NEW YORK: World number one Novak Djokovic and 14-time major champion Rafael Nadal are on a US Open quarter-final collision course following the 2015 draw at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
And Britain’s Andy Murray, who opens against Australia’s tour bad boy Nick Kyrgios, might have to get past French Open winner Stan Wawrinka and 17-time major winner Roger Federer just to get a crack at Djokovic in the final on the Flushing Meadows hardcourts.
Nadal leads Djokovic 22-20 in their all-time rivalry, but Djokovic won their most recent meeting at the French Open quarter-finals.
Defending champion Marin Cilic, who beat Japan’s Kei Nishikori in a final of surprise packets last year, likes Djokovic to claim the crown once again this time.
“I would still put Novak at the top of the list, even though Andy has shown his tennis has gone up and he is motivated,” said Croatian ninth seed Cilic. “And Roger is a guy who will always be a contender. I also hope there are a few guys lower in the draw who are going to make it interesting.”
Djokovic, who opens against Brazil’s Joao Souza, has a good path to the last eight while Nadal opens against Croatian teen Borna Coric, who beat the Spaniard last year in at Basel.
Possible pitfalls in Serena’s path to history
Top-ranked Serena Williams has some tricky challenges in her quarter of the US Open draw made Thursday, but the three-time defending champion remains a runaway favourite to make more tennis history.
The 34-year-old American is trying to complete the first calendar-year Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988 and match Graf’s Open Era career record of 22 major titles. Russia’s third-ranked Maria Sharapova, who has lost 18 of 20 against Williams including 17 in a row, is a possible semi-final foe.
Second-ranked Romanian Simona Halep, who pushed Williams to three sets in last week’s Cincinnati final, and Danish fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki, whose 10 losses in 11 matches with Williams include last year’s US Open final, are the champ’s highest-ranked possible finalist foes.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2015.
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