Top seed and defending champion Carlos Alcaraz will begin his US Open campaign against Germany’s Dominik Koepfer in the opening round and could be up against sixth-seeded Italian Jannik Sinner in the quarterfinals, as per the draw announced on Thursday.
Alcaraz and Sinner had faced each other at the same stage last year in an epic five-set battle which lasted five hours 15 minutes, the second longest match in tournament history.
Second seed and three-time winner Novak Djokovic, who is looking to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Majors, faces Frenchman Alexandre Muller in his first match at Flushing Meadows since the loss to Daniil Medvedev in the 2021 final.
Djokovic, the 36-year-old Serbian, had missed last year’s edition since he could not enter the US which required the international travellers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. He also missed the Masters events at Indian Wells and Miami this year due to the same reason. However, the US government ended the vaccine mandate on May 11, clearing the way for Djokovic’s entry.
Djokovic could be up against seventh-seeded Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinal if the draw holds.
The other two projected quarterfinals are - third seed Medvedev against fellow Russian and eighth seed Andrey Rublev, and Norway’s Casper Ruud, fifth seed and last year’s runner-up, against fourth-seeded Dane Holger Rune.
Top half of the draw
Top half of the draw, headlined by Alcaraz, also has 2012 champion Andy Murray, 2016 champion Stan Wawrinka, 2021 champion Medvedev, 2014 runner-up Kei Nishikori and 2020 runner-up Alexander Zverev.
World No.1 Alcaraz comes into the tournament after losing to Djokovic in the longest ever Cincinnati Open final. The Spaniard, who faces World No. 78 Koepfer in the opening round, could also face a tricky test in 16th-seeded Brit Cameron Norrie in the fourth round. The duo had met earlier this year in the final in Rio de Janeiro which Norrie won.
Medvedev, who is projected to face Alcaraz in the semifinals, takes on Attila Balazs of Hungary in the first round.
Murray, who has not reached the fourth-round of the US Open since 2016, starts against Frenchman Corentin Moutet. Former World No. 1 has 19th-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and Zverev as his potential second and third round opponents, respectively.
Former World No. 8 John Isner, who will retire in front of his home crowd at this year’s US Open, plays Argentina’s Facundo Diaz Acosta in the first round.
Bottom half of the draw
Bottom half of the draw, which features Djokovic, also has local favourites Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul, Taylor Fritz, Ben Shelton, and Christopher Eubanks.
Djokovic, projected to take on Rune in the semifinals, can possibly face 15th-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime in the fourth round.
Two-time Major finalist Tsitsipas has never been past the third round in New York. He begins his campaign against another big server in Canada’s Milos Raonic.
Dominic Thiem, who won the 2020 edition, takes on 25th-seeded Kazakh Alexander Bublik in a blockbuster first-round clash. Austria’s Thiem has lost all five matches he has played at the Majors since he came back from a wrist injury in 2022.
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