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Defending champ Nadal faces Golubev

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Originally published on: 26/08/11 10:19

Defending US Open champion Rafael Nadal helped pick out the draw for the US Open on Thursday and earned himself an opening round clash with world No.97 Andrey Golubev.

The 25-year-old Mallorcan, who went on to appear on David Letterman’s show later in the evening, will have to be in good form against the talented Kazakh, despite the fact that Golubev has only recently snapped a 17-match losing streak on the ATP Tour.

Elsewhere five-time champion Roger Federer is on the opposite side of the draw again and will meet 23-year-old Santiago Giraldo for the first time in his career.

Last year’s finalist Novak Djokovic faces a qualifier, while world No.4 Andy Murray will take on Commonwealth Games champion Somdev Devvarman of India.

The Scot, who reached the US Open final in 2008, faces a tough ask if he is to make his fourth Grand Slam final, with Feliciano Lopez a likely third round opponent and Stanislas Wawrinka – the man who ousted him from New York last year – a likely opponent in the last sixteen. Should he negotiate that test, the 24-year-old could face Sweden’s Robin Soderling in the quarter-finals, Nadal in the last four and Djokovic in the final.

Despite the ominous draw, four-time US Open champion John McEnroe reckons this could be Murray’s best chance to win a major tournament. “The hungriest man in the draw should be Murray. I think this is his best shot to win one,” said the American yesterday.

Now the favourite for the women’s title after picking up titles in Stanford and Toronto, Serena Williams kicks of her campaign against 19-year-old Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia, with a potential clash with Victoria Azarenka in round three. The Belarusian’s close pal Caroline Wozniacki meets Nuria Llagostera Vives in her latest campaign to break her Grand Slam duck, while Maria Sharapova, who defeated Laura Robson at Wimbledon, will open up against a Brit for the second Grand Slam in a row after being drawn against Heather Watson.

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