The draws for the 2013 U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, NY were announced on Thursday morning, and if the seeding holds, Slam favorite Rafael Nadal could meet Roger Federer in the quarterfinals of the tournament, marking their first ever match at the U.S. Open.
Nadal, the No. 2 seed coming off recent back-to-back hardcourt titles in Montreal and Cincinnati, could face No. 7 Federer – the five-time Open champion – in the fifth round.
Nadal, the U.S. Open winner in 2010, missed last year's tournament while recovering from his injured knee, but he boasts a 53-3 record heading into this year's tournament, including a streak of 15-consecutive hardcourt wins. Although Nadal owns the individual battle over his Swiss counterpart (21-10), Federer will try to run his career Grand Slam title count to 18, six more than the Spaniard.
The potential winner of that matchup could see No. 4 seed David Ferrer, whose tireless play earned him a trip to the French Open final earlier this year.
The other semifinal could see world No. 1 Novak Djokovic take on recent Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, also the reigning Open champion. His five-set victory over Djokovic in last year's final marked Murray's first ever major title. Djokovic is seeking an appearance in the final for the fourth consecutive year.
On the women's side, No. 1 seed Serena Williams, last year's champ, could face No. 2 Victoria Azarenka in the U.S. Open final for the second-straight year. Azarenka, 24, has beaten Williams twice this year, including a win last week in the finals of the Western and Southern Open, but Williams owns the head-to-head battle 12-3.
One potential roadblock for a re-match could be No. 15 Sloane Stephens, who defeated Williams in the quarterfinals of the Australina Open in January in three sets. They could meet in the fourth round.
The road to the finals also got significantly easier on Wednesday evening when world No. 3 Maria Sharapova dropped out of the tournament with bursitis in her right shoulder.