The draw for the 2012 U.S. Open was revealed on Thursday and five-time champion Roger Federer could meet reigning titlist Novak Djokovic in the final next month.
The world No. 1 Federer will open his stay against struggling American Donald Young, while the former top-ranked Djokovic will meet Italian Paolo Lorenzi in the first round. The left-handed Young has lost 18 of his last 19 matches on tour.
Federer appears to have a nice path in the top half of the draw until a potential meeting with American Mardy Fish, seeded 23rd, in the fourth round. The super Swiss could face sixth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych or resurgent 27th- seeded American Sam Querrey in the quarterfinals.
Potential semifinal opponents for Federer could be third-seeded Andy Murray or fifth-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Murray will open up against Russian Alex Bogomolov Jr., while Tsonga will face a qualifier in round one.
Murray could face rising Canadian Milos Raonic, the 15th seed, in the fourth round or Tsonga in the quarters.
The British star Murray beat the 17-time Grand Slam king Federer in the Olympic gold-medal match earlier this month and lost to Federer in the Wimbledon final last month and the U.S. Open final in 2008.
Federer won the U.S. Open title from 2004-2008 and is tied with American greats Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors with five U.S. Open championships -- the most in the Open Era.
In the bottom half of the 128-player field, the second-seeded Djokovic could face former U.S. Open champ Juan Martin del Potro in the quarters, and del Potro could tangle with 20th-seeded American Andy Roddick in the fourth round. Del Potro will open up against fellow Argentine David Nalbandian, while the 2003 Open champion Roddick's first match of the fortnight will come against a qualifier.
Del Potro stunned Federer in the 2009 finale in New York, and is the only man not named Federer, Djokovic or Rafael Nadal to win a major championship since the 2005 Australian Open (Marat Safin) -- a span of 30 Grand Slam events.
The reigning U.S. and Australian Open champion Djokovic could meet fourth- seeded Spaniard David Ferrer, eighth-seeded Serb Janko Tipsarevic or ninth- seeded American John Isner in the semis. The 6-foot-10 Isner will open against Belgian Xavier Malisse and could meet Ferrer in the quarterfinals.
Djokovic beat Nadal, the 2010 champ, in last year's final to capture his first career U.S. Open title in his third final in Flushing. The French Open champion Nadal will miss the latest edition of the Open due to a bad knee.
The 2012 U.S. Open will commence Monday in Flushing Meadows.