Top seed Novak Djokovic faces a challenging early test at the US Open following Friday’s draws for the year’s last grand slam starting on Monday.
Djokovic, who has been bothered by a wrist injury, faces towering Jerzy Janowicz of Poland in his opening match at Flushing Meadows, and is likely to meet 48th-ranked Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic in the second round.
Vesely beat the Serbian world No.1 earlier this season on clay in Monte Carlo.
“I’m doing everything in my power … to make sure that I’m as close to 100 per cent as possible,” Djokovic told reporters, saying he hurt his wrist in Rio a few days before the start of the Olympic tournament, where he lost in the first round.
Djokovic is seeded to face either Frenchman Richard Gasquet or big-serving American John Isner in the fourth round, with France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or 2014 champion Marin Cilic, who ended Andy Murray’s win streak in the Cincinnati final, as possible quarter-final opponents.
Men’s second seed Murray, who ran off 22 wins in a row including his second Wimbledon title and successful defence of his Olympics crown, appeared to get a more favourable draw.
The Scotsman opens against Czech Lukas Rosol, has Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria or Feliciano Lopez of Spain as potential fourth-round foes with Japan’s sixth-seeded Kei Nishikori possibly waiting for him in the quarters.
Third seed Stan Wawrinka, who is in Murray’s half of the draw, begins against Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco, and may have to deal with Bernard Tomic or Nick Kyrgios, in the fourth round.
Fourth-seeded Rafa Nadal, winner of 14 slams, and fifth seed Milos Raonic of Canada could clash in the quarters for a possible semi-finals showdown with Djokovic.