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PHOTOS/VIDEO: Rafael Nadal and Sloane Stephens at the Draw Ceremony at US Open 2018
Top seed and defending champ Nadal has never been one to shy away from a tough draw, but there must have been a collective sigh of relief amongst the Nadal camp upon learning that career-long rivals Federer and Djokovic both landed on the opposite side of the Mallorcan’s 2018 US Open draw.
Not that Nadal has an easy road. He’ll open against countryman and longtime Davis Cup teammate David Ferrer – a two-time semifinalist in Flushing Meadows (2007, 2012) – and could face American Jack Sock or Brit Kyle Edmund in the Round of 16. Beyond that lies a potential rematch of last year’s US Open final, this time in the quarters, as No. 5 seed Kevin Anderson also lurks in Nadal’s quadrant.
To get there, Anderson, a Wimbledon runner-up earlier this summer, would have to navigate the likes of Dominic Thiem, Denis Shapovalov and Andrey Rublev, or Americans Sam Querrey, Steve Johnson, Taylor Fritz and Ryan Harrison. After his run to the Toronto title, Nadal opted to sit out the Cincy Masters and arrives at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center rested and ready. That’s bad news for the opposition.