Tough draw for Djokovic

Somdev to take on World No 4 Murray in first round

The Serbian has already won this season's Australian Open and Wimbledon titles and is the overwhelming favourite to win the last Grand Slam of 2011, starting at Flushing Meadows on Monday, to wrap up the top spot for the end of year rankings.

But a niggling shoulder injury that forced him to quit last weekend's Masters final in Cincinnati, has raised questions about his fitness, especially with his foes lurking ominously at the business end of the tournament after the official draw was conducted in New York on Thursday.

Djokovic was drawn to launch his tournament against an as yet unknown qualifier but if results go according to the rankings, the top seed will face a tricky last weekend, when the semifinals and final will be played on successive days.

His projected semifinal opponent is five-time US Open champion and third seed Federer, who faces Colombia's Santiago Giraldo in the first round. If Djokovic can beat the most prolific male Grand Slam winner of all time, his opponent in the final could be either Nadal, who beat him in last year's final, or the in-form Briton Andy Murray.

"Last year was a very emotional time for me, because I completed all my Grand Slams," Nadal said at Thursday's draw after the second seeded Spaniard was drawn to face Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev first up. "It was very tough but I played some of my best tennis in the final (against Djokovic) and I known I can do well."

Somdev meets Murray

Former World number one John McEnroe, speaking on American television network ‘ESPN’, said he was tipping Murray to win the men's singles title. The fourth-seeded Scotsman is the only player in the top four who has yet to win a Grand Slam but has been in great form during the US hardcourt season. "The hungriest guy out there should be Andy Murray," McEnroe said. "This is his best chance ever to win a major."

Murray will face India’s top singles player Somdev Devvarman. Ranked 64th in the world, 26-year-old Somdev will face an uphill task to advance beyond the first round against the in-form Murray.

Serena’s return

The return of American Serena Williams provided an element of suspense and intrigue to the women's draw, weakened by the absence of injured Belgian Kim Clijsters, who won the title the past two years.

Williams, the dominant figure in women's tennis over the past decade, has won the US Open three times but the former World number one was relegated to 28th seed after her ranking tumbled during her long absence from the game, because of health problems.
The 29-year-old American has won two tournaments since returning and was lurking as one of the dangerous floaters in the draw. She was paired to meet Serbia's Bojana Jovanovska in the opening round with fourth seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus waiting in the third round.

Russia's Maria Sharapova, seeded third, was drawn to face Britain's Heather Watson in the first round ahead of a possible quarterfinal against Petra Kvitova, the Czech who beat her in this year's Wimbledon final.

Sania faces Peer

Sania Mirza will face Israeli Sahar Peer in the first-round.
Mirza, who is coming to New York following a string of losses in first rounds and qualifiers since her comeback post Wimbledon, is also expected to find the going tough against Peer.

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