Who Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal have to beat to win the US Open

Djokovic and Federer could do battle in the semi-finals (Picture: AFP/Getty)

The draw has been made for the final Grand Slam of 2019 with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic all learning their fate.

Each of the last 11 Grand Slams have been won by the ‘Big Three’ and it’s widely expected that the 12th collective consecutive title is on its way.

Three-time winner Djokovic is bidding for a third major title in 2019 and is viewed as the man to stop, with five-time champion Federer chasing his first title in these parts since 2008 and Nadal targeting a fourth title in New York.

Here we take a look at their respective draws and the opposition that could lie in wait in their respective bids for glory.

Novak Djokovic

Will Novak Djokovic defend his title? (Picture: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The defending champion is understandably the pre-tournament favourite after winning four of the past five Grand Slams and will open against Spain’s Roberto Carbaelles Baena.

Should, as expected, he come through that, he will likely face big-serving home favourite Sam Querrey, who takes on Juan Ignacio Londero in the first round.

The Serb could meet a compatriot in round three with both Dusan Lajovic and Jankp Tipsarevic hoping to progress to the last-32 in his section but he can expect a step up in quality by round four.

Djokovic route to potential glory

R1: Carbaelles Baena
R2: Querrey
R3: Lajovic
R4: Wawrinka
QF: Medvedev
SF: Federer
F: Nadal

Stan Wawrinka – the 2016 champion who beat Djokovic in the final – Kevin Anderson – the 2017 runner-up – and young guns Hubert Hurkacz and Miomir Kecmanovic are all budding to reach the last-16.

Daniil Medvedev is the standout quarter-final opponent after reaching three consecutive finals and winning a first Masters 1000 title in the build-up to this event, while Federer and Nadal are the most likely semi-final and final opponents respectively.

Roger Federer

Will Federer win the title? (Picture: Kyodo News via Getty Images)

In the same half of the draw as Djokovic, Federer begins against a qualifier before a likely second round tie against Bosnian Damien Dzumhur.

His potential third round opponent is up in the air, with any of Dan Evans, Lucas Pouille, Adrian Mannarino and Philipp Kohlschreiber capable of advancing but we’ll back the Brit to get there despite his recent split with coach David Felgate.

Federer route to potential glory

R1: Qualifier
R2: Dzumhur
R3: Evans
R4: Goffin
QF: Nishikori
SF: Djokovic
F: Nadal

Belgium’s David Goffin enjoyed a good run to the final of the Cincinnati Masters and arrives in decent form, while Kei Nishikori looks the most likely to string together a run to the quarter-finals.

Going through Djokovic and Nadal could be necessary to win Grand Slam No. 21.

Rafael Nadal

Will Nadal go all the way? (Picture: EPA)

In the other half of the draw, Rogers Cup champion Nadal meets Aussie John Millman – who famously took Federer out here last year – in round one.

Aussie wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis could be a second round opponent while compatriot Fernando Verdasco is on course for a third-round tie.

John Isner and Marin Cilic will battle it out to be Nadal’s last-16 opposition, with Karen Khachanov arguably the favourite to reach the quarter-finals given Alexander Zverev’s recent struggles.

Nadal route to potential glory

R1: Millman
R2: Kokkinakis
R3: Verdasco
R4: Isner
QF: Khachanov
SF: Thiem
F: Djokovic

Dominic Thiem – who lost narrowly to Nadal in the quarter-finals last year – looks most likely to reach the semi-finals with Stefanos Tsitsipas – the victim of a very tough draw – and unpredictable Nick Kyrgios bidding to take the other out in the third round.

Djokovic is the heavy favourite to join Nadal in the final.


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