Tennis: Djokovic could face Berrettini, Zverev on US Open final path

DJokovic could meet Australian fourth seed Alex de Minaur in the fourth round, sixth-seeded Berrettini in the quarter-finals and German fourth seed Zverev in the semi-finals. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Novak Djokovic could face a Wimbledon final rematch with Italy's Matteo Berrettini in a US Open quarter-final and meet Olympic champion Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals in his bid to complete a calendar-year Grand Slam at New York.

Under a men's singles draw released Thursday (Aug 26) by the US Tennis Association, the 34-year-old Serbian top seed was placed in a draw quarter that could see him meet Australian fourth seed Alex de Minaur in the fourth round.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner then could see sixth-seeded Berrettini in the quarter-finals and, if seed form holds, face German fourth seed Zverev in the semi-finals.

Zverev was last year's US Open runner-up to Austrian Dominic Thiem, who is injured and will not defend his crown when the hardcourt showdown begins Monday.

Topping the other half of the draw opposite Djokovic is Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev with Greek third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and Russian sixth seed Andrey Rublev next. Rublev and Tsitsipas could meet in a quarter-final.

World number one Djokovic is trying to become the first man to sweep all four Grand Slam singles titles in the same year since Rod Laver in 1969.

He's also trying to become the all-time men's leader in Grand Slam singles crowns, sharing the mark of 20 with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who will both miss the New York fortnight with injuries.

Federer is battling a knee injury while Nadal has a nagging left foot injury.

The full draw has Djokovic opening against a qualifier and facing a potential second-round meeting against the winner between 110th-ranked Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor and Germany's 52nd-ranked Jan-Lennard Struff.

Potential third-round foes for Djokovic include Japan's Kei Nishikori, the 2014 US Open runner-up, and Belgian 27th seed David Goffin, who matched his best US Open run by reaching last year's fourth round.

Medvedev, who lost to Djokovic in this year's Australian Open final, opens against Frenchman Richard Gasquet and could get Croatian Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open winner, in the third round.

Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov could meet Medvedev in the round of 16 and Norway's eighth-seeded Casper Ruud could face the Russian in the quarter-finals.

Tsitsipas opens against Britain's Andy Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion who captured the 2012 US Open crown by beating Djokovic in the final, and could meet British 26th seed Cameron Norrie in the third round.

Australian Nick Kyrgios opens against Spain's 18th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut with Canadian 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime a possible third round foe and Rublev a potential round of 16 opponent.

Zverev's quarter of the draw also includes Canadian seventh seed Denis Shapovalov and Spanish ninth seed Pablo Carreno Busta. The German star opens against American Sam Querrey.

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