Federer could get giant killer in Open

Kim Clijsters (left) and referee Brian Early take part in the draw ceremony on Thursday. Clijsters, the defending champion, is seeded just behind Caroline Wozniacki on the women's side.

NEW YORK --- If Roger Federer is going to reach a seventh consecutive U.S. Open title match, he might need to get past the man who ended his Grand Slam semifinal streak.


Five-time U.S. Open champion Federer was given a possible quarterfinal against two-time French Open runner-up Robin Soderling in Thursday's draw. The No. 5-seeded Soderling upset Federer in the quarterfinals in Paris this year, stopping Federer's record run of reaching at least the semifinals at 23 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments.

The other men's matchups in the quarterfinals could be No. 1-seeded Rafael Nadal against No. 8 Fernando Verdasco, two-time major finalist Andy Murray against Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych, and No. 3 Novak Djokovic against No. 6 Nikolay Davydenko or No. 9 Andy Roddick.

The top-seeded woman, 2009 runner-up Caroline Wozniacki, could face 2006 champion Maria Sharapova in the fourth round and 2004 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals.

Other possible women's quarterfinals set up Thursday are defending champion Kim Clijsters against French Open runner-up Sam Stosur, 2000-01 U.S. Open winner Venus Williams against French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, and 2008 U.S. Open finalist Jelena Jankovic against Wimbledon runner-up Vera Zvonareva.

Murray could meet No. 20-seeded Sam Querrey, of the U.S., in the fourth round. Another American, Wimbledon marathon man John Isner, a former Georgia standout, is seeded 18th and also is in that quarter of the draw.

In the semifinals, Murray was drawn to meet Nadal, who lost in that round in New York each of the past two years.

Federer was drawn to meet Djokovic or Roddick in the semifinals. Aside from his potential rematch with Soderling, Federer could face another familiar opponent in the third round: 2001 U.S. Open and 2002 Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt.

Venus Williams, who is seeded No. 3, could face an intriguing matchup in the third round against No. 32-seeded Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria. Pironkova has won two of her previous three matches against her.

Men's top seeds

1. Rafael Nadal

2. Roger Federer

3. Novak Djokovic

4. Andy Murray

5. Robin Soderling

6. Nikolay Davydenko

7. Tomas Berdych

8. Fernando Verdasco

9. Andy Roddick

10. David Ferrer


1. Caroline Wozniacki

2. Kim Clijsters

3. Venus Williams

4. Jelena Jankovic

5. Sam Stosur

6. Francesca Schiavone

7. Vera Zvonareva

8. Li Na

9. Agnieszka Radwanska

10. Victoria Azarenka