Defending Champ Carlos Alcaraz Could Face Jannik Sinner In US Open Quarter-Finals


Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz could face a quarter-final rematch against Jannik Sinner at the US Open, with former champion Daniil Medvedev also in the top half of the men’s draw released on Thursday. The final Grand Slam of the season, which starts on Monday, will see three-time champion Novak Djokovic returning to Flushing Meadows after missing last year because of travel restrictions over his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19. The Serbian star, seeded second behind Alcaraz, faces Alexandre Muller of France in the first round and a victory in that match will assure the 23-time Grand Slam champion of a return to number one in the world regardless of Alcaraz’s performance in a tournament that will culminate with the men’s final on September 10.

Alcaraz will open his title defense against Germany’s Dominik Koepfer.

In 2022, Alcaraz defeated Italy’s Sinner in a marathon five-set quarter-final which set a record for the latest ever finish at the tournament of 2:50 in the morning.

Sinner, seeded sixth, faces a potentially tricky path to the quarters with Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov joined by former US Open champions Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka in the same section of the draw.

Alcaraz, meanwhile, is seeded to meet 26th seed Dan Evans in the third round and Cameron Norrie in the fourth as he chases a third Grand Slam title and a second straight after his triumph at Wimbledon.

Slumping Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime is Djokovic’s projected fourth-round opponent while Greek seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, beaten by Djokovic in the Australian Open final, could get a rematch against the Serb in the quarters if he can make it past the third round for the first time.

Medvedev, who lifted the trophy in 2021 to deny Djokovic a calendar Grand Slam, is seeded third and drawn in the same quarter with eighth-seeded Andrey Rublev.

Fourth seed Holger Rune and returning finalist Casper Ruud share a section in the bottom half that also features three seeded Americans in 2022 semi-finalist Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul and Sebastian Korda.

Swiatek, Gauff collision course

Women’s world number one and defending champion Iga Swiatek could find herself in a quarter-final rematch against sixth-seeded American Coco Gauff.

Swiatek holds a 7-1 head-to-head record against Gauff — who broke through for her first win over the Polish star on the way to the title in Cincinnati last week.

Second-seeded Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka and third seed Jessica Pegula are in the bottom half, while fourth seed Elena Rybakina joins Swiatek and Gauff in the top half.

Sabalenka, who can overtake Swiatek for the number one ranking, could meet fifth-seeded Tunisian Ons Jabeur, the 2022 runner-up, in the quarter-finals.

Swiatek will open her title defense against Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson, while Gauff, who won titles in Washington and Cincinnati in the run-up to the Open, will face a qualifier in the first round and could face rising 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva in the second.

The stacked top quarter also features two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and former world number one Caroline Wozniacki — who could meet in the second round.

Denmark’s Wozniacki received a wild card to play in her first Grand Slam since returning to the sport after a break of more than three years.

Also in the top quarter are American former Grand Slam finalists Danielle Collins and Jennifer Brady. Brady, runner-up to Naomi Osaka in the 2021 Australian Open, is also on the comeback trail after injuries sidelined her for two years.

Fourth-seeded Rybakina, the 2022 Wimbledon champion, heads the second quarter and faces a tough first-round match against one of the highest-ranked unseeded players in the draw, Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk.

Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova, the ninth seed, opens against a qualifier but could face seventh-seeded Carolina Garcia of France — a semi-finalist last year — in the fourth round.

In the bottom quarter, seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams, 43, faces a tough first-round meeting with Spain’s Paula Badosa.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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