Top seed Roger Federer begins the bid for his sixth U.S. Open title next week against American Donald Young, who has lost 20 of 22 matches this year.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia will face Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi in the first round, according to the draw for the year’s final Grand Slam tennis tournament. The U.S. Open begins Aug. 27 at the National Tennis Center in New York.
Djokovic said yesterday at the draw ceremony that players try to avoid the temptation to look beyond the early rounds.
“Thinking about the semifinals at this point is not a good idea,” he said. “You try to focus on what is in your hands.”
Federer, 31, of Switzerland, who won the U.S. Open title every year from 2004 to 2008, is 56-7 this year with six tournament titles. Young, 23, has slipped to 80th in the ATP World Tour Rankings after being No. 38 at the end of February.
Federer faces a possible fourth-round match against American Mardy Fish, the 23rd seed, and a potential semifinal against No. 3 Andy Murray of Britain, who defeated Federer in the London Olympics gold-medal match two weeks ago after losing to him in the Wimbledon final in early July.
Juan Martin Del Potro, the 2009 champion and the seventh seed this year, faces perhaps the toughest first-round match among the top seeds in David Nalbandian, a fellow Argentine who is 45th in the world after reaching No. 3 in 2006.
In the women’s draw, No. 4 Serena Williams, the even-money favorite among Las Vegas oddsmakers, will face Coco Vandeweghe, 20, in the first round. The two Americans met in the final of a tournament at Stanford, California, in mid-July, with the 30-year-old Williams winning 7-5, 6-3. Top seed Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus faces Alexandra Panova of Russia in a battle of 23-year-olds.
Kim Clijsters, a three-time champion who has said the U.S. Open will be her final Grand Slam tournament, is seeded 23rd and could play Li Na of China in the third round in a rematch of the 2011 Australian Open final won by Clijsters. If the 29-year-old Belgian reaches the fourth round, she could face defending-champion Samantha Stosur of Australia, the seventh seed.