US Open Draw 🎾 Breakdown, Preview & Predictions

Federer & Djokovic In Same Half💥, Top 4 Paths To Final🔮, Players React To The Draw😮, Early Rounds To Watch🔥

FULL DRAW 🖨 

Top Half:

Bottom Half:

Full Printable Draw PDF 🖨 (Singles)


DRAW TL;DR 


Top Half - QF’s If Seeds Hold

  • 🇷🇸 Djokovic vs Medvedev 🇷🇺

  • 🇨🇭 Federer vs Nishikori 🇯🇵


Bottom Half - QF’s If Seeds Hold

  • 🇬🇷 Tsitsipas vs Thiem 🇦🇹

  • 🇪🇸 Nadal vs Zverev 🇩🇪


PROJECTED PATHS FOR TOP 4 SEEDS


Djokovic (1) (Top Half)

R1: Carballes Baena

R2: Querrey/Londero

R3: Lajovic/Kudla/Tipsarevic

R4: Wawrinka/Anderson/Hurkacz

QF: Medvedev/Fognini/Basilashvili

SF: Federer/Nishikori

F: Nadal/Thiem/Tsitsipas

Summary: Drew the short straw with Federer in his half (for the first time in a slam since last years US Open), but has a safe opening few rounds. Novak should cruise through Carballes Baena, Querrey and Lajovic/Kudla/Tipsy, before probably meeting Wawrinka in a potential blockbuster of a Rd 4. Stan’s form has been far from hot recently however (the Swiss also has a nasty 2nd Rd vs Hurkacz), meaning Djokovic is probably unlikely to face any real difficulty in the first week. Many will probably look at Medvedev as a banana skin quarter final opponent, but the Russian’s record in best of 5 is poor compared to best of 3, meaning it would be somewhat of a surprise if Meddy actually troubled Djokovic over a longer format match (compared to the Russian’s win last week in Cincy).

With little to go on, other than their recent form/matchup in Cincy/Wimbledon, it’s hard to call Federer beating Djokovic in the semi’s, should they both make it to that stage.

Prediction: Final/Title


Federer (3) (Top Half)

R1: Qualifier

R2: Qualifier/Dzumhur

R3: Pouille/Mannarino/Kohlschreiber/Evans

R4: Goffin/Pella

QF: Nishikori/Coric

SF: Djokovic/Medvedev/Wawrinka

F: Nadal/Thiem/Tsitsipas

Summary: Out of the first three rounds, Pouille is probably the only player who could present any kind of realistic danger to Fed. And for that danger to materialise, the Frenchman would have to play unusually well (which, given history, is equally likely or unlikely with Pouille when it comes to slams). Goffin or Pella shouldn’t present too much of a roadblock for Fed, as long as he’s confident and the humidity isn’t stifling.

The Swiss then has a rather kind quarter final section, as both Nishikori and Coric are in awful form, meaning both would do well to make it to that stage (although that whole section is soft, so it’s unclear who would actually upset them). A significant step up then likely awaits in the form of Djokovic in the semi’s. If that match up happens, it’s tough to see Federer coming out on top given conditions in New York and their recent matchup history.

Prediction: Semi-Finals


Thiem (4) (Bottom Half)

R1: Fabbiano

R2: Bublik/Qualifier

R3: Edmund/Sonego/Granollers

R4: Monfils/Auger-Aliassime

QF: BautistaAgut(RBA)/Tsitsipas/Kyrgios

SF: Nadal/Khachanov/Zverev

F: Djokovic/Federer

Summary: No real banana skins for Thiem in his first few matches, with the Rd 4 potential contest against Monfils or Auger-Aliassime the only interesting 1st week encounter (Bublik troubled Thiem at Roland Garros this year, but only fleetingly). The Austrian’s potential quarter final opponent is very hard to predict, with RBA, Tsitsipas and Kyrgios all very possible given that section. And, should Thiem make it past that hurdle, he would set up a blockbuster rematch vs Nadal (their 5 setter last year was the match of the tournament).

As long as conditions are similar to the last few years in New York (recent USO courts have historically been high bouncing, gritty), this slam will usually represent Thiem’s best chances of a slam outside of Roland Garros .

Prediction: Semi-Final or Final


Nadal (2) (Bottom Half) 

R1: Millman

R2: Kokkinakis/Qualifier

R3: Verdasco/Chung

R4: Cilic/Struff/Isner

QF: Khachanov/Zverev/Schwartzman

SF: Thiem/BautistaAgut/Tsitsipas/Kyrgios

F: Djokovic/Federer

Summary: Drew the ‘long straw’ with Thiem, rather than Federer, in his half.

Millman matches up horribly vs Nadal, meaning Rafa should have a routine 1st Rd. Kokkinakis is an unknown quantity at this stage given his recent attempted (and largely unsuccessful) comeback at Challenger level. So barring a serious jump up in form, the Aussie shouldn’t present a serious threat. Verdasco is *very* short of hard court form, but if he’s going to turn up against anyone, it’s usually his compatriot (still unlikely though). The slightly odd path continues with a potential meeting vs Cilic in Rd 4. The Croat’s form has fallen precipitously however, meaning it would be quite surprising if he made it to that stage.

Things then get pretty interesting for Rafa from the quarter-finals onwards, with a potential rematch vs Khachanov (the Russian pushed Nadal hard last year in a match that started an eventually critical bout of tendinitis). Should Rafa make it past the QF’s he faces a host of potential semi-final opponents, with that section being pretty wide open. Thiem or Kyrgios would be the toughest prospects.

Update: Chung (qualifier) now a potential 3rd Rd opponent.

Prediction: Semi-Final or Final.


EARLY MATCHES TO WATCH OUT FOR 🔥


🔥 - Potentially Good
🔥🔥 - Potentially Great
🍿 - GRAB THE POPCORN

🍌 - Potential Banana Skin

Rd 1’s:

  • Wawrinka vs Sinner 🔥

  • Fognini vs Opelka 🍌🔥

  • Gasquet vs Berrettini 🍌

  • Basilashvili vs Fucsovics

  • Fritz vs F.Lopez

  • Mannarino vs Evans 🔥🔥

  • Pouille vs Kohlschreiber 🔥

  • Pella vs Carreno Busta 🍌

  • Goffin vs Moutet

  • Dimitrov vs Seppi

  • Cuevas vs Sock

  • Raonic vs Jarry 🍌

  • Tsitsipas vs Rublev 🍌🔥🔥

  • Auger-Aliassime vs Shapovalov 🍌🔥

  • Zverev vs Albot 🍌

  • Tiafoe vs Karlovic

  • Schwartzman vs Haase

  • Struff vs Ruud 🔥

  • Klizan vs Cilic

  • Nadal vs Millman

Rd 2's (possible):

  • Djokovic vs Querrey 🔥

  • Tipsarevic vs Lajovic (possibly Tipsy’s last slam match) 🇷🇸🇷🇸

  • Wawrinka vs Hurkacz 🔥🔥

  • Anderson vs Kecmanovic 🍌

  • Basilashvili vs Berdych

  • Fritz vs Nishioka 🔥

  • Pouille vs Mannarino/Evans 🔥

  • Coric vs Dimitrov 🔥

  • Garin vs De Minaur 🔥

  • Tsitsipas vs Simon 🍌🔥

  • Bautista Agut vs Popyrin

  • Monfils vs Humbert 🇫🇷🇫🇷

  • Thiem vs Bublik 🔥

  • Zverev vs Tiafoe/Karlovic 🍌🔥

  • Khachanov vs Tsonga 🔥

  • Isner vs Struff/Ruud

  • Nadal vs Kokkinakis


PLAYERS REACT TO THEIR DRAW 


— A player out of this group will meet Federer (or another) in the quarter-finals…

— Nishikori = poor form and recent physical issues. Garin = unproven at slams and on hard. Raonic = nursing multiple injuries. Coric = in terrible form.


— The players gather for a friendly game of Cards Against Humanity in the US Open locker room.


— Side note: Zverev has hit more than 150 double faults in his last 18 matches.


— Shapo and Auger-Aliassime meet in the first Rd for the 2nd year running at the US Open.


— Stan looking for his usual Slam 1st round buddy Dimitrov, and not finding him *for once*.


— Federer when he finds out his first two rounds could be qualifier into qualifier.

— Federer when he finds out his quarter final opponents are Nishikori (out of form and maybe injured) or Coric (in woeful form):


— Stefanos when he has to play Kyrgios in the 3rd Rd and sees Fergus Murphy will be umpiring.


— Millman realising in order to defend his points from last year (after defeating Federer in the 4th Rd) he’ll need to pull out his secret weapon again for his match against Nadal in Rd1.


— Meddy looking for coaching help vs Djokovic when he realises that bombing down 123mph 2nd serves doesn’t really work in best of 5 sets.


PREDICTIONS 


Quarter-Finals

🇷🇸 Djokovic vs Medvedev 🇷🇺

  • Winner: Djokovic

🇨🇭 Federer vs Nishikori 🇯🇵 (Kei’s 1/8th is very hard to pick a winner from)

  • Winner: Federer

🇦🇹 Thiem vs Kyrgios 🇦🇺

  • Winner: Thiem

🇪🇸 Nadal vs Khachanov 🇷🇺

  • Winner: Nadal


Semi-Finals

🇷🇸 Djokovic vs Federer 🇨🇭

  • Winner: Djokovic

🇪🇸 Nadal vs Thiem 🇦🇹

  • Winner: Thiem


Final 🏆

🇷🇸 Djokovic vs Thiem 🇦🇹


A reminder to those of you who aren’t yet paid Racquet subscribers: Only paid subs get the daily recaps/coverage during the US Open (and all Slams, Masters and most 500’s). 

You can try the first month free (normally $5/month) to make sure it’s worth the $ (this link will expire in 24 hrs):

1st Month Free


GAME, SET & MATCH👋


— The Racquet is created, and written, by Matt.

— You can find me on Twitter here.

See you on Monday for the start of the US Open!

Loading more posts…