The Dell Boys
The Dell Boys

US Open: Rafael Nadal not letting potential Roger Federer clash cloud goal

An injury-ravaged US Open men's draw offers the best opportunity yet for a young pretender to claim a maiden Grand Slam crown but in this most retro of seasons Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will look to turn back time in NY.

The departure of Murray - who travelled to NY before accepting reluctantly that the hip injury which had hampered his movement at Wimbledon was still troubling him - has opened up the bottom half of the draw, which now looks full of promise for the 20-year-old German who was seeded to meet the British double Olympic champion in the semi-final, Alexander Zverev.

"Did pretty much everything that I could to get myself ready here and took a number of weeks off after Wimbledon", Murray said.

"You look back at those first couple of years when I got on the run of the five here", Federer said of winning five in a row from 2004-08.

"I have been practising here and been competitive in practice when I'm not moving close to how I can when I'm healthy".

Defending champion Stan Wawrinka and 2015 champion Novak Djokovic have called an early end to their seasons, along with 2014 finalist Kei Nishikori, while Milos Raonic is another big name missing. 10 from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City.

The big question entering the tournament was whether Federer, the No. 3 player in the world, and his longtime rival Rafael Nadal, ranked No. 1, would potentially meet in a historic final in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

I've accepted it-it's not going to happen at the U.S. Open.

"I mean, I'd be happy to play him here", said Federer, who is pursuing his 20th Grand Slam title. "I think it's a good achievement after three years having some troubles".

"If I am in semifinals, no", said Nadal, who won here in 2010 and '13. And that Andy was going to struggle this year.

"The American crowd is going to be very respectful of Maria and I would think she will get a warm reception coming back", Chris Evert, a victor of 18 majors during her career, said this week. In the women's tournament, I think we can narrow it down to Karolina Pliskova, Garbine Muguruza plus the Americans, Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens.

"I'm not too surprised he's back to this magnitude and being back at world No. 1 after all these years is really exceptional, really nice for him".

To see the full schedule of play, check out US Open website. For me, only once he retires I believe he won't win anymore. "Being back at world number one after all these years is really exceptional".

Federer, now world number three, is among the favourites to end the year as world number one, with the position now held by long-time rival Nadal.

When No. 2 seed Murray pulled out Saturday, there was hope that Federer would get slotted into the other half of the draw - to set p a potential Federer vs Nadal final. But I'd love to play Rafa here in NY.

US Open, the final Grand Slam of the season, starts this Monday at Flushing Meadows in NY.

Nadal has a different attitude to the possible match-up, favouring his title chances over a piece of personal history. Under Grand Slam rules, the man seeded 17th - in this case Querrey - moves to Cilic's vacated spot and will play Gilles Simon of France. Obviously there has been a lot of players with injuries this year.


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