2019 US Open men's draw preview
Canadian hotshots Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger Aliassime embrace at the 2019 Mutua Madrid Masters (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The final Grand Slam of the year arrives in New York with titanic trio of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic the heavy favourites once again. With tennis history on the line, they will be keen to stretch their Grand Slam domination which has spanned more than a decade. Federer will play Indian qualifier Sumit Nagal while Spanish 18-time Grand Slam winner Nadal takes on Australian John Millman, who famously beat the Swiss maestro at last year’s event. Djokovic squares off against 26-year-old Spaniard RobertoCarballés Baena. The most anticipated first-round matches sees Canadian teenagers Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger Aliassime square off.

First-Quarter – Djokovic’s Quarter:

Top seed and defending champion Djokovic opens his campaign against Carballés Baena, a player he has never faced. The world number 76 will know he has nothing to lose although playing on Arthur Ashe Stadium is a whole kind of different pressure. A straight-sets win for the Serb is the most likely outcome.

Djokovic at the Western and Southern Open, Cincinnati Masters. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Djokovic at the Western and Southern Open, Cincinnati Masters (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Sam Querrey could then await the world number one in round two with the big American server facing off against Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Londero.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka takes on Italian qualifier Jannik Sinner. Meanwhile young American prodigy Taylor Fritz is pitted against Spanish veteran and Queens club 2019 Champion Feliciano Lopez.

Talented young Serbs Laslo Djere and Miomir Kecmanovic face off in an intriguing all-Serbian clash.

Fresh from winning his first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati, 5th seed Daniil Medvedev battles with India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran. An opponent he is easily expected to overcome.

Medvedev is likely to be Djokovic’s biggest threat in the top half of the draw, especially after the young star’s recent win over the Serb in Cincinnati.

Projected Quarter-Final: Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev

Predicted Semi-Finalist: Novak Djokovic

Notable first-round one matches: Djokovic vs Carballés Baena, Querrey vs Londero, Wawrinka vs Sinner, Hurkacz vs Chardy, Djere vs Kecmanovic, Fritz vs F. Lopez, Gunneswaran vs Medvedev.

Second-Quarter - Federer’s Quarter:

The Swiss master hasn’t triumphed in New York since winning more than a decade ago in 2008 and he will be desperate to play well this year.

A year ago, Australia’s John Millman stunned Federer in the fourth-round and so the 20-time Grand Slam champion will be motivated to set the record straight.

Federer at Wimbledon 2019 (Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Federer at Wimbledon 2019 (Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Indian qualifier Sumit Nagal will be his opponent in round-one and the pair have also never played one another. The world number 190 will be looking to build on his qualifying wins and cause an upset.

There are some tasty match-ups in this quarter of the draw with experienced German Philipp Kohlschreiber entertaining talented Frenchman Lucas Pouille.

Former world number three and out of form Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov aims to get his career back on track as he faces Italy’s Andreas Seppi.

Elsewhere 19th seed Guido Pella of Argentina is experiencing a career best season and he faces a tough encounter with Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta.

America’s fallen star Jack Sock aims to put his injury woes behind him and beat Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas.

Federer’s quarter-final opponent is likely to be 2014 finalist Kei Nishikori. The Japanese starts against Argentina’s world number 205 Marco Trungelliti.

The Swiss may well lead their head to head and beat Nishikori most recently in the Wimbledon quarter-finals, but the Japanese saw off Federer last year in the ATP Finals group stages, so anything is possible.

Projected Quarter-Final: Federer vs Nishikori

Predicted Semi-Finalist: Federer

Notable round-one matches: Federer vs Nagal, Kohlschreiber vs Pouille, Pella vs Carreno Busta, Seppi vs Dimitrov, Sock vs Cuevas, Herbert vs de Minaur, Trungelliti vs Nishikori.

Third-Quarter – Thiem’s Quarter:

Austria’s Dominic Thiem has enjoyed a fine season having won a first Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells (defeating Federer in the final) and also beat Nadal on his way to winning the Barcelona Open.

Thiem triumphant in Buenos Aires
Thiem triumphant in Buenos Aires (Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)

Considered one of the best clay-court players in the world, the Austrian made a second Grand Slam final at the French Open before ultimately losing to 12-time champion Nadal in four sets.

Thiem has been unlucky on his previous two visits to New York losing tight matches to Juan Martin Del Potro (2017) and Nadal (2018) last time out. Although a mouth-watering quarter final contest with Stefanos Tsitsipas doesn’t look any easier.

The fourth seed will begin against Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano a player he will know little about having never previously met at tour level.

One of the most exciting encounters sees young Canadian stars Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime put their friendship aside to tussle for a place in the second-round.

Elsewhere British number one Kyle Edmund duels with Spaniard Pablo Andujar.

Wimbledon semi-finalist Roberto Bautista Agut, fresh from cracking the world’s top ten, Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin.

Greek star Tsitsipas takes on Federer’s Cincinnati conqueror Andrey Rublev in an enticing first-round contest.

While American Steve Johnson takes on the controversial and often outspoken Australian Nick Kyrgios.

Projected Quarter-Final: Thiem vs Tsitsipas

Predicted Semi-Finalist: Dominic Thiem.

Notable round-one matches: Thiem vs Fabbiano, Tsitsipas vs Wublev, Johnson vs Kyrgios, Berrettini vs Gasquet, Kukushkin vs Bautista-Agut, Shapovalov vs Auger-Aliassime, Edmund vs Andujar.

Fourth-Quarter – Nadal’s Quarter:

The final section of the draw sees 3-time US Open champion Nadal return from a short hiatus to begin his quest for a 19th Grand Slam title.

Having skipped the Cincinnati Masters the Spaniard should be fresh after successfully defending his Canadian Masters crown in Montreal.

Nadal starts against Millman, the man who conquered Federer in last year’s tournament.

Nadal winning the 2017 US Open two years ago (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Nadal winning the 2017 US Open two years ago (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The next highest seeded player in this part of the draw is Alexander Zverev. The young German has failed to shine at Grand Slam level and will be keen to start well against Moldova’s Radu Albot.

Young American hope Frances Tiafoe plays Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic with the 40-year old big server, the oldest man in the draw.

Another Croatian Marin Cilic faces Slovakia’s Martin Klizan.

Elsewhere South Korea’s Hyeon Chung plays America’s Ernesto Escobedo with both players recently back following long-term injuries.

World number 14 John Isner carries home hopes as the highest seeded American. He faces Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

Meanwhile Karen Khachanov takes on Vasek Pospisil and Benoit Paire faces Brayden Schnur for a place in round two.

Projected Quarter-Final: Zverev vs Nadal

Predicted Semi-Finalist: Nadal

Notable round-one matches: Nadal vs Millman, Zverev vs Albot, Karlovic vs Tiafoe, Pospisil vs Khachanov, Isner vs Garcia-Lopez, Klizan vs Cilic, Chung vs Escobedo.

Semi Final and Finals Predictions

Semi-Final Predictions:

Federer vs Djokovic

Thiem vs Nadal

Finals: Nadal vs Djokovic

Winner: Nadal

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