Federer and Nadal in same half of draw at Flushing Meadows

Peter Bodo has been covering tennis for over 35 years, mostly recently for ESPN. Sure she's the defending finalist, and she beat Venus and Serena Williams in back-to-back matches previous year, but the pressure of being No. 1 without having won a major yet will get to her. Kristina Mladenovic and CoCo Vandeweghe are potential fourth-round and quarterfinal opponents. She enters the year's final Grand Slam as the sixth seed - placed in the same half of the draw as No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina. "B eing back at world number one after all these years is really exceptional".

Alexander Zverev has dominated the first part of the North American hard court session with winning back-to-back titles in Washington and then the next week at Montreal where he rocked Roger Federer, I think Zverev has a real strong shot at leaving NY with his first Slam.

Is this the year the final piece drops?

Nadal will arrive at Flushing Meadows as one of the title contenders, but maybe not an outright favourite.

Nadal started the season by reaching his fourth final in Australian Open, where he went down to Federer.

'I'm not going to Prague to lose.' - John McEnroe after announcing #Shapovalov & #DelPotro on his team. "The odds, even with Roger to win three majors out of four, would be astounding". Andy Murray dropped out on Saturday with an ailing hip.

In 2009, Nadal missed defending his Wimbledon title with tendinitis in his knees. He's been battling a strained abductor muscle (it caused him to pull out of Cincinnati), but he's a former champion. It contributed to his loss against Juan Martin del Potro, who then went on to craft a sensational upset of Federer in the final.

However, Nadal said: "If I am in the semi-finals, I prefer to play against another one".

Everyone else seemed to know. That breakthrough success came with a heavy toll that he wasn't able to handle next.

Junior champion Talent: Tennis sensation Andy celebrates winning the boys' US Open with mother Judy Murray. But he hasn't been past the fourth round since.

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Yes, Federer is most certainly back.

Federer is a five-time victor of this tournament, last taking the title in 2008. It's an exceptional record, but it bears an interesting asterisk.

Murray faces Tennys Sandgren as he chases a second US Open crown after his maiden grand slam triumph in 2012. Remember how Federer dismantled his younger rival's game at Wimbledon this year?

I didn't have to play points or matches within a few days after Montreal.

I think that changes everything from a mental standpoint. As for Federer fans, they would hope that Nadal doesn't inch above the second round.

Austria's Dominic Thiem, the 23-year-old world number eight, made the semi-finals at the 2016 and 2017 French Opens.

"The first week was really just trying to feel better, get better, get back on the court at some stage".

Despite being a finalist in the Montreal Masters, his performances were underwhelming and a back issue forced his withdrawal from Cincinnati, so it would be advisable to watch the early rounds before placing any future wagers.

"Being No 1 after all the things that I have been going through the last couple of years is something unbelievable, so (it) is, for me, an fantastic achievement to be back to that position after three years", Rafael said in a statement (via BBC). "That would be the most fantastic year-ending situation". "So let's see how we finish season".

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