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
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
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.