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US Open men’s draw released: Djokovic, Medvedev in different halves

hannahwilks in US Open 27 Aug 2020
Novak Djokovic will open against Damir Dzumhur at the 2020 US Open (PA Images)

Top seed Novak Djokovic and 2019 runner-up Daniil Medvedev headline the two halves of the US Open men’s singles draw, with Andy Murray to open against Yoshihito Nishioka.

The men’s singles draw for the 2020 US Open was released on Thursday, with world no. 1 Djokovic and world no. 3 Dominic Thiem leading the field.

No draw ceremony was held, with the USTA having joined forces with the ATP and WTA to ‘pause’ the Western & Southern Open – currently being held at the US Open venue, the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Centre in Flushing Meadows, New York – on Thursday in response to a fresh outbreak of police violence in the USA. The tournament will resume on Friday 28 August, with Djokovic among the semifinalists.

The US Open begins on Monday 31 August and will be played behind closed doors, with players and tournament staff enclosed in a bio-security ‘bubble’.

US Open 2020: Tournament information, schedules, latest news and live streams

Djokovic, who currently has a 21-0 record in 2020, is the tournament favourite. He will open against Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia-Herzegovina and could face Great Britain’s Kyle Edmund in the second round and Jan-Lennard Struff in the third.

The three-time US Open champion is projected to face David Goffin in the quarterfinals. The US Open is the only major at which Goffin has not reached the quarterfinals thus far in his career. Canada’s Denis Shapovalov and big-serving John Isner are also in this quarter.

Djokovic could face ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas or Australian Open semifinalist Alexander Zverev in the semifinals. World no. 6 Tsitsipas, who is also in the Western & Southern Open semifinals on Friday, has a good draw at first glance, opening against Spanish veteran Albert Ramos-Vinolas with Borna Coric and Cristian Garin among his potential opponents.

Zverev, who lost early at the Western & Southern Open this week to former world no. 1 Andy Murray, has an unlucky first-round encounter with Kevin Anderson, the 2017 US Open runner-up.

In the absence of defending champion Rafael Nadal, who declined to travel to the USA for the tournament due to health concerns, three-time Grand Slam finalist Dominic Thiem headlines the bottom half of the draw.

Dominic Thiem is the second seed at the 2020 US Open (PA Images)

Thiem won just two points on return when he was knocked out of the Western & Southern Open by Filip Krajinovic this week, and the Australian Open finalist could have to contend with 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic in the third round. He could face Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime in the last 16; Great Britain’s Dan Evans, seeded 23rd, is also in this quarter and plays Thiago Seyboth Wild of Brazil in the first round.

Andy Murray is also in this section of the draw. The 2012 US Open champion, who has played just three ATP Tour matches in 2020, will play Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in the first round and could face Auger-Aliassime in the second.

Roberto Bautista Agut, who faces Djokovic in the Western & Southern Open semifinals on Friday, is also in this quarter, as well as the fourth ‘Cincinnati’ semifinalist Milos Raonic.

Daniil Medvedev, who pushed Nadal to five sets in the US Open final in 2019 and is among the favourites for the tournament despite a quarterfinal defeat to Bautista Agut at the Western & Southern Open, will play Argentine left-hander Federico Delbonis in the first round and could face Grigor Dimitrov in the last 16.

Italy’s big-serving Matteo Berrettini, a surprise US Open semifinalist in 2019, is Medvedev’s projected quarterfinal opponent by seeding.

Notable absences include Nadal, five-time champion Roger Federer who has shut down his season entirely, former finalist Kei Nishikori and top-20 players Fabio Fognini and Stan Wawrinka, the latter another former champion.