- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
US Open 2012: Roger Federer, Andy Murray could have rematch in semis
Question of the Day
NEW YORK — Though no player would admit to looking so far ahead, Novak Djokovic may have been the biggest winner when the U.S. Open bracket was set Thursday.
The defending champion and No. 2 seed can reach his third straight final at Flushing Meadows without having to face either Roger Federer or Andy Murray. Those two, meanwhile, wound up on the same side of the draw and could meet in the semifinals for a rematch of their recent finals at Wimbledon and the London Olympics.
“It’s a question of luck,” Djokovic said when asked about the only true drama in the unveiling of Thursday’s bracket — whether third-seeded Murray would end up on his or top-seeded Federer’s side of the draw. “You try to focus on what’s in your hands, what’s in your power. Thinking about the semifinal at this moment, I don’t think it’s the best thing.”
In the women’s bracket, third-seeded Maria Sharapova drew a possible semifinal matchup against top-seeded Victoria Azarenka and fourth-seeded Serena Williams could play No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska in the semifinals.
Rafael Nadal, ranked third, is out of this year’s tournament with a knee injury, marking the first time since 2008 that the quartet of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray haven’t been seeded 1 through 4 in some order at the U.S. Open.
Of the 16 semifinal spots over the last four Grand Slam tournaments, 14 have been occupied by one of the big four. Only Ferrer, at the French Open, and Jo Wilfried-Tsonga, at Wimbledon, have managed to break the stranglehold.
Top-seeded Federer is 8-9 against third-seeded Murray and the two have split their last two matches, both on Centre Court at the All England Club; Federer won the Wimbledon final and Murray took the gold-medal match at the London Olympics.
The potential men’s quarterfinals are Federer vs. No. 6 Tomas Berdych, who upset him in the 2010 Wimbledon quarterfinals; Djokovic vs. 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, seeded seventh; Murray vs. No. 5 Tsonga; Ferrer vs. No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic.
Sharapova completed the career Grand Slam at the French Open earlier this year, while Williams has 14 Grand Slam titles and is coming off wins at Wimbledon and the Olympics. Azarenka has one Grand Slam title — in Australia this year — while Radwanska’s best finish in a major was her three-set loss to Williams in this year’s Wimbledon final.
Williams‘ older sister Venus, who is ranked 47th this week and not seeded, plays American wild-card entry Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the first round and could face sixth-seeded Angelique Kerber in the second. Venus Williams, the 2000 and 2001 champion, pulled out of last year’s U.S. Open hours before she was scheduled to play in the second round, revealing that she had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.
Four-time major champion Kim Clijsters will begin what she says will be the last tournament of her career against American wild-card recipient Victoria Duval. Clijsters, a 29-year-old Belgian who is seeded 23rd, might face the defending champion, seventh-seeded Sam Stosur, in the fourth round.
Clijsters won the U.S. Open the last three times she entered the hard-court tournament, in 2005, 2009 and 2010. She missed it last year because of a stomach muscle injury.
Stosur, meanwhile, has struggled since defeating Serena Williams in the final last year for her first Grand Slam title. She lost in the first round of the Australian Open and the Olympics and the second round of Wimbledon. Her only big run in a major this year came at the French Open, where she fell in a mistake-filled, three-set semifinal to Sara Errani.
By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq