2018 US Open draw: Federer and Djokovic in line for quarter-final clash as Nadal gets Ferrer
THE US Open draw gave Rafael Nadal a familiar foe while Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic look set for a re-run of their Cincinnati Masters final last Sunday.
Djokovic will begin his campaign against Marton Fucsovics with potential clashes but can expect minimal resistance en route to the last eight where the world No 2 will likely be waiting.
Federer meanwhile has a number of potential banana skins in his first week, the most significant of which would appear to be a possible third-round meeting with Nick Kyrgios.
In the top half, Nadal could hardly have asked for a more comfortable start with a first-round clash with the retiring Ferrer, who has won just 11 matches from 32 this year, and is a "good friend" of the defending champion.
No 5 seed Kevin Anderson might be the first one to test him, and that in the fourth round.
Meanwhile, the women's draw has welcomed back Serena Williams after her absence last year with a match against Poland's Magda Linette, ranked No 60 in the world, but a quick flit of the eyes downwards will find her sister Venus, who could stand in her way in the third round.
Sloane Stephens is defending a Grand Slam title for the first time (Image: GETTY)
US Open draw as it happened
8.05pm: That's your lot from lower Manhattan - we'll be back from Queen's when things start for real on Monday!
8pm: Sloane Stephens meanwhile has never been to a Grand Slam as a defending champion and is enjoying having Nadal by her side to deal with it.
"It takes a lot of pressure of him because everyone wants to talk to Rafa!" Stephens says.
"There is so much pressure but the US Open is always nice. I’m excited.
"I'm so much busier this year. I can't just sit on the couch any more.
"Everyone wants to talk to me now."
7.50pm: Well, that was fun. Now we have the defending champions Rafael Nadal and Sloane Stephens in attendance.
First, here's Nadal talking about first-round opponent David Ferrer about whom he jokes he has "heard things".
"We have a great history together," Nadal says.
"We shared the Davis Cup together a lot of times. He’s a good friend.
"He has been an amazing player for such a long time. He’s still a player with a very high level of tennis."
7.45pm: Alexander Zverev gets a qualifier in the first round. He has brought on Ivan Lendl to sort out his Grand Slam form and he should know all about fellow Czech Jiri Vesely, who might play him in the second round.
Marin Cilic is the potential quarter-final opponent, which would be a terrific match-up.
Roger Federer could face Djokovic in the quarter-final (Image: GETTY)
7.40pm: NOW we're drawing. Andy Murray gets a softish first round in James Duckworth of Australia and then will either place Fernando Verdasco or Feliciano Lopez.
With Juan Martin del Potro potentially waiting the third, any slim hopes of the Brit making the second round have probably gone.
The tie of the round is out and once again Grigor Dimitrov has drawn Stan Wawrinka. Ouch.
7.35pm: Djokovic is out on the board. He’s got Martin Fucsovics than either Viktor Troicki and Tennys Sandgren.
His potential quarter-final opponent? Mr Roger Federer, assuming he comes through to that stage.
To do so, he might play the enigmatic Nick Kyrgios in the third round.
Federer will play Yoshihito Nishioka and then either Benoit Paire or a qualifier in the second round.
Novak Djokovic could play Roger Federer in the quarter-finals (Image: GETTY)
7.30pm: Here we go for the men's then. Where will Djokovic land?
Nadal gets David Ferrer, in his last ever US Open, in the first round and could play Kyle Edmund in the fourth round.
The Brit has Paolo Lorenzi first up and then either Guido Pella or a qualifier. Jack Sock might await him in the third.
No Djokovic yet. Good draw for Nadal, I would wager.
Rafael Nadal will be delighted with that draw (Image: AFP)
7.25pm: Oh dear. Johanna Konta, who has been battling a virus and has not had a great season, has been given Caroline Garcia in the first round. Ouch.
That section has Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber too.
7.20pm: My pick to go deep, Cincinnati champion Kiki Bertens, is in the bottom section and could come up against Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round.
Petra Kvitova is in that quarter as well but the top one is so stacked that basically not being in the top quarter or half is massive for players here.
Sloane Stephens has got a nice draw too, I would suggest. Not a lot of danger (comparatively) in the defending champion's quarter.
7.15pm: The women's is first and there are some jucy ones in the top section. We could have Serena vs Venus in the third round, and the winner could play world No 1 and top seed Simona Halep. Beautiful.
Serena and Venus Williams could meet in the third round (Image: GETTY)
7.10pm: Katrina Adams is up next, lauding the 50th anniversary of the tournament. She is also quick to point out the success of fan week, whatever that is, and the fact that Flushing Meadows has not one but two roofed courts in action this year.
She is followed by tournament director David Brewer. That means we are much closer to the actual draw I believe.
He says he'll reveal it in "just a few minutes" while admitting he did it this morning. Come on, mate. Give over.
One interesting point Brewer makes is that EVERY match will be broadcast on TV or streaming options. In the UK of course, that means Amazon Prime.
Get used to that, by the way. Amazon have UK rights to 38 ATP tournaments next year.
7pm: Here we go then. Chris McKendry of ESPN is running the show I believe and I would suggest that this is not going to be a quick evening with the draw in the next minute or two...
I'll get you the draw as soon as I have it.
6.45pm: I'm sure you've all learned the latest world rankings by now - it is Thursday so you've had a couple of days - but for the uninitiated, here's a reminder of the seedings for the men's and women's draw.
1. Rafael Nadal, 2. Roger Federer, 3. Juan Martin del Potro, 4. Alexander Zverev, 5. Kevin Anderson, 6. Novak Djokovic, 7. Marin Cilic, 8. Grigor Dimitrov.
1. Simona Halep, 2. Caroline Wozniacki, 3. Sloane Stephens, 4. Angelique Kerber, 5. Petra Kvitova, 6. Caroline Garcia, 7. Elina Svitolina, 8. Karolina Pliskova.
6.30pm: Here it is. At the end of a remarkable summer of tennis, the US Open is about to present its opening arguments.
Which half will Novak Djokovic end up in? Will Andy Murray be drawn against one of the big boys in the early stages? Will Serena Williams be afforded the same sort of kindness as she was at Wimbledon?
We will have answers to all these questions - in a bit. The draw ceremony will start at 7pm and I will be right here with you throughout.
Excited? Then cool it for 20 minutes or so, then start heating it up at around 10 to the hour