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US Open 2019 Men's Draw Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Djokovic and Federer in top half, Nadal with Thiem, Tsitsipas and Zverev in bottom half

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 23 Aug 2019
  • Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are both in the top half of the US Open draw
  • Rafael Nadal leads a bottom half that includes Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev
  • The 2019 US Open is live from 26 August - 8 September
Novak Djokovic (Photo by: Adam Lacy/Icon SMI via ZUMA Press)

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are in the top half of the US Open draw, while three-time winner, Rafael Nadal leads a bottom half that includes Stefanos Tsitsipas, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev. In-form Russian, Daniil Medvedev could face Djokovic in the quarter finals.

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World No. 1, Djokovic has won four of the last five majors, and once again goes into the US Open as the favourite for the title, with Nadal and Federer just behind the Serbian, while in-form Russian, Daniil Medvedev is also expected to make a big push following a brilliant spell on North American hard courts. 

Of the Big Three, Djokovic appears to have the most difficult draw, with a potential second round meeting with big-serving American, a possible fourth round against Stan Wawrinka or Kevin Anderson, and that quarter final against Medvedev. Federer’s main obstacle to the semi-finals is Kei Nishikori or Milos Raonic in the quarters, while Nadal has got Fernando Verdasco, Marin Cilic, John Isner, Karen Khachanov and Alexander Zverev for company in the bottom quarter.

There are some very enticing first round matches, most notably, Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Andrey Rublev and Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Denis Shapovalov, in a tournament that promises plenty from start to finish.

We preview the US Open men’s singles draw

First Quarter

Projected Quarter Final: Novak Djokovic (1) vs Daniil Medvedev (5) [H2H: Djokovic leads 3-2]
Other Key Players: Stan Wawrinka (23), Kevin Anderson (16), Fabio Fognini (11)
Notable R1 match(es): Fabio Fognini vs Reilly Opelka

Novak Djokovic begins his bid for a fourth US Open title against Spaniard, Roberto Carballes Baena, and should progress into the second round, where he could face big-serving American, Sam Querrey. Querrey has had his injury problems this season, missing a significant amount of time due to an abdominal injury, but when fit, as he is at the moment, he still carries plenty of danger with his big serving. Besides, he has beaten Djokovic at a major before- back at Wimbledon in 2016. The American starts his own US Open campaign against Argentine, Juan Ignacio Londero.

That said, Djokovic still holds a 9-2 record against Querrey, and recently beat him in Cincinnati, and should move into the third round, where he is seeded to meet Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic. Lajovic is having his best season, but I do not foresee any problems for Djokovic in this one. The world No. 1 may run into some bother in the fourth round, as he could face either Stan Wawrinka or Kevin Anderson. Anderson has barely played this year due to an elbow injury, which makes him a less threatening prospect, while Wawrinka has not exactly set the year alight, but the three-time Grand Slam champion isn’t the man you want to be facing in the fourth round of a major. Wawrinka will have his hands full in a possible second round meeting with Hubert Hurkacz, ahead of that potential third-round clash with Anderson. 

Like I mentioned earlier, Djokovic remains the favourite to move through, with in-form Russian, Daniil Medvedev, most likely waiting in the quarter finals.

Medvedev has had a superb North American hard-court campaign so far, reaching finals in Washington and Toronto, and winning a maiden Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati- can he produce that sort of form at Grand Slam level?

The Russian should be too good for Prajnesh Gunneswaran in the first round, while his first bit of examination should come in the third round, where he could meet Taylor Fritz, Feliciano Lopez or Yoshihito Nishioka. Medvedev should reach the fourth round, with his seeded Round of 16 opponents being Fabio Fognini and Nikoloz Basilashvili. Fognini will encounter some early trouble against giant American, Opelka, while Tomas Berdych, who has been bothered by a back problem all season, is also in that little section, and could face Basilashvili in the second round.

Predicted Quarter Final: Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev
Semi-Finalist: Novak Djokovic

Second Quarter

Projected Quarter Final: Roger Federer (3) vs Kei Nishikori (7) [H2H: Federer leads 8-3]
Other Key Players: David Goffin (15), Milos Raonic (21), Borna Coric (12)
Notable R1 matches: Guido Pella vs Pablo Carreno Busta, Milos Raonic vs Nicolas Jarry 

Roger Federer has got himself a very good draw at the US Open, as the great Swiss seeks a sixth title which would put him atop the Open Era list of US Open champions. He hasn’t had the best preparations for the final Grand Slam of the year, losing to Andrey Rublev in the opening round in Cincinnati in his only match since Wimbledon, but he has been afforded the chance to ease himself into the tournament, as he opens his campaign against a qualifier, and could meet Damir Dzumhur or another qualifier in the second round.

The Swiss, if he expectedly navigates those first two rounds, is projected to take on Lucas Pouille in the third round, but Frenchman, Pouille will have to get past Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first round, and one of Daniel Evans or Adrian Mannarino in the second round. That mini-section looks very open, and it’s an opportunity perhaps for Evans to return to the third round of the US Open, a stage he has been to twice in his career.

Either way, you’d still expect Federer to have too much for whoever emerges as his third round opponent, and move into a potential Round of 16 tie against Guido Pella or David Goffin, according to the seedings. Pella has a difficult opener against former semi-finalist Pablo Carreno Busta, and even if the Argentine gets through the first couple of rounds, he will still be second favourite against Goffin in the third round. Goffin has been playing well since the grass-court season, and recently reached the final in Cincinnati. Federer-Goffin looks the likeliest fourth round encounter, with the five-time champion moving into the last eight.

The Swiss is projected to take on Kei Nishikori in the quarter finals, but Nishikori’s tournament could well end in the fourth round, where he is seeded to meet either Milos Raonic or Borna Coric.

Predicted Quarter Final: Roger Federer vs Milos Raonic
Semi-Finalist: Roger Federer

Third Quarter

Projected Quarter Final: Dominic Thiem (4) vs Stefanos Tsitsipas (8) [H2H: Thiem leads 3-2]
Other Key Players: Felix Auger-Aliassime (18), Nick Kyrgios (28), Gael Monfils (13), Roberto Bautista-Agut (10), Kyle Edmund (30)
Notable R1 matches: Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Andrey Rublev, Matteo Berrettini vs Richard Gasquet, Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Denis Shapovalov

Definitely the most open quarter in the tournament, and by some distance too, which is not surprising given that it is the only one without Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas lead the quarter, but there are serious question marks hovering over both players as they head into the final major of the year. After initially struggling on hard courts, Thiem has made some big strides on the surface over the last year, reaching the quarter finals at Flushing Meadows in 2018, where he had match point against Nadal, and wining his maiden Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells. However, the jury remains out on the Austrian on this surface, and a lopsided quarter final loss to Medvedev in Montreal, and an illness-enforced withdrawal from Cincinnati have only added to those doubts. He has a tricky opener against Thomas Fabiano, who beat Tsitsipas in R1 at Wimbledon, and could face Alexander Bublik in the second round. If he gets through, British No. 1, Kyle Edmund is a potential third round opponent. 

One of Thiem or Edmund should proceed to the fourth round, where the seeded duo of Gael Monfils or Felix Auger-Aliassime could be waiting. For the second straight year, Auger-Aliassime opens his US Open campaign against compatriot and good friend, Denis Shapovalov. The younger of the Canadian young guns had to retire from last season’s meeting after having heart palpitations, but he has come a very long way since then, rising into the top-20 and becoming his country’s No. 1 player. Whoever wins that all-Canadian first-round battle will go on to face Marco Cecchinato or Henri Laaksonen in the second round, while Gael Monfils is a potential third round opponent.

Stefanos Tsitsipas leads the other side of this quarter, but the Greek has not been at his best lately, failing to cross the first hurdle in four of his last six tournaments, including Montreal and Cincinnati. The 20-year-old needs to find some form very quickly at Flushing Meadows, as he opens against the extremely dangerous Andrey Rublev, who reached the quarter finals in 2017, beat Roger Federer in Cincinnati, and has generally been in good form lately. There’s a very good chance Tsitsipas could suffer another first-round exit in New York. Whoever wins that match will play Gilles Simon or Bjorn Frantangelo in the second round, and possibly, Nick Kyrgios in the third. 

For Kyrgios, it’s again a question of whether he fancies it. His talents and potentials have been talked about for years, but they have only been seen occasionally, most recently in Washington, where he powered his way to a sixth career title. In typical Kyrgios fashion, he followed that with a first round exit in Montreal, and an acrimonious departure from Cincinnati, getting himself a heavy fine from the ATP for his troubles.

The Australian starts against American, Steve Johnson, a tricky start, and could play Tsitsipas (or Rublev) a couple of rounds later. Whoever survives that Tsitsipas-Kyrgios-Rublev junction will proceed to a fourth-round meeting with Roberto Bautista-Agut or Matteo Berrettini, as predicted by the draw. The steady Bautista-Agut made quarter finals in Montreal and Cincinnati, he looks set for another decent run at the US Open. I think he makes comfortably gets into the third round, where he could play Matteo Berrettini or Richard Gasquet. I’s say Gasquet ahead of Berrettini, as the Frenchman is coming off a semi-final run in Cincinnati, where he beat Bautista-Agut, while Berrettini has done nothing since Wimbledon.

It’s a very open section of the draw- Kyrgios, if he is in the mood, could well blast his way into the fourth round, so can Tsitsipas, if he regains some of his form from the first half of the season, while Bautista-Agut’s steadiness can never be discounted.

I’d limit my options to these three, with one advancing to take on Thiem, Monfils or Auger-Aliassime in the quarter finals. It’s an extremely tough one to call, but I’ll go with Thiem to repeat last year’s quarter final run, and take a chance with Kyrgios on the other side!

Predicted Quarter Final: Nick Kyrgios vs Dominic Thiem
Semi-Finalist: Nick Kyrgios

Fourth Quarter

Projected Quarter Final: Rafael Nadal (2) vs Alexander Zverev (6) [H2H: Nadal leads 5-0]
Other Key Players: Karen Khachanov (9), Marin Cilic (22), John Isner (14), Diego Schwartzman (20)
Notable R1 matches: Alexander Zverev vs Radu Albot, Ivo Karlovic vs Frances Tiafoe, Casper Ruud, Jan-Lennard Struff, Marin Cilic vs Martin Klizan

Rafael Nadal could not have wished for a better build-up to the US Open- the great Spaniard played himself into some hard-court form by successfully defending his Rogers Cup title, brushing aside the in-form Medvedev in the final, before taking the Cincinnati week off to rest and fine-tune his preparations for the US Open, where he will be going for a fourth title.

Nadal starts against John Millman, who famously beat Roger Federer en route the quarter finals last year, and if he wins that, he could run into wildcard, Thanasi Kokkinakis or a qualifier in the second round. Nadal should scale both hurdles and reach the third round, where he is projected to meet fellow Spaniard, Fernando Verdasco, before a possible fourth round clash with either home favourite, John Isner, or 2016 champion, Marin Cilic. It’s a dangerous fourth round for Nadal, but one he should get through. Cilic has not has a great year, while Isner hasn’t been in great form. In-fact, there are no guarantees Cilic and Isner will go far enough to test Nadal, with Cilic potentially meeting Filip Krajinovic in the second round, and Isner possibly running into Jan-Lennard Struff in the same round.

Whichever way it goes, I expect Nadal to move into the quarter finals, where he is seeded to meet Alexander Zverev or Karen Khachanov. Zverev’s Grand Slam troubles have been well-documented, and he is once again a contender for the early exit at Flushing Meadows, as he opens against Radu Albot, could face Ivo Karlovic or Frances Tiafoe in the second round, and Benoit Paire, possibly in the third round. If he somehow gets through all of that, the German could crash into Russiaa’s Khachanov in the fourth round. Khachanov, who played a great match against Nadal in the Round of 16 last season, may have to beat Vasek Pospisil, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Diego Schwartzman to reach the Round of 16.

The Russian looks like the man to back here, moving on to meet Nadal in the quarter finals.

Predicted Quarter Final: Rafael Nadal vs Karen Khachanov
Semi-Finalist: Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic vs Roger Federer
Rafael Nadal vs Nick Kyrgios

Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic

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US Open 2019 Men's Draw Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Djokovic and Federer in top half, Nadal with Thiem, Tsitsipas and Zverev in bottom half

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are both in the top half of the US Open draw, and could meet in the semi-finals, while Rafael Nadal leads a bottom half that includes Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev. Read our preview, predictions and stream the matches live online.

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