All Aussie showdown in US Open first round

All Aussie showdown in US Open first round

Federer has played only one tournament since Wimbledon, that being a final loss in the Rogers Cup, and with Nadal losing early in both Montreal and Cincinnati neither man is looking in top form as they head into NY.

Defending men's champion Stan Wawrinka will not be at Flushing Meadows due to a knee injury, but women's titleholder Angelique Kerber is ready to defend her crown.

Murray, Nadal, and Zverev had all previously been confirmed for the tournament, and the three headline an extremely strong field which also features the likes of 2016 runner-up Grigor Dimitrov, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and John Isner.

Twice champion Novak Djokovic (elbow), 2014 runner-up Kei Nishikori (wrist) and Milos Raonic (wrist) are also absent while 2012 champion Andy Murray and 2014 victor Marin Cilic have been sidelined since Wimbledon by injuries.

Federer proved at Wimbledon there is life in his legs just yet as he stormed to the grass-court championship in London. However, the biggest threat is surely going to be Nadal, who has been the world number one ranking.

Nadal will be seeking his third Open title. The Asian leg and the European indoor hard swing will put Murray in a delicate position with thousands of points to defend in a matter of weeks.

As for a potential meeting with Federer in the Open for the first time (it would be in the semifinals), Nadal smiled a lot as he professed not to be looking forward to such an historical meeting.

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Despite enjoying numerous iconic battles in grand slams during their illustrious careers, Federer and Nadal have never met at Flushing Meadows.

The Spaniard will be hard to beat in current form, and with Murray out of shape, it could be left to an outsider to cause a shock. The back tweak in Montreal that meant he missed Cincinnati could well have been a blessing in disguise in affording him more rest, and it will be a major shock if major No 20 is not his on September 10.

Isner and Gael Monfils, tipped up by our Andy Schooler, have also attracted money since Friday's draw was made.

Maria Sharapova's grand slam return after a drug suspension comes against world No.2 Simona Halep in a spectacular clash to headline the women's opening round.

Desperate to kick-start her comeback after a doping violation led to a 15-month absence and a succession of injuries, it could hardly have been a worse draw for Sharapova, 30. In the years that followed, many questioned whether the Swiss maestro would win another.

"If you're a human being with a normal, beating heart".

"So, yeah, I don't think we are both thinking that far ahead". After that feat, Nadal candidly admitted, "Sometimes even I don't know how I can beat that guy". The current No.1, Pliskova is another name on many people lips after losing in the final past year, although her form has been somewhat inconsistent on the North American hard courts in the run up to the USA open.

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