Marina Erakovic handed tough US Open draw

Last updated 12:17 22/08/2014
Marina Erakovic
USA Today Sport
TOUGH GIG: Kiwi tennis star Marina Erakovic will square off against former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first round of the US Open.

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New Zealand's Marina Erakovic has been handed a tough draw in the first round of the US Open and will play former French and US Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova.

The Russian is the 20th seed for the final Grand Slam of the year and the two players have never played each other. 

Erakovic won her quarterfinals doubles match along with Arantxa Parra Santonja from Spain on Friday, defeating Anabel Medina Garrigues at the WTA tournament in New Haven, winning the match 1-6 7-5 10-7.

She has a ranking of 82, which is well below her career high of 39 in May 2012, but she has showed better form recently, making it to the semifinals of the WTA tournament in Washington DC last month.

Meanwhile, on the women's side, two-time defending champion and top seed Serena Williams also looks to have drawn a stern test with former US champion Sam Stosur of Australia a possible fourth-round opponent and eighth seed Ana Ivanovic projected for the quarters.

Williams, who has endured a disappointing Grand Slam season so far, said she was keen to end on a high note and add to her career haul of 17 major singles titles.

''I feel good. I feel like I'm playing really well,'' said Williams, who looked fit and glamorous with long, blonde curls framing her face in an appearance at the draw.

''The way my year has gone, I'm worried about every single match,'' she said when asked to evaluate her draw.

Second seed Simona Halep of Romania opens against American wildcard Danielle Rose Collins with a possible clash against Venus Williams in the fourth round.

The other projected fourth-round match in Halep's quarter would have French Open champion Maria Sharapova against former number one Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark.

The top half of the men's draw has third seeded Swiss Australian Open winner Stan Wawrinka on a collision course to face the thundering serves of fifth-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic in the round of eight.

On the women's side, the other quarter of the top half is also loaded with upset-minded players and could offer an early sequel to the Wimbledon final.

Third-seed Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic is projected to face seventh seed Canadian Eugenie Bouchard in the quarters in a rematch of their All England Club final.

Other dangerous players in that bracket include Kuznetsova and former number one Victoria Azarenka of Belarus threatening to upset the form chart.  

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On the men's side, top-seeded Novak Djokovic was handed a danger filled path to the final and a possible showdown with number two Roger Federer.

Djokovic, who has advanced to the finals each of the last four years hoisting the title in 2011, plays his first-round match against unseeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman but the Serb must navigate an increasingly trickier path.

The world number one figures to meet either 2012 champion Andy Murray or the on-form Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarter-finals.

Federer, winner of five consecutive US Open titles from 2004, opens against Australian Marinko Matosevic.

The second seeded Swiss, aiming to add to his record haul of 17 majors at the advanced age of 33, figures to have a fairly easy ride to a quarterfinals clash against seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, nicknamed ''Baby Fed'' for his versatile game.

- With Reuters

- Stuff

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