Federer falls into Djokovic’s half of US Open draw

Roger Federer will play against Japan’s Ken Nishikori in the opening game of the US Open at Flushing Meadows. (AFP pic)

NEW YORK: Top-ranked defending champion Novak Djokovic could face Roger Federer in the semi-finals and Rafael Nadal in the final under the US Open draw unveiled Thursday at Flushing Meadows.

Djokovic, who defeated Federer last month in an epic Wimbledon final for his 16th Grand Slam crown, had the 20-time Grand Slam champion and third seed dropped into his half of the draw.

Second seed Nadal, who won his 18th Grand Slam title at this year’s French Open, has Austrian fourth seed Dominic Thiem on his side of the bracket.

Djokovic will play his first round match against Spain’s 76th-ranked Roberto Carballes Baena.

Federer will open against a qualifier as will Japan’s seventh-seeded Kei Nishikori, also in his quarter of the draw.

Nadal’s first US Open match will be against Australia’s 61st-ranked John Millman, who shocked Federer at the tournament in 2018, while fourth-seeded Thiem’s opener will be against Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano.