New York: Top-seeded Novak Djokovic was handed a danger filled path to the final of the US Open and a possible showdown with No. 2 Roger Federer after Thursday’s draw for the season’s final Grand Slam.
Djokovic plays his first-round match against unseeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman but the Serb must navigate an increasingly trickier path.
The world No. 1 figures to meet either 2012 champion Andy Murray or the on-form Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarter-finals.
Federer, winner of five consecutive US Open titles from 2004, opens against Australian Marinko Matosevic.
The Swiss, aiming to add to his record haul of 17 majors at the advanced age of 33, figures to have a fairly easy ride to a quarter finals clash against seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria.
On the women’s side, two-time defending champion and top seed Serena Williams also looks to have drawn a stern test with Sam Stosur of Australia a possible fourth-round opponent and Ana Ivanovic projected for the quarters.
Serena, who has endured a disappointing Grand Slam season so far, said she was keen to end on a high note and add to her career haul of 17 Major singles titles.
“I feel good. I feel like I’m playing really well,” said Serena, who looked fit and glamorous with long, blonde curls framing her face in an appearance at the draw.
“The way my year has gone, I’m worried about every single match,” she said.