spaniard has reached the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows twice before, including a four-set defeat to Djokovic last year. He meets a qualifier in the first round, with the possibility of Thomaz Bellucci or Roberto Bautista Agut in the second round. No. 30 Ernests Gulbis is the first seeded opponent Ferrer could face in the third round. He is projected to meet 14th seed and Wimbledon semi-finalist Jerzy Janowicz in the fourth round. No. 8 Richard Gasquet is seeded to meet Ferrer in the quarter-finals, though 10th seed Milos Raonic, the recent Montreal finalist, and No. 23 Feliciano Lopez also feature in that section.

Main draw play begins on Monday, 26 August in New York.

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