Grand SlamsRoger FedererUS Open

US Open Draw 2019: Federer Starts Against Sumit Nagal

The Swiss lands in Novak Djokovic's half for the final Grand Slam of the season

Roger Federer has landed in the top half of the 2019 US Open which means a potential semi-final showdown against his Wimbledon conqueror Novak Djokovic.

The draw has just taken place at Flushing Meadows and the Swiss will kick off his campaign against a qualifier in the first round. You can see his projected opponents below:

Federer's Projected Opponents

  • Round 1: Sumit Nagal
  • Round 2: Damir Dzhumur
  • Round 3: Lucas Pouille
  • Round 4: David Goffin
  • Quarter Final: Kei Nishikori
  • Semi Final: Novak Djokovic
  • Final: Rafael Nadal

Full PDF printable draw. (Qualifiers now added)

Thoughts on the Draw

Federer US Open Draw 2019

First up for Roger is Sumit Nagal who is playing his first main draw Grand Slam match after coming through qualifying. The Indian is at a career-high ranking of 190 and came from a set and 1-4 down in the final round to set up the biggest match of his career.

Out of all the names in qualifying, Nagal is one you'd cherry-pick as an opponent for Federer. Weak serve and no weapons. Just a solid baseliner but with very little experience with just 4 tour-level matches. He's obviously playing well to have qualified here and in Hamburg last month but I can't see him getting more than a handful of games.

Into round two and Damir Dzhumur is the likely opponent. Like Roger, he too faces a qualifier in the shape of Elliot Benchetrit. The Frenchman has a bit more experience than Nagal but I'd pick Dzhumur to come through.

However, the Bosnian hasn't had a great season so far with a few injuries and he's now outside the top 100 after a career-high of 23 in 2018. He's 0-3 at Grand Slams in 2019 and I don't see him having the weapons to cause Federer problems. I watched Roger play Dzhumur at Wimbledon live in 2015 and it was one-sided, with Damir giving 110% effort but to no avail.

Round three sees Lucas Pouille as the seeded opposition in what would be a rematch of the Wimbledon third round where Federer ran away a straight-sets victor. The Frenchman is highly unpredictable but is capable of big wins having beaten Nadal on Arthur Ashe in 2016 so can clearly give Federer a game.

Pouille doesn't have a free pass to the last thirty-two though and has to see off Kohlschreiber in the first round. The German has only won one main draw match since the French Open but like Pouille he's also played well in New York in years past.

Federer's new best mate Dan Evans is also in this section and the Brit has the game to make the third round having done it twice before in Flushing Meadows. Although after testing Nadal in Canada he's not had the best results and surprisingly split with coach David Felgate a few days ago.

Should Federer make the second week, David Goffin is the top seed and you'd expect him to make the last sixteen from a fairly lightweight section. The in-form Pella is in there and he'll be hoping to go one better than his third round here last year but the Belgian saw him off comfortably in Cincinnati and is the better hard court player.

Into the quarter-finals and former finalist, Kei Nishikori is the 7th seed. Raonic and Coric are in that quarter but neither of them have a great deal of form and have question marks around their fitness with Coric struggling since Halle and Raonic having to withdraw in Montreal.

As for the semi-finals defending champion Novak Djokovic is in this half along with the man of the moment Daniil Medvedev. That, of course, means Nadal is the top seed in the other half but that's a long way away!

Predictions for Federer

Fed Uniqlo

The aim for Federer is to get through the first couple of rounds and see if he can build his way into the tournament. 

Having lost early in Cincinnati he doesn't have too many hard court matches under his belt and his confidence won't be at an all-time high given the Rublev loss and Wimbledon.

The good news is that he's been in New York since Saturday, holding multiple practice sessions with the aim of getting used to the expected heat and humidity which affected him last year. A good job too given he often has a ton of sponsor commitments in the city that never sleeps.

Overall I like his draw too, some potentially testing matches in there where he might have to grind out the win but nobody too dangerous or capable of taking the racquet out of his hand.

What do you guys think of the draw? Expectations for Federer? Let me know 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. I love NYC but that heat and humidity did me in last year. Becoming so sick near the end of the trip and other problems, glad to be watching the action from home!
    The draw looks decent for Fed. Of course the big story is Djoker looming in the semis. I wonder if his elbow is causing him problems again? Maybe Millman will take him out!
    I see Felix and Shapo play 1st round again this year. Pity.
    Pray to the tennis gods, Roger’s feeling good and the confidence is there. And the gear breathes!

    1. Everything Sue said! (except I wasn’t in NYCπŸ—½last year)
      I’m so excited for Fed’s USO matches to start – GO FED

    2. Think he said elbow fine, I don’t follow Djok news off-court enough to really know though and his fans on Twitter are what Crooked Hillary would call deplorable so I avoid.

  2. Let’s hope he has better luck than with the last Q he played! As I said, they can be tricky, and in form by the time they reach the main draw.

    Oh, and BTW, what’s this ad in the middle of my screen: “5 Herbs Calm Arthritic Joints” – showing a picture of the knee joint! Hope that’s not indicative of anything.

      1. The memory goes as you get older πŸ™‚ (as do the joints, she says, knocking back some glucosamine – thanks for the reminder)

  3. Thought the picture of Fed sitting on the floor rather strange?
    Anyway not a bad draw I guess,Dan Evans could be difficult.
    Hard to know what to say with Fed these days,could go all the way or get knocked by someone who we will never hear of again.
    Nadal has the usual cakewalk to the final.
    Djoker has Medvedev,but he has played an awful lot of tennis and who knows what he will do in best of five.
    So finding it hard to be upbeat.Sadly.


      1. Looks a little playboyish to me like that other one on the bed with the leopard skin print, white shorts, jacket. πŸ™‚

      2. Thanks Wanda – a nice interview. BTW – He likes his uniqlo, very suitable for him it seems. And he likes Stefan Edberg, the other very nice and noble tennis guy. All good.

      3. Well, he’s not going to say he thinks Uniqlo are average is he? πŸ˜†

        Complete PR spiel. He said he loves how accessible Uniqlo is. Except if you are Swiss in which case you can’t buy it.

      4. Yeah, not crazy about the socks or jeans. White jeans were nice. I don’t like the style of the photoshoot either. Picky me.

      5. Yeah, I’m not a huge fan of the photo styling either when I saw it. Not exactly of interest to me but saw the pics all over twitter and I wasn’t like “ah that’s cool”.

        But I included it here anyway for the female contingent.

    1. Oh, dear, that picture should be on a wall calendar of a gay-friendly car repair shop…
      Or on a ladies hairdressing salon.

  4. Ro6er has a good draw
    Hope he wins the title defeating Djoker and Nadull on the way, would be a career first (with no wasted MP’s)

  5. Thankful as always to have Fed playing in another slam. I hope he will be able to cope with the conditions. Go Roger!

  6. FedEx needs to adapt to the long rallies. If Federer plays Djokovic in the SF , then Federer must employ the backhand slice shot VERY OFTEN . Djokovic known for his footwork struggled to cope up with the backhand slices of Federer in ’19 Wimbledon. Federer inevitably will REACH THE Semi Finals. BEST WISHES for FEDERER from SOUTH AFRICA.

    1. Was the slice effective in Wimbledon final? I can’t remember tbh, match is a bit of a blur now other than the tie breaks and trying to serve it out.

      1. Yes, it was.
        Fed broke Djoker – how many times??? Just played a bit too much on the safe side in the tie breaks.

  7. I hope for a cakewalk to the title… Medvedev taking out Djokovic and Nadal losing earlier to Struff or Khachanov.
    It will be some kind of relief.

    1. I expect upsets but who they are is impossible to tell. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Fed lose early giving recent USO history. But we shall see.

    2. Amen to that, but highly doubtful Djoko will get caught out again esp in a Slam.
      He’ll crucify him.
      Anyway, I want Roger to beat him.

  8. Roger has the goods for sure. My recommends are watch that corner backhand control, come to the net to control and be powerfully tricky and unpredictable as heck! Get right in there and take the court and command Roger. Show em, you mean business! I’ll be right there cheering you on all the way.

      1. Sigh going to miss first week of USO, away for work conference. Someone has to chant β€˜hold’ and β€˜break’ ha ha ha

  9. Has to be either Djoker or Nadull in the semis. Neither one would be a shoo in. Decent draw to make the semis. Hope he does one better than Wimbledon and achieve the almost impossible task for a 38 year old to take out the big 2 to win the title. Too early for dreaming. None of them are guaranteed to be in the semis even though that is what invariably happens. Hope Medvedev continues his mastery over Djokovic πŸ™‚ and Millman show Nadull that he can continue to upset the top guys.

    1. I think Millman is another one who has done zilch since beating Fed last year.So it would be a miracle if he were to beat Nadal this year,although it is early in the tournament and Nadal may not
      have played himself in.Still we all know how draws can collapse at slams so one match at a time I guess.

      1. You know quite well he hasn’t.Although he came within two match points of doing so.
        Warwinka,another Swiss,is the only player with the honour of doing so.
        As I am quite sure you are aware😬

    2. You can only dream a Federer will never win a major again although
      draw are set for him he will not win us open.

  10. A doable draw for a change with some likable players along his way and I like it.
    Yep, arriving early and tons of practice sessions will compensate for the lack of match fitness. Ready for the tedious time lag, Jonathan? Bon courage!

      1. At Winston-Salem, they haven’t even played the quarter finals yet! Those players will have no time to prepare for their matches at the USO, Millman and Shapo amongst them.
        Don’t know about that “Rise Again” t-shirt. Did Fed drop out of the top 100?

      1. Well,what can we say.Fed a bit undercooked but nothing compared to Thiem,who has zero match practice and has been ill.
        For all that I wouldn’t write either of them off.

  11. Think his confidence should be fine. The Cincinnati loss is the kind of thing that can happen on a fast court in Bo3, when he’s transitioning from a different surface. As for Wimbledon, he beat his great rival in the semis and was one point away from taking the title over the World #1 who had won three of the previous four majors…so you cannot say he is playing badly.

    Draw looks pretty good: the first couple matches are straightforward, and the other opponents leading up to the semis are tough but manageable–they don’t have the firepower needed to overwhelm Federer in Bo5.

    Should he make the semis, I actually believe he has a better shot against Djokodal on HC than on grass. He can return serve with more aggression and doesn’t have to worry about bad bounces. He was one point away from doing the Djokodal double at the All-England Club–he should have a good chance of doing it here.

    I think he will use the defeats at Wimbledon and Cincinnati to motivate himself. At Wimbledon, he always plays with a little more pressure than at other tournaments because of the central importance it has in his season. One upside of losing in Cincinnati, virtually no one is picking him as the favorite in NY, so he can play more freely.

    C’mon Roger!

    1. Federer’s win would be a big upset, hahaha … But you never know. It’s the first meeting I guess, so Federer will be “a bit tentative” which can end in losing first set or two πŸ˜‰
      And some still talking here about Nadal’s easy cakewalk draws every tournament πŸ™‚

  12. Expectations are about 0. After losing Wimbledon I think the entire remainder of the season, at the very least, is a complete washout. I don’t think he recovers from that mentally. Based on draw he should reach at least the quarters but I wouldn’t be shocked to see hin exit before that. If he somehow gets to the semis, well imo the tournament is over there regardless because I don’t think he can beat Djokovic ever again.

    Personally I haven’t watched a single match since Wimbledon and I don’t think I’ll change that for one of my least favourite tournaments. I’ll probably end up buckling and trying to follow some, but no way am I waiting till 3am etc this year. Obviously hope I’m completely wrong on all this but I just have no optimism for this one after Wimbledon. I think the only way to recover from something like that is to win a slam, and I really don’t think that’s happening here.

    1. Should have won Cincy. That woukd have helped after last year.
      But it was clearly too big an ask after Wimby loss.
      At least Djoker didnt get there.

  13. Yes, it was.
    Fed broke Djoker – how many times??? Just played a bit too much on the safe side in the tie breaks.

    1. Yes those damm tiebreaks,and Fed has an excellent record in tie breaks.
      Still what is done is done.No good crying over spilt milk,etcetc.
      Upwards and onwards.
      I am a bit worried about Pouille.He is just the sort of player to play the match of his life and then disappear.
      Once again Stan gets a terrible draw.Must be very frustrating not to be able to improve his ranking.

  14. Damn- bad news about Dan & Feldgate! Wonder why?
    Other than the unknown Qualie who I’ll take your word for it Jonathan is not a problem, nor Dzhumhur (who is indeed having a bad year- shame, I like him too ever since the Istanbul match where he tried even harder than Wimby15)-these draws are nice players who Roger likes playing – not BasherBoys. This should all help him to settle into the tournament. One can but hope he picks up his level by Monday.

      1. Evans was being coached by David Felgate. They split earlier this month which was a bit of a surprise.

  15. The G7 is opening now in Biarritz.
    We don’t know yet what will be decided.
    In a few days, to play Fed, for Nagal : a Sumit.
    And we hope there won’t be too much heat.
    On the Ashe court, where the players will hit
    Hungry, Roger will be hard to beat.
    Come on, Switz !Β 

    1. They say about G7 that the disagreement is too big to get any decision, so they probably won’t be intending that.
      Yes! Switz come on without to much sweating

    2. Whatever they decide it won’t be of any benefit to us.

      @muser I have just been reading about Jyske Bank offering people negative interest rates to buy a house πŸ˜† What do you think about that?

      1. Hey Jon, about banks paying upside down. Soon we have to pay interests for money to be kept/invested on our bank accounts. I never was a finance expert, and is even more stimulated to try to escape it. Well soon enough we’ll have a nice read about Roger’s escape yesterday night -. Looking forward

      2. Yeah negative interest rates are already a thing across much of Europe. Gotta keep the Ponzi scheme alive somehow. Well, you don’t have to like finance but it’s best to try keep abreast of it, gotta escape the illegal banker occupation somehow.

  16. This week the weather in NY has been a bit strange: hot, humid and stormy. One session was cancelled altogether because of a thunderstorm/ ray warning. Yesterday, during the Kalinskaya/Mohammed match, the camera pointed upwards during a break and showed a giant cloud whirlpool.

  17. After the Wimbledon heartbreak, tennis has gone numb on me. The NY weather is not helping as well. Djoko and Nadal easily cruises to the final since there is no one with a backbone to take the game to them except for old Fed who lost the mental edge since 2018 IW finals. The # of finals Fed lost is just sickening. Wimbledon took all the hype and energy from me.

    Its a good feeling to just sit back and turn the eye to USO when needed.

    1. speakong about “# of finals ….”
      RF = 20 GS vs. Djokov. = 16 GS
      Considering a perfect scenario, without the losses at Wimbledon, it could be 23-13…

  18. A pretty decent draw and should reach 4th run. From there on, it will largely depend on his confidence. Losing to Rulev at Cinncy does not help. It will be getting harder mentally for Roger to dig even deeper to find inner strength to come out of the Wimbledon ‘loss’ (it was just a single fxxxxxx point). Roger has been there before with Rafa. I am confident that GOAT will find the way and above all inner strengths to turn this around (he had pretty much done it at Wimbledon but without trophy).
    Allez Rog!

    1. “(he had pretty much done it at Wimbledon but without trophy)”

      When? The one-sided matchup now isn’t Nadal, but Djokovic. Has been for years tbh. He still found a way to lose, if anything the mental domination Djokovic had has only gotten stronger thanks to Wimbledon.

  19. K.Anderson has withdrawn from NY.
    Thus Dopovic’s quarter got a bit cheaper (even if I did not expect anything certain from Mr.Anderson…).
    Lorenzi is the LL..

  20. Thiem has a jetlag-related virus infections since Canada. Still not in form, skipping one practice after other (with Garin, Nadal, Stan). No fitness preparation as usual with Duglas Cordero. Today scheduled for 1 hour with Albot and 1 hour with trainer. Not his usual training pensum.
    But I have seen in this Fed exhibition practice, both were only kind of hitting πŸ™
    I’m not sure, if Thiem does not withdraw before or after first match (like in Australia – very similar virus story).

      1. With or without any Sir πŸ˜‰ it’s a good advice for him. 2 weeks would ne enough and what a relax and no jetlag, no virus. Some bigger boats have for sure tennis courts, so he could make the whole preparation before landing πŸ™‚

  21. Why should Fed also have a problem?
    Thiem has one and I guses he just asked Fed to keep the practice as they did. It’s as simple as that…

    1. He shouldn’t. But can be a bit rusty. That’s a kind of problem too. Not comparable with illness though.
      You may be right about the exhibition practice.
      Fed’s task for today is not so hard to be scared, of course. He needs tougher opponents in next rounds to shake off the rust. I’m sure, he will. Then the freshness after long pause turns an advantage.. Evans > Pella /Goffin> Nishikori – good route to get high level and confidence without too much risk before Djoker πŸ™‚

    1. I have understood, what you meant. This was so called “featured practice” for fans.
      Thiem may have asked Fed to take another partner, but he was just OK for such loose hitting.

  22. Thought I saw Fed say last year at Cincy he had a bit of a back problem & so wasn’t able to prepare for NY as he would have liked. This year he has. (Typical, not mentioning a back problem until a year later…)

    Weather, while warm, should not be as extreme as last year. Fed plays last Mon eve so temperatures & humidity should hopefully have moderated.

    Cautiously optimistic.

    1. At eve temperatures go down but humidity usually rises. Between 5pm and 9pm temperature falls from 23 to 18 but humidity rises from 53% to 67%. Shouldn’t be a problem πŸ™‚

    2. I was wondering about the ‘back problem’ last summer – maybe why he was lacklustre in the final to Djoker. I definitely recall 2017, when Fed lost the Canadian Open final to Alexander Zverev due to really obvious back issues. He didn’t play Cincinnati in 2017, so perhaps his back was off in Cincinnati for 2018 too. I’m Cautiously optimistic too!

  23. Looks like Fed is going to Nadal’s wedding. Oh, wish I was a fly on the wall. And why all this constant press about Felix. Enough already. Hardly anything about Djoker. Tee-hee.

    1. Felix is a bit overrated (still missing big skills, which is normal for the age) and doesn’t need too much pressure/press on him πŸ™‚ Djoker can live and win without press and pressure on him? Impossible πŸ˜‰

      1. Maybe only Roger. It will not be a big hype ceremony, rather quite and private.

        Now there is another question. Rafa was talking many times, he could not copy Roger’s approach to have family still being on the tour.

        If he decided to marry, so I guess, it’s just to have family. Nadal was declaring to want to have lot of children and a happy family, so going to retire soon?

      2. @PRF: Andy Murray said that once upon a time, too. Now look at him (is no. 3 on the way?)

        @Jonathan: the site has lost my login details again, for some reason.

    1. Whaaat? No, the gods must be crazy.
      (Yesterday I’ve watched a little from last year’s USO final replay on Eurosport. It was astonishing how Novak was consistently hitting fast balls deeply withing just a few cm from the baseline. It must drain all the animus from the opponent. It’s his way of playing, and everyone knows that, but if you focus your attention on that detail, it’s scary. And bloody efficient too. And boring as hell… sorry, as heaven.)

  24. And another thing that drives me crazy is all the write ups about the players who beat Fed. Just in the last week or two, there has been an article about Millman, Wimby final loss, big thing about Rublev, and now Cilic in the semis at USO five years ago. Am I blind or is there multiple articles about players beating Nadal or Djoker or someone else at events. Always a focus on someone beating Roger.

    1. Of course, and it could never be the other way round!
      If you study the Theory of Information, the significance of a specific piece of information is inversely proportional to its likelihood of occurring.

      -Roger beating someone is very likely, therefore that information is basically irrelevant.
      -Someone beating Roger is very unlikely, therefore it’s very important information.

      So, you don’t need to get crazy: it’s a fundamental fact!
      Seriously, look it up…

      1. Just what i said before having read your post.
        Now just the Millman’s case. He beat Roger and is now going to play Nadal. Is it easier to beat Roger than Nadal?
        This way Millman gets implanted into Nadal’s head and Nadal will be shaking since first serve πŸ˜‰

  25. Roger Federer aka The Goat to win USO 2019. BOOM. Called it. Nailed it. BOOM πŸ™‚

    Well… you know… if Roger makes it through the first round… and well…. you know… the second round… and well… third round would be nice to win too… and ofcourse fourth round would be great to win… and well…. if we are talking about that… QF would be amazing to get through… and well… if we did make it that far… getting through the SF would be awesome… and if… you know… SOMEHOW…. we are still standing and in the US…. getting through the Final would be super duper and holding the winners trophy would be a seriously dream come true πŸ™‚

    But I am 1000% sure that Roger IS winning USO 2019 πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  26. Oh and one more thing… I kind of hoped Satan would be bored with winning with no competition except a 38 year old Goat… but since Daddy Dearest said that Satan only needed 4 or 5 GS to beat the Goat…. I think Satan will do anything to get there…sigh… damn….


  27. So much talk of DJO overtaking Fed, is NADAL the forgotten man,
    does anyone really think he won’t put his heart and soul into the
    fray. I confess to being a little fed up with the topic, sure I would
    like Roger to finish with a flourish but whatever the outcome for
    me he’s been the most enjoyable player to watch.

    1. Nadal’s trophy count at majors is hampered by having 2/3 of them won on the same tournament/surface.
      It’s just another statistic and not quite as meaningful as many people think, and certainly not the be-all-end-all of any β€œpost era” analysis/ranting/face punching/setting fire to the other one’s crops.

    2. Yes, Roger gives us all the best of tennis and beauty of sports, so naturally we want to celebrate his accomplishments in all possible way. And regardless how it goes in the future, regardless of anything! But isn’t it SO nice a confirmation of this anyway, when he wins –

  28. Haha yeah, they both want to overtake him because they are so close, but somehow Roger ALWAYS stays ahead of them… he will also do that now. He will try anything not to let them overtake him…

    1. The softness, the delicacy of Federer. He could shave a mouse in its sleep. He staggers you with the virtuosity of the range of skills that he has, it’s not just anticipation, it’s not just perfect-shots, it’s not back & forehands winners, return winners, it’s not number of aces or 1st serve, it’s not the statistics. It’s definitely not the statistics and it’s what we have to really truly realize that statistics can only measure so much achievements, and we say great players are those who achieve great statistics but then there’s the art of tennis where there’s something that you cannot put in statiscally, that’s the breathtaking brilliance of the gameplay, and we can only go “what is that?” How do we measure human art through the eyes, what do you take from that sort of performance, the extreme consistency of the state of art year after years and the magnetism that draw eyes to the court where he plays. He’s a modern samurai of tennis where discipline meets art and where body is quicker than the mind which in turn transforms into shots and movements that eyes can barely understand let alone reproduce. Let us just be entertained by this pure essence of tennis art. Let us rejoyce that against all odds the sheer artistery that inhabits the man is not yet emptied. Tennis I love you. Long live tennis.

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