24 Aug 2012

Federer, Murray drawn in same half for US Open

7:56 am on 24 August 2012

Andy Murray's hopes for a maiden grand slam at the US Open may require him to beat world number one Roger Federer for a second time in five weeks after the duo were placed in the same half of the draw.

Top seed Federer beat Murray last month to win his seventh Wimbledon crown and a record 17th grand slam title, but the Briton gained revenge when he crushed the Swiss master in the final of the Olympics at the All England Club.

Five-times US Open champion Federer plays American Donald Young in the first round, starting next week in New York, while third seed Murray faces Alex Bogomolov Junior of Russia.

Defending champion and second seed Novak Djokovic begins against Italy's Paolo Lorenzi and could face a semi-finals clash with fourth seed David Ferrer of Spain.

World number three Rafa Nadal, who has not competed since suffering a shock second-round Wimbledon defeat, withdrew from the US Open with a nagging knee problem.

On the women's side of the draw, the Williams sisters could meet in the semi-finals after Venus was slotted into the same half of the draw as her sister Serena and Polish second seed Agnieszka Radwanska, while Russian third seed Maria Sharapova and Belarus top seed Victoria Azarenka are in the opposite half.

Azarenka opens against Russia's Alexandra Panova and could meet defending champion Sam Stosur in the quarter-finals.