Roger Federer conceded he had expected a greater test from David Goffin after he trounced the world number 15 in three sets in the US Open fourth round.

Federer needed just an hour and 19 minutes to see off Goffin 6-2 6-2 6-0 and progress to a quarter-final with Grigor Dimitrov.

The 20-time grand slam champion has hit his stride since dropping a set in each of his first two matches, having dispatched Dan Evans for the loss of only five games in round three.

In his post-match media conference Federer was asked about the particularly emphatic nature of his win over Goffin, and revealed he had anticipated more from the Belgian.

"Sometimes these scores just happen. You catch a good day, the opponent doesn't, then things happen very quickly," Federer said.

"Maybe he struggled a bit early on. But I found my groove after a while and was able to roll really. Never looked back. David wasn't nearly as good as I expected him to be. He was struggling a little bit today. I was able to take advantage of it, and I think that's the key.

"In a fourth round like this, if you can keep it nice, short, simple, you have to take them. I'm very happy."

In Dimitrov, Federer faces a player enjoying a resurgence at Flushing Meadows, the Bulgarian reaching his first tour-level quarter-final since January by overcoming Alex de Minaur.

During his emergence Dimitrov was known by many as 'Baby Fed', and the Swiss still sees him as his closest competitor stylistically.

"I'm happy that things are going better for him after he won Cincinnati a couple of years ago. Also the World Tour Finals. He had a bit of a slump," Federer said.

"This is the big quarters for him, obviously with an opportunity against me. I'm aware of the fact it's a big match for him.

"I've done well against him in the past. But new match, new Grigor, new me again. I don't know where we're going to be, if it's day or night, all that stuff.

"But I like watching him. I like playing against him. Of course, when we play, it's as close as it gets to being a similar playing style. I think for both of us it's cool to play one another."

Roger Federer's quest to reach a first US Open final since 2015 continued at pace as he dismantled David Goffin in straight sets at Flushing Meadows.

Federer has breezed through the draw in New York and, despite going down an early break at Arthur Ashe Stadium, was able to enjoy another comfortable early afternoon triumph.

The 20-time grand slam champion needed only an hour and 19 minutes to complete a 6-2 6-2 6-0 triumph in imperious fashion

Having easily avoided falling at the same stage he did last year, Federer will now face either Grigor Dimitrov or Alex de Minaur for a place in the semi-finals.

Goffin produced early signs of a potential shock when he put Federer under pressure in the third game and the Swiss netted a backhand to surrender a break.

However, Federer swiftly responded in kind and then broke to love for a 4-2 lead before going on to take the first set in just 27 minutes.

Belgian Goffin pulled a backhand wide to give Federer the break and a 3-1 advantage in the second. However, Federer went down 0-40 on serve in the subsequent game and handed the break back with a double fault.

Yet a poor volley followed by a poor backhand from Goffin saw Federer take the initiative once more, and there were to be no further slip-ups from the 38-year-old as he raced to victory.

Goffin's third-set surrender was meek as Federer shifted through the gears, brilliantly dictating proceedings and pulling a tiring world number 15 from pillar to the post.

Federer wrapped things up in trademark style with stylish backhand down the line to delight the crowd and send him into the last eight.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Roger Federer [3] bt David Goffin 6-2 6-2 6-0

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Federer – 35/17
Goffin – 8/17

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Federer – 10/3
Goffin – 0/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Federer – 9/10
Goffin – 2/7

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Federer – 68
Goffin – 50

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Federer – 83/40
Goffin – 40/27

TOTAL POINTS
Federer – 83
Goffin - 39

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer remain on a collision course to meet in the US Open semi-finals after they each claimed straight-sets wins to reach the last 16.

Djokovic declared himself "almost pain-free" after coming through a decent test from Denis Kudla and sealing a meeting with Stan Wawrinka, the defending champion having faced questions about his troublesome left shoulder going into his 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory.

Federer has had no such fitness issues and breezed through against Daniel Evans, though the Swiss was forced to respond to suggestions he had influenced the decision to have him play first on Arthur Ashe against the Briton, who had come through a four-set encounter on Thursday.

Next for Federer is David Goffin after the Belgian overcame Pablo Carreno Busta in three sets.

Daniil Medvedev provided late drama in the last match on Louis Armstrong, with his victory over Feliciano Lopez booed by fans after he was seen to aim a middle finger at them.

 

MEDVEDEV WINS DESPITE MELTDOWN

World number five Medvedev needed three hours and 19 minutes to see off Lopez 7-6 (7-1) 4-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-4, the Russian progressing despite a first-set meltdown.

Medvedev lost all support from the crowd after he was seen to direct an insulting gesture at them, this after he had been assessed a code violation for snatching a towel from a ball boy, which he reacted to by tossing a racquet in the direction of the umpire's chair.

The Russian revelled in the boos that came after he clinched victory, seemingly enjoying playing the role of villain, telling the crowd their energy will be "enough for the next five matches".

He later described his actions as "heat of the moment" and expressed hope he will deal with such situations better next time. Whether he will have the crowd on side in his match with qualifier Dominik Koepfer, who is set to break into the top 100 after beating 17th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in four sets, is debatable at best.

WAWRINKA EXPECTS TO BRING HIS BEST

Wawrinka has beaten Djokovic twice in grand slam finals, at the French Open and in New York, and anticipates producing his best tennis against the world number one in round four.

The Swiss saw off Paolo Lorenzi in three sets, a day after the Italian completed a second-round match that lasted nearly five hours.

Speaking in a media conference, Wawrinka said of his meeting with Djokovic: "There's something with him that when I get into my best game, I know that it's going to have some big rally, I'm going to play good tennis."

DEMON DE MINAUR SET FOR DIMITROV DUEL

Alex de Minaur claimed his first top-10 win as he shocked seventh seed Kei Nishikori 6-2 6-4 2-6 6-3. 

The Australian was afterwards asked if he had a nickname he likes and replied: "Demon. That's something that's sort of caught on in Australia. And, yeah, I don't mind it.

"I like to think it's got something to do with sort of my fiery attitude on court. Just, you know, I get pretty fired up and pumped up. I'd like to think it's something to do with that."

Grigor Dimitrov will be the next man faced with De Minaur's fire, after the Bulgarian saw off Kamil Majchrzak in three sets.

Dan Evans claimed US Open schedulers gave Roger Federer a helping hand after the weary Briton bowed out of Flushing Meadows on Friday.

Midweek rain delays meant Evans played his second-round match against Lucas Pouille a day later than planned, eventually beating the French 25th seed on Thursday. 

Federer, in contrast, got his match out of the way on Wednesday, meaning he had ample preparation time. The 20-time grand slam winner duly swept past Evans, inflicting a 6-2 6-2 6-1 whipping on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The 29-year-old British player had hoped for longer to recover, rather than being handed a slot at 12:00 local time (16:00 GMT) for his clash with the five-time US Open winner.

But Federer angrily rejected any suggestion he demanded a midday start, saying it was nonsense to think he calls the shots. He was so riled that, unusually for the Swiss, he used an expletive in his post-match news conference.

"These guys, the tournament obviously want Roger... would rather Roger be going through that match than me, so it's understandable," Evans told the media.

Evans scoffed when asked whether he or Leon Smith, the Great Britain Davis Cup captain who has been working closely with him, had requested a more suitable start time.

"You think a guy who has my ranking has any say in that?" said the world number 58. "There is probably about four people in this tournament who has a say when they play. Maybe three."

Evans - who admitted Federer played "no-error tennis" - found some sympathy from his opponent.

Federer said: "You could definitely argue that the scheduling was not in his favour. I understand if Danny is a little bit frustrated."

But the 38-year-old stressed he had not attempted to gain any pre-match advantage with the schedule, saying: "I don't remember that I asked for something. I definitely didn't do it intentionally. I don't even know if the team asked for day [rather than night session]. I know there was questions to have a preference.

"But that doesn't mean like, 'Roger asks, Roger gets'.

"Just remember that, because I have heard this s*** too often now. I'm sick and tired of it, that apparently I call the shots. The tournament and the TV stations do.

"We can give our opinion. That's what we do. But I'm still going to walk out even if they schedule me at 04:00 in the morning."

Roger Federer brushed aside Dan Evans in straight sets to march into the fourth round of the US Open.

The 20-time grand slam champion has struggled to find his best tennis in the early rounds at Flushing Meadows, dropping sets against qualifier Sumit Nagal and Damir Dzumhur.

Federer was in complete control from start to finish on Friday, however, with Evans providing little resistance as the Swiss eased to a 6-2 6-2 6-1 win in one hour and 20 minutes.

The lack of a real challenge from Evans meant Federer never had to hit top form, and he will hope for a similarly routine affair in the last 16 against either David Goffin or Pablo Carreno Busta.

Evans was under pressure as early as the fourth game but saved three break points to come from 0-40 down and hold.

He could not produce similar heroics two games later, however, a whipped cross-court forehand giving Federer the break, with a second arriving when Evans fired long to concede the opening set.

Federer needed only 27 minutes to take the second by the same scoreline, hitting 20 winners in the process.

Evans' frustration got the better of him at the end of the second, as he was given a code violation for smashing his racquet on his bench.

He was at least able to channel that emotion into a break back after going 2-0 down in third, but a double fault saw him immediately surrender the initiative once more.

Another double fault made it 5-1 to Federer and a one-sided contest was brought to an end when a tame backhand landed wide.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Roger Federer [3] bt Dan Evans 6-2 6-2 6-1

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Federer – 48/19
Evans – 7/14

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Federer – 10/1
Evans – 0/4

BREAK POINTS WON
Federer – 7/14
Evans – 1/2

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Federer – 66
Evans – 51

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Federer – 80/71
Evans – 41/39

TOTAL POINTS
Federer – 87
Evans – 41

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic encountered different issues on their way to the US Open third round on a rain-hit Wednesday.

Only four men's singles matches were completed – and there was a withdrawal – as the weather caused problems in New York.

Still, Federer and Djokovic managed to get through their second-round matches, but it was not easy.

 

FEDERER RUSTY AGAIN

Federer made another slow start before getting past Damir Dzumhur 3-6 6-2 6-3 6-4.

The Swiss 20-time grand slam champion lost the opening set, as he did against Sumit Nagal in the first round, on the back of 17 unforced errors.

Federer again managed to recover, the five-time champion at Flushing Meadows progressing after two hours, 22 minutes.

INJURY WORRY FOR DJOKOVIC

Djokovic, meanwhile, claimed a 6-4 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 victory over Juan Ignacio Londero, but had problems of his own.

The Serbian defending champion needed treatment on his left shoulder during his win as he was pushed in the opening two sets.

While forced to come from behind in each of the first two sets, Djokovic dealt with the shoulder issue to move through.

NISHIKORI, DIMITROV INTO THIRD ROUND

Kei Nishikori, the 2014 runner-up, battled through thanks to a 6-2 4-6 6-3 7-5 win over Bradley Klahn.

The Japanese seventh seed was one of five men to advance, with Grigor Dimitrov joining him.

Dimitrov was scheduled to face Borna Coric, but the Croatian 12th seed withdrew due to a lower back strain.

The final man to advance was Dominik Koepfer, who got past Reilly Opelka 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-2).

Roger Federer said he can only get better as the 20-time grand slam champion sent a warning to the rest of the US Open field heading into the third round.

Former world number one and third seed Federer came from a set down for the second match in succession to prevail 3-6 6-2 6-3 6-4 against Damir Dzumhur at Flushing Meadows on Wednesday.

Federer has been far from convincing during the first week in New York, where the five-time US Open champion was uncharacteristically wasteful in his first-round victory over grand slam main draw debutant Sumit Nagal.

Runner-up to Novak Djokovic in a remarkable Wimbledon final before suffering a swift exit from the Western & Southern Open, Federer committed 45 unforced errors against Dzumhur.

Asked about his slow starts at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Federer – who is eyeing his first US Open title since 2008 – told reporters: "I have been in that position many times where you go through a little phase where you don't start so well and everybody asks you right away, 'What are you going to do?'

"You're like, 'I don't know. Just go back to the drawing board. Just do the same things again.' You hope for a better outcome.

"I don't think there is per se a secret to a good start other than warming up well, being well-prepared mentally, not underestimating your opponent. I did all of that. You know me, I will always do that.

"So when it happens like this in back-to-back matches it's just a bit frustrating more than anything, especially when the level is that low and there is that many errors and the energy is not kind of there. But I can only do better, which is a great thing moving forward."

"I got exactly what I expected from both guys," Federer said when asked if he was surprised in the opening two rounds. "I knew what Nagal was going to give me. I knew what Dzumhur was going to give me. But I didn't expect to hit 15 to 20 unforced errors, which is basically the entire set just sort of donated.

"But look, they came out and they were well prepared and got me to do that. But I clearly have to play better from the get-go."

Federer will meet either Dan Evans or 25th seed Lucas Pouille for a place in the last 16.

Roger Federer had to come from a set down once again as he progressed into round three of the US Open with a 3-6 6-2 6-3 6-4 win over Damir Dzumhur.

Federer went behind to Sumit Nagal in his first-round match and suffered a similarly slow start in Wednesday's contest on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

But, much like in round one, the five-time Flushing Meadows champion - who made 45 unforced errors - found his form and once he nosed ahead in his 100th US Open match he never looked like slipping up.

The world number three was not handed it on a plate and although Dzumhur kept himself in it with some fine shots in the final set, Federer served out the win with the first match point on offer.

Dzumhur raced out of the blocks and stormed into a 4-0 lead after a second successive break.

Federer returned the favour in game five, but Dzumhur recovered from 30-0 down on his next service game - a sensational backhand slice forcing the former world number one to serve to stay in the set.

Federer did so successfully, but his opponent had his tail up and seized a one-set lead with just 29 minutes on the clock.

Another unforced error from the third seed handed Dzumhur a break point in the first game of set two, but the 27-year-old could not take his chance.

Federer made no such mistake, catching the Bosnian cold with a slick forehand down the line before executing a perfect drop shot en route to restoring parity.

A stunning cross-court backhand indicated Federer had hit his stride and the 38-year-old did well to save three break points for a 5-2 lead in the third.

With Dzumhur receiving treatment for an apparent side issue during changeovers, the Swiss closed out the set in his favour on his next serve.

Dzumhur's frustration at conceding his advantage started to show in set four, with a sloppy serve handing the 20-time grand slam champion a break in game three.

The finish line was in sight and Federer did not look back, finally breaking Dzumhur's resolve to set up a third-round clash with either Dan Evans or Lucas Pouille.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Roger Federer [3] bt Damir Dzumhur 3-6 6-2 6-3 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Federer – 58/45
Dzumhur – 26/40

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Federer – 16/4
Dzumhur – 2/8

BREAK POINTS WON
Federer – 5/9
Dzumhur – 2/8

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Federer – 69
Dzumhur – 65

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Federer – 77/43
Dzumhur – 64/51

TOTAL POINTS
Federer – 126
Dzumhur – 110

Roger Federer overcame a first-set shock to beat grand slam debutant Sumit Nagal at the US Open and insisted he had always expected a tricky start.

The 20-time major champion was in fleeting danger of a sensational first-round exit at Flushing Meadows when he dropped the opener to unheralded Indian Nagal, before recovering for a 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-4 triumph.

However, the third seed had anticipated it would be tough to adapt to the hard courts, having entered only one tournament since an epic Wimbledon final defeat to Novak Djokovic.

Federer was beaten by Andrey Rublev in the third round at the Western & Southern Open, his bye through the first stage meaning he played just twice, impacting his New York preparations.

"You can see that way that I haven't played so much," Federer said. "But I feel like I played a lot this year. I don't want to say like I feel my body.

"It's just a switch, again, from the clay and grass over to now the hard courts. I think it just requires different tempo in the shots.

"Also maybe sometimes going up again, sort of spinning the ball at times. I don't think it plays particularly fast, especially it also was slower tonight, it was night session again.

"I'm playing a clay-courter, who is comfortable to just rally, keep the ball in play. He actually does a really good job, especially on the inside-out, how he gets around. That was impressive.

"I knew I could struggle, to be quite honest, especially with the rhythm.

"You will be in trouble if you serve as poorly as I did in the first set. That puts the pressure on because he had the upper hand from the baseline.

"It was up to me to be able to change that. Yeah, I'm happy."

Federer found his form by the end of the fourth set to close out the victory but suggested the match with Nagal was an example of the demanding nature of a five-set contest.

"You feel like you're down and out, then all of a sudden you feel energy again, momentum," Federer said.

"The crowd gets into it. You [Nagal] forgot completely you actually lost the last two sets 6-1 6-2.

"That's why the score system in tennis is genius. You have to get over the finish line. I got that the hard way in Wimbledon [against Djokovic].

"He did a good job to stay with me. I had to close it out. That was a tough last game. Maybe exactly the kind of service game I needed to serve it out."

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer moved through at the US Open, but the stars advanced from contrasting matches on Monday.

Djokovic, the world number one and defending champion, had few problems against Roberto Carballes Baena at Flushing Meadows.

But Federer survived a surprise scare against Indian qualifier Sumit Nagal before getting through in New York.

The superstar pair progressed on what was a good day for the seeds in the men's draw, with only three making exits.

 

DJOKOVIC DELIGHTS

Djokovic did not face a break point on his way to a 6-4 6-1 6-4 victory over Carballes Baena on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The Serbian star mixed 25 winners with 30 unforced errors, breaking four times in a commanding win.

Djokovic will next face Juan Ignacio Londero after the Argentinian got past Sam Querrey 3-6 6-1 7-6 (7-3) 7-5.

FEDERER FIGHTS THROUGH

Federer, a 20-time grand slam champion, was well below his best in a 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-4 win against world number 190 Nagal.

The Swiss star finished with 57 unforced errors – and 61 winners – as he won through in two hours, 29 minutes.

Federer will hope for an improved display when he faces Damir Dzumhur, who recorded a 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-0 win over Elliot Benchetrit.

ONE STEP AT A TIME FOR MEDVEDEV

Kei Nishikori advanced as Marco Trungelliti retired on Monday, before the Japanese reeled off a list of names he believes are capable of challenging the 'Big Three', potentially starting at Flushing Meadows.

Nishikori named himself, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov, Nick Kyrgios and also Daniil Medvedev. "I think things are starting to change a little bit now," he said.

But fifth seed Medvedev, who defeated Prajnesh Gunneswaran in straight sets, while appreciative of Nishikori's words, is not ready to talk of titles just yet.

"At this moment of my career, I haven't even been in the quarters of a slam yet," he said. "So that's the first step to make.

"If I make this step, then I can talk about bigger goals and bigger achievements."

Stan Wawrinka, the 2016 champion and 23rd seed, battled through, overcoming Jannik Sinner 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-3.

Only three seeds exited, with Fabio Fognini (11), Guido Pella (19) and Taylor Fritz (26) departing.

Roger Federer rallied from a set down as the third seed survived a big scare against grand slam debutant Sumit Nagal in the US Open first round.

Federer was far from his free-flowing best but he recovered from a slow start to eventually move past Indian qualifier Nagal 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-4 at Flushing Meadows on Monday.

The 20-time grand slam champion – who suffered a shock defeat last time out at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati – will next meet Damir Dzumhur in his pursuit of a first US Open title since 2008.

Nagal was not overawed under the bright lights on Arthur Ashe, where Federer looked comfortable in the opening two games but that was until errors started to creep in – the Swiss star recording 19 unforced errors in the first set.

World number 190 Nagal – aggressive from the baseline – benefitted from a couple of errors and a backhand shank to earn a pair of break points. Federer saved the first, but a double fault handed the break straight back to his unheralded opponent.

It did not get any better for Federer, who shanked another backhand as Nagal broke at 15-40 for a 5-4 lead before sensationally serving out the set.

Nagal continued to delight the Arthur Ashe crowd with his forehand winners down the line. But while Federer continued to spray some of his shots either wide or long, he managed to break after a marathon second game.

It was a confidence-boosting game for Federer, who slowly began to find his feet as he moved clear 4-0, much to the relief of his box and supporters.

Federer had six chances to win the set and level the match but he struggled to close it out, though he was not to be denied at the seventh time of asking thanks to a Nagal error.

Nagal was unable to keep up with Federer, who broke twice in a relatively comfortable third set to move ahead in the match for the first time and he never looked back, despite fending off four break points before serving it out.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN 
Roger Federer [3] bt Sumit Nagal 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Federer – 61/57
Nagal – 17/32

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Federer – 12/7
Nagal – 0/4

BREAK POINTS WON 
Federer – 7/13
Nagal – 3/13

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE 
Federer – 60
Nagal – 64

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE 
Federer – 71/48
Nagal – 59/46

TOTAL POINTS 
Federer – 130
Nagal – 108

Novak Djokovic says Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have made a "great impact" since rejoining the ATP player council and welcomed a shorter meeting with the legendary duo in New York on Friday.

Federer and Nadal returned to the council this month in what has been a turbulent year politically on the men's tour.

Djokovic revealed in June that he considered joining a mass player council exodus because the governance structure is so inefficient and he feels seven-hour meetings are "unacceptable".

The world number one and head of the council has welcomed Federer and Nadal's decision to step up after they held talks ahead of the US Open.

Djokovic said at Flushing Meadows: "The impact is already great because they are the legends of our sport and two big names joining the council.

"There's already been a big impact on the rest of the players in the council, of course the larger group of tennis players in general, knowing that these two guys are willing to contribute, to come in to help out, to support, to participate in discussions and some decision-making.

"It was interesting. It has never happened that you have one, two, and three of the world in [a] council group that is [a] group of 10 players. So, all I hear from other players is positive comments about it.

"And it went well. They were very engaged. So, I'm looking forward to working with them."

Asked if it was not another seven-hour meeting, he added: "It wasn't and actually, that's why it was very surprising, to be honest.

"Because the last two before last night, the last two meetings we had were six and seven hours. And this [on Friday] was two, two hours 15 minutes. Because it was well prepared prior to the meeting, and we still didn't go through a full agenda. Of course, that's what happens most of the time.

"It's good that we at least are doing also work prior to sitting down so we could have a more efficient meeting."

There stood Roger Federer, already among the greats and with a fifth straight US Open title secured.

It was 2008 and the Swiss star had just passed Roy Emerson on the all-time list of major winners, securing his 13th and continuing his dominance at Flushing Meadows with a straight-sets victory over Andy Murray in the final.

Novak Djokovic had won his first grand slam in Melbourne at the start of the year and Rafael Nadal was still unbeaten at Roland Garros, the Spaniard then going on to clinch his first Wimbledon title.

It marked the third straight year in which the 'Big Three' had swept the grand slams, a feat they are looking to repeat 11 years later.

How little has changed entering the 2019 US Open, which starts on Monday.

Federer (three), Nadal (four) and Djokovic (four) have won the past 11 majors and still we wait for the 'Next Gen' to break through as the three greatest male players of all-time continue to dominate.

Murray's career-interrupting hip injury reduced the 'Big Four' to the 'Big Three' and there is no sign of anyone taking the three-time grand slam champion's place of being a consistent challenger at majors.

The years 2006 to 2008 marked the years of Federer and Nadal, and 2018-19 have been Djokovic's. The Serbian could finish this year having won three grand slams in a season.

In between, anticipated contenders have come and gone (Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic are 28) or come and been consistent without breaking through (Kei Nishikori is 29).

Stan Wawrinka was a regular star and won three grand slams before his injury woes, while Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro took their chances at Flushing Meadows in 2014 and 2009 respectively.

Another so-called 'Next Gen' – the likes of David Goffin (28) and Jack Sock (26) – has been replaced, while Dominic Thiem (25) looks the likeliest challenger to Nadal at Roland Garros.

Now emerges another group in Daniil Medvedev (23), Alexander Zverev (22), Stefanos Tsitsipas (21), Karen Khachanov (23) and Borna Coric (22).

Yet it remains hard to see the final verdict on 2019 not simply echoing that of 2008 as the 'Big Three' bid to complete another major sweep.

Rafael Nadal does not believe he has an advantage heading into the US Open after he was drawn away from Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

World number two Nadal was placed in the bottom half of the draw, and cannot meet Federer or Djokovic until the final should he get that far.

However, the Spaniard shrugged off any suggestion he holds an edge going into the final grand slam of 2019.

"I don't know. I have to win my matches to have an advantage because I only can meet them after the semi-finals," Nadal said.

"I have plenty of work before that to know if I have an advantage or not. So let's see if I am able to do my work.

"That's not an advantage or disadvantage. That's part of the draw. That's part of the things that happen when you are No.1, No.2 and No.3.

"For example, at Wimbledon it was the other way. They changed. Now here is the opposite. Let's see what's going on."

Second seed Nadal opens his campaign against John Millman, who knocked Federer out in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows in 2018.

Thanasi Kokkinakis, who also upset Federer last season, and Fernando Verdasco are potential second and third-round opponents. 

Dominic Thiem – seeded fourth – could meet Nadal in the semi-final, in what would be a repeat of the French Open final, as well as an epic quarter-final from last season's US Open.

"He is the No.4 now. Every year he's improving," Nadal said of the 25-year-old Austrian.

"Already this year he won a Masters 1000 on hard. He played again the final in Roland Garros. Every day he is a very solid, and every year is more solid.

"He has everything to win important events. He already is winning important events. He's a very, very hard worker. Just a question of time that he achieve all his goals."

Roger Federer thinks being "knocked down" by Andrey Rublev in the Western & Southern Open prompted him to get his "act together" and could enhance his chances of winning the US Open.

Russian Rublev consigned the 20-time grand slam singles champion to a straight-sets defeat in the third round in Cincinnati last week.

Federer believes that early exit in his last tournament before the final grand slam of the year could prove to be a blessing in disguise as he eyes a first Flushing Meadows triumph for 11 years after losing a classic Wimbledon final to Novak Djokovic last month.

"What I'm very proud of is I've had a very consistent last year and a half, two years, ever since my back locked up on me in Montreal. I struggled here as well, struggled for quite a while." said the Swiss legend.

"I've been playing well. Playing well in slams recently, which has been great. I think also the win over Rafa [Nadal] in the semis was big for me. Also the finals, the way I played that in Wimbledon, is going to give me some extra confidence.

"I'm happy where my game is at. Cincinnati might be a good thing that I lost early, who knows. It's maybe one of those things that sometimes needs to happen, like when I won at the Australian Open, went to Dubai, lost first round in 2017, then went on to win Indian Wells and Miami.

"Maybe the same thing, I played a great Wimbledon. Needed to get knocked down in Cincy, get my act together, train hard. That's what I did. I'm ready for the US Open. The draw is out, see which qualifier I will play.

"It's going to be a tough tournament to win, no doubt about it. I feel like I'm part of that group who can do it."

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