Grand SlamsRoger FedererUS Open

US Open Draw 2017: Federer Ready To Go in NYC

The final Grand Slam of 2017 is almost here and the draw for this year's US Open has just taken place. Roger has been in New York for the last few days practicing which alleviates some of the fears his participation might be in doubt after he pulled up lame in the Montreal final. The Swiss has landed in the same half as Nadal and you can see his projected opponents below:

Federer's Projected Opponents

  • Round 1: Frances Tiafoe
  • Round 2: Mikhail Youzhny
  • Round 3: Feliciano Lopez
  • Round 4: Nick Kyrgios
  • Quarter Final: Dominic Thiem
  • Semi Final: Rafael Nadal
  • Final: Andy Murray

Full .PDF printable draw.

Thoughts on the Draw


First up is the up and comer Frances Tiafoe. Roger played him earlier this year and won in straights so I expect something similar here. Tiafoe is obviously getting better day by day but I don't see him having the consistency or game to really cause too many problems.

Round 2 is then likely to be veteran Mikhail Youzhny. Once a force on hard courts where he once schooled Nadal at the US Open but his best days are behind him. The Russian has to face Blaz Kavcic in his opener who's won two hard court Challengers in recent weeks so I can see that one being a 4 or 5 setter quite easily.

Into Round 3 and Lopez is the seeded opponent but Verdasco and Kuznetsov are also in this section. Lopez hasn't had a great US Open series so I wouldn't be surprised to see the Russian come through to meet Roger if he too makes Round 3. You can't count out Verdasco either if his game clicks into gear. Can any of them trouble Roger? Unlikely, Kuznetsov can definitely hang but he's not the toughest guy physically or mentally.

Round 4 has the Cincinnati finalist Nick Kyrgios as the seeded opposition. He's an enigma though and there are still question marks about his durability over 5 sets so perhaps Querrey has a good shout to make the fourth round. The American has had a stellar season and skipped Winston-Salem so it certainly looks like he's prepping for a good run at the US Open to add to his race points.

The Quarter Final sees Thiem as the top seed in his quarter but he's had a poor run in North America so I can't really him factoring. If the courts have any sort of speed they don't suit his game so that section is wide open with Agut and Mannarino surely fancying their chances to make a Slam Quarter Final.

Into the latter stages which are a long way off and Nadal is the Semi Final opponent, although perhaps Dimitrov will be looking to get one over him after the Australian Open Semi Final earlier this year. The Final is then former World Number 1 Andy Murray πŸ™‚ he's not played since Wimbledon but he looks to be in decent shape from the few practice videos and pics I've seen.

Elsewhere in the Draw


With a somewhat depleted field thanks to no Novak Djokovic (elbow), Stan Wawrinka (knee) Kei Nishikori (wrist) and Milos Raonic (wrist) the draw is fairly open. In the same half as Roger is Nadal who has quite a nice quarter with a selection of whipping boys lining up like Gasquet and Berdych but he might have to face off against Dimitrov who surely goes in confident after winning Cincinnati.

As for the other half of the draw, Murray will face Tennys Sandgren first up, and could face Lucas Pouille or David Ferrer in the fourth round. Tsonga is also in that section but he's had a woeful US Open series so I can't see him making the Quarter Finals. Will Murray put a run together? As I mentioned above he's looking lean but then I read he's again limping around in practice so who knows.

Interestingly Zverev goes in here as the fourth seed and he kicks things off against a qualifier. Kevin Anderson is a likely third round opponent for him who he's beaten twice comfortably in recent weeks. It will be interesting to see how Sascha goes, he's surely confident but his record at Grand Slams isn't too clever and he's never beaten anyone in the Top 50 at Slam level which is pretty crazy to say he has two Masters 1000 titles to his name. Fortunately, his section is pretty light with only Cilic in his Quarter but he's not played since Wimbledon.

Interesting First Round Matches

Not many jumping off the page yet but Qualifiers are yet to be added…

  • Federer vs. Tiafoe
  • Cilic vs. Simon
  • Kohlschreiber vs. Paire

Predictions for Federer? Tough to say as we don't know how big a deal the back was in Montreal. He's had 2 weeks to recover and from what I've seen in practice he's looking ok, looking a bit half paced and languid in his movement/return stance but that's often how he practices when it's open to the public. So guess we just have to wait and see how he deals with Tiafoe next week.

Let me know what you think of the draw in the comments.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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    1. As long as Roger feels good physically he has a good chance to reach 20GS. I am expecting an interesting USO and hopefully Roger standing as a champ once again.


      1. Hope so too, but I don’t see Fed winning it if the back isn’t 100%. Do you think he’ll take pain killers/ shots that he might avoid in smaller tournaments were he to get into the latter rounds? I wonder how much that’ll alleviate the pain (if there is any at the moment)?

    1. I see Roger’s road gets tricker from 4th round onwards. Not too bad draw though not pleased to see him in Nadal’s half. Well one match at a time, lets aim for no 20!!!

    2. Yeah other half does seem fairly lightweight guess all the absences give the draw a bit of an imbalance. Zverev as 4th seed but never beaten anyone in the top 50 at a slam, now is his chance though to make a run.

  1. fed never face nadal in us open what it gonna be this time I want to see fed beat nadal in US open and take 20th slam

  2. A couple of matches go Fed’s way and I can really see the draw favoring him to the finals.
    Querry over Kyrgios and Grigor over Rafa would be a gift.

  3. It all depends on his back injury, doesn’t it. If he is A1 healthy there is no reason not to go right through. I’m surprised (very) that you think Murray will reach the final. I’m going to examine the draw in detail and come back.
    Thanks for winding us up for the tournament, although I think we are all pretty much wound up already. Too exciting. I’m contemplating buying Eurosport for a month to see how that works although many of the matches will be late. Yawn

  4. Roger will win his 20th if he is 100% fit for next 2 weeks. Hope that is how this plays out. One more win against Nadal would be a nice bonus.

  5. Compared with Rogers touch draw, I’m more annoyed at Nadal’s cakewalk, until quarters anyway. Murray’s is a disgrace, all injured and out of form players in one quarter. Such a draw should be forbidden. Sascha has 70% making the final.

    1. Hmmm…I don’t see a cake walk for Murray. Berdy, Dimitrov? Serious dudes. Even Monfils could take him out. He did it before and almost got Fed in ’14.

  6. Bottom line for me….draws make me nervous no matter what. If Roger has a tough draw, then I worry. If he has a so called easy draw, I worry he won’t be focused enough. I never win. Anyone else feel like that?

    1. I’m always a nervous wreck when he plays. I want him to win every game. And this time I’m also nervous about his back. Do you think we worry more than he does?

    2. Nahhhh. No way. You are imagining things! Nervous, we? Never, ever. Except, maybe, starting 24 hours before R steps on court and lasting until G,S&M is called. And this is only when R faces players ranked 1000 and above. Other than that we are pretty calm people, right?…
      (f**k, guys, I barely ate or talked during the day before AO17 final).

      1. My biggest nervosity is about oger could win the title without having played an epic match. And this is a real threat in USO. Or Thiem is on fire snd comes to play (and lose) an epic QF vs. Fed. Who else can beat him? Either his own back or the primitive boring highscrapper powerplayer Zverev, but only against Roger”s bad back.

    1. Woo-Argh! I never get tired of the 26 shot rally at AO17: the 8th shot when Feds takes control and the Woo-Argh! the commentator shouts at the end, exactly the same sound in Quake 2 when the player dies by some squashing device. Woo-Argh! Over and over again!

  7. I watched some video of Fed practicing. He is not walking with the usual swagger. And looks stiff in his movement. Seems his new found backhand suffers the most when his back is an issue. Fingers crossed it’s good to go in a few days.
    And another thing….one of the main points of studying the draw is to see who is going to take out Nadal.
    Thanks for the video!

    1. Yeah I’m watching now, hard to say, looks a bit uncomfortable but not in pain or anything. Maybe just a bit stiff and not going hammer and tongs….

  8. Watching the live practice right now. Seems pretty 100% to me. Seemed to be taking it easy in the previous practice session. But here I’m seeing the full (normal) knee bend on the serve, he’s moving to his stretch forehand perfectly fine and generally doesn’t seem to be holding back on any shot. And this is despite me being fairly biased and actively “looking” for any signs of discomfort. Can’t see any yet.

    Thoughts guys?

    1. When you say you are actively looking for signs of discomfort but can’t see any. Does that mean you are blinking or looking away when he’s touching his back often? πŸ˜† I seen him holding it several times after points, when stood talking etc. Doesn’t look fully fit to me but difficult to tell as these on site practices with a crowd he does tend to take it easy.

      1. Haha, possible. :p Didn’t see him touch his back in any way that seemed out of the ordinary when I typed that up.

        Yeah, but after watching the full thing, I’d have to agree. Probably not 100%.

      2. BTW, if what I think you’re referring to when you say touching his back after points is him adjusting his t-shirt (if I’m not mistaken), isn’t that something he does all the time?

      3. Usually he stands hands on hips, hand was pressing into lower back from what I saw.

        Touched it a couple of times after points as well.

        Doesn’t look to be in pain or whatever as why would he practice, but just not quite 100%

      4. Finally someone agrees with me when I say Fed isn’t right. No expectations here. Just don’t think his bhdtl will be effective. Now, back to worrying. Ha.

  9. I saw the practice video, too…yeah sure, he’s not 100%. Forget about the draw [sorry Jonathan, a good draw analysis by the way], I’m just worried about his back now πŸ™

  10. Just knew somehow Murray was going to withdraw AFTER the draw was made! Was pretty sure he wasn’t up to scratch and if he’s said so earlier Federer would have been the number two seed for the tournament with all the consequences. Unbelievable. Now the draw remains as is and someone else will replace Murray… Still, as you’re all saying basically, what really counts is Federer’s freedom of movement and really hoping we can see him recapture that flying magic we’ve seen all year through to Wimbledon. If not,

    1. I thought Murray would play after making the trip to New York. Looked fairly lean in the pics I saw as though he’d been working hard. But maybe that’s all he’s been doing – gym. Once the tennis movements come into play he’s crocked.

  11. Feds toughest test will be Kyrgios who plays well against the top guys.
    Berdych will take Nadal out like he did in AO 2016
    Though the whole world is looking at GS20, strangely I am looking at No 1 more than GS20. No 1 at 36 will be unparalleled.
    If GS 20 happens well and good.

  12. Annnnddddd bye bye Andy. Could have announced the withdrawal a few days earlier and given Fed the world’s easiest draw…which just got easier.

  13. Murray out, draw lopsided. Sorry for Murray but seems crazy for him to even try when he looks
    So uncomfortable. Everyone now looking for injured players, someone tweeted Nadal had hurt his
    Knee when practising with Verdasco. So c’mon Roger be lucky x

    1. I saw that video. Looked in pain for like 30 secs but played fine after supposedly. I couldn’t figure out what he did, thought at first he hit knee with racquet but wasn’t that.

  14. I just saw that Murray is out – I was hoping that maybe Federer slides into the No. 2 seed spot, but from the comments above it seems this is not how it works? That is bad luck for everyone around, what a weak half that side is.

    1. 5th seed takes his place. So Cilic takes his places. Querrey out takes the 16th seed place (I think), and so on.

  15. By the looks of it, we are about to witness the first para-major-lympics. The top half is disputed between players on crutches. The bottom half is played on wheelchairs. The final will be more tricky to set. I suggest that each side plays on a monocycle and use a staff to balance. An amateur staff, not a pro-staff, obviously…

    1. Maybe Isner on crutches vs. Dr. Ivo on WC? Boris Becker as chair umpire (bot without a chair, sitting on the ground ond of course without microphone)

  16. Selfish and disgusting of Murray. I can’t think of other words to say.

    Now thanks to him, Kygrios gets Kohli instead of Querry. A guarantee he will ride into R4 to face Roger barely challenged. And I don’t even know where to start to describe this lopsided draw.

    1. I just discovered that too. Andy’s withdrawal has a significant effect on Federer’s quarter too, with a Federer – Kyrgios showdown all but guaranteed. Sam Querrey really should send Andy some flowers. Instead of Kyrgios and Federer as projected third and fourth round opponents, he gets Khachanov and Inser. Pretty good deal…

    2. Hard to say if Murray deserves flack. Obviously planned to play, but probably knew he wasn’t going to before the draw was made so guess he could have withdrawn earlier. Prob trying to leave it to last possible minute in the hope he feels fit to play.

      I made a prediction on my blog ages ago that he would struggle with injuries at some point. Not in a malicious way or anything just a judgement from what he was like physically in 06 compared to now. Not a natural athlete for me. He even tweeted me once when I said the same saying ‘want to bet?” which he later deleted hahahah.

      1. The tweet part? Yeah lol, was in 2014 just found the screenshot. I forgot what I put exactly, it wasn’t even @ to him, was to someone else. Think I put something like ‘he won’t be playing when he’s 34″ and he replied with “want to bet?” Deleted after 30 mins or so once his management spotted it.

        I do genuinely believe Murray not a natural athlete though, he’s become a great athlete for sure with the hard yards. But overall built on a weak frame. Look at Fed for example – very naturally strong / good foundation.

    3. I saw this one coming; I am pretty sure that this was a calculated move, perhaps to protect his down-sliding ranking points(?) I had been checking Andy’s news bulletins in the past three weeks. The fact that it came out after the draw was made disappointed me and irritated me enormously. He walked out the Wimbledon turf like an 80 old grandpap having just done a marathon. What on earth did he even enter the draw?

  17. Let’s Murray get the Unsportmanship Award 2017! Let’s idiotic rulemakers of slams gΒ΄to go to hell and cut the age at 25 and let USO be a BIG CHALLENGER FOR YOUTH. Let’s make America great again.
    Zverev? If he wins, it would be a pity and maybe start of dominance of his pretty primitive power playing tennis. But I do expect Darian King to oust him in first round.
    <nobody speaking seriously about Thiem. Thiem is making a steady revolution in his game this year. This is why he was so unstable before Wimbledon, but then lost to Berdych only because of bad-luck and missing experience. If he would go through, then getting walkover and playing Fed in SF, would not be bad result and boost his confidence. Then Thiem lost to almost-waon matches in Washington in Montreal, still working on his new hard-court game, unfortunately without Bresnik. But now expect from Thiem more. Bresnik is there, Thiem has trained far from the hype of Flushing Meadow and will be prepared by far better for USO. In the given situation (including uncertainty about Roger's back) I can see him even in the final and beating there Zverev (which would be good replacement for Roger beating Rafa, given Thiem's game is entertaining and explosive and full of passion and fire, all being opposite to Zverev). Still hoping for Fed to be 100% fit (now maybe a bit mentally unsure, how the back will hold) and confident and win the title (with Nadal losing not later than to Dimitrow, so finally an entertaining final Fed vs. BabyFed πŸ™‚

  18. Let’s all pray for Fed being 100% from start to finish. He should have the motivation and he will for ever have his amazing talent. He can beat anyone including Kyrios, Nadal and Zverev. I don’t care if his draw is tougher than what it should have been if Murray had the sense to withdraw earlier. He must be ready to meet and beat anyone if he has to win the title. I’m just worried about his recurring back issue and how it can stand up to the cool night matches and playing best of 5 on the hard courts against a bunch of grinders and power hitters. Hoping and praying that he stays healthy and fresh for the next 2 weeks.

      1. Why so pessimistic, Jonathan? What are you reading and seein other than others are? Or this is your buil-in preset pessimism to be nicely surprised? Should Fed even not be at 100%, first 3 rounds he can win withoud being stressed, right? Is this not enough for us right now to think 3 rounds ahead?

    1. “I’m just worried about his recurring back issue and how it can stand up to the cool night matches”

      Don’t worry: it would appear there’s no weather tomorrow night πŸ™‚ (see right)

  19. Saw a clip of Fed practicing with who I think was Thomas B on Saturday at the USO.

    He looked really good. Straight front leg on serve. Normal rotation. Running well. Normal receiving bend over crouch position.

    Only thing different was it seemed his posture when walking was a little more intentionally straightened. Like he’s trying to guard against putting weight in the wrong place with bad posture. Who could blame him?

      1. Jonathan, I agree, but hope we are wrong. He never does make much effort when practising. I expect he is worried that his back will give up.
        When they showed him at the Royal Wedding someone commented that he was walking stiffly, so let’s hope we are imagining. By the way I did think he was walking stiffly whenever we see him walking at the Open here.
        I’ve subscribed to Eurosport and it looks like his first match will be early o’clock on Tuesday night, what fun. Then we’ll see what’s what. I might not be able to watch it if he is losing.

    1. Agree. It’s wise to be careful after recovered from back issue (as any other injury) before it goes hard on hard. This way he is continuing the recovery and trying out but not all the time what happens, if he goes for 100% (which will of course be needed at some time in the matches).

    2. It’s Coric. Dunno why I put I my original post as it’s clearly him ? Fed hits with plenty people in the main draw pre slam ..
      Thinking about it bad news if he’s being careful in practice really. As practicer is always going to be the yard stick for what you can do once the tournament starts. If he can’t play at 100% in a practice set, how can you expect do in a match? Goes into the the draw with it in the back of his mind.

      I don’t really know if the back is a problem, but from the vids he looks somewhat hampered. See how he handles Tiafoe.

  20. I think, this was neither Tomas, nor Borna, but some anonymous professional hitting partners. Both not showed at all during ball exchanges, no handshaking. Would they not show at least for a while the training partner, if this was somebody from the main draw? And what would be the idea to practice with a public against a potential rival in a public session, while not planning to go for a really sharp hiting?

  21. Sorry, Jonathan, you are right – it’s Coric – I have seen this first in this unofficial video
    As to Rioger’s back and our impressions about his movement and hitting, I think, we all see the same (= some abnormalities in both), but interpreting differently. I have two following reasons to not be worried. First – I know the rehab process after injuries in tennis from own experience and I know from a physio, who was helping me with my regabs and is a prosessional working with athlets on highest level in different sports, that in every rehab there is a moment, ohysio knows 100%, the recovery is finished, but the athlet being still for some time restricted in his movements, shots, whatever. This is not about strictly subjective thinking (on conscious level) and being scared, physio could be wrong in his/her assessment, but it’s physiologic. You have injured your knee and there is a specific place in your brain, where this is memorized. So long it is not “deleted” from this memory, you feel like you was still not 100% fit, but physically you are. In most cases this lasts until the moment, you must go under full load, because it’s a match and you are programmed to try to win and then suddenly click – the memory is reset and from now on you feel really 100% fit and don’t need to be careful anymore. This is quite automatic and the affected person is mostly not aware of this moment, the observing physio is. On the other side (pure logics) do you think, Roger (and his team) would not decide to withdraw, if feeling, he will maybe lose the first match becouse of not being 100% fit? I’m sure, Roger would withdraw in such case, but he hasn’t. So – all goes well and we must wait until he goes under real match conditions and who is able to, will notice this CLICK πŸ™‚

    1. Roger played most of 2013 with a back issue. People thought he was washed up and should retire. He doesn’t look right to me and I’m stickin with it.

  22. People bagging on Murray for his withdrawal timing…

    I think it’s a bit over the top. He had every right to wait till the last minute he could to see if he felt just over the margin. If it was Fed I would have wanted the same thing for him regardless of its effect on anyone else.

    It’s not Andy’s job to protect Roger’s seeding or anyone else’s. This is a competition and he did nothing illegal or unfair.

    If anyone should get criticized perhaps it’s the draw planners who run the USO.

    In the main, the draw invariably gets hacked away by all kinds of injuries and withdraws and upsets anyway so there’s no use getting up in arms over it.

  23. If it was the WTA, Roger would have been put in the #2 slot. ATP are nuts and need to change their policies. Shuffling everyone around except #2.

  24. And they are saying Ashe is playing slower than normal. They had an issue with the court a while ago .
    Fed on 2nd night match Tues…8:30 local time?

    1. Wait…I’m confused. They don’t change the draw at all if someone pulls out after the draw is made, right?

      1. Maybe the back issue is real, maybe I concede that. But playing Montreal was a strategy to get more rest before USO by skipping Cincinnati. And it makes sense. Perhaps the back issue is playing spoilsport now. I refuse to believe he was planning on going into New York after playing back to back Masters 1000’s.

    1. One of his customary light hits but looks quite relaxed and chatty, and moving freely enough. Time will of course tell. Tough first round really in the circumstances i.e. confident opponent with a big recent win. And Roger with distraction and uncertainty.

      1. Usual languid session. Couldn’t quite see who he was playing but they did play a set. At one stage he chased a drop shot then chased the lob and tried a tweener. At times he tried some intense defensive movements. Again hard to tell really, matches are a different kettle of fish.

  25. Here we go, folks. Let’s hope that his back will hold up. No doubt that it will be tough from R4 onwards.
    Allez Rog!

  26. Hey all, Roger to win USO 2017. BOOM. Called it. Nailed it. BOOM πŸ™‚
    Uhmm Roger… please make this happen πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  27. Well that was pretty tough to watch, especially getting broken when serving for the match. Tiafoe played well but Federer was missing a lot of routine shots. In the interview they asked him how his back was, and he simply said he was feeling better than last year , which is a good way of evading the question. All in all as Jonathan said probably best to keep expectations close to zero here. Maybe the back issue can work itself out,.

  28. He says he was worried about the back in the 1st st but didn’t feel any pain.

    Was glad to go through a 5 setter and feel that good

    Intimated in the post match he really lacks preparation cause of Montreal

    Says courts are paying slow here

  29. Ugh. I woke up in time to watch the end of set#1 and the remaining of the match. When he was on his level, it was top notch, but the inconsistency almost sent him home. Credit to Tiafoe, who played it all out. Now I have some sleep to catch up with…

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