© Ella Ling

Novak Djokovic

US Open: Five thoughts on the draw


Five thoughts on the draw for the US Open:

When a draw for a grand slam is being made, Lady Luck tends to pull on her ‘RF’ baseball cap. Wherever she was on Thursday (Eating truffles at the Lindt store in Manhattan? In a Las Vegas hotel suite with Prince Harry?) she wasn’t at the draw ceremony to help the world number one and Wimbledon champion. How often has it been said that Federer has the best draw at a slam? But this was one rare occasion when it was not Federer, but another of the leading players, who had a piece of good fortune. There can be no doubt that Novak Djokovic would have been mightily pleased¬†that, instead of being projected to play Olympic champion Andy Murray in the semi-finals, he’s in the same half as David Ferrer (bumped up into the top four seedings after Rafa Nadal’s withdrawal).

Kim Clijsters, who goes into her last tournament before retirement on a 21-match undefeated run at Flushing Meadows, will be expected to extend that run to 22 with a first-round victory over America’s Victoria Duval. And then to take that streak to 23 by beating either Britain’s Laura Robson or a qualifier in the second round. But it’s in the third round that it gets interesting, with the Belgian projected to play the Chinese Li Na, who prepared for New York by winning a title at the weekend in Cincinnati. Will she make it to 24?

The all-American first-round meeting of Venus Williams versus Bethanie Mattek-Sands promises to be one of the most eccentrically-dressed matches in the history of the US Open. 

Poor Donald Young. It was just the other day that he had his first victory for six months, so ending a 17-match losing streak. He has been paired in the first round with Roger Federer.

Juan Martin del Potro versus David Nalbandian is the most intriguing of the first-round matches in the men’s tournament.