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  • TENNIS

    Murray could face Djokovic in U.S. Open semifinals

  • NEW YORK — Defending champion Andy Murray could face top-seeded Novak Djokovic only in the semifinals at the U.S. Open, while Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer — who have never played each other at Flushing Meadows — might meet in the quarterfinals.
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  • NEW YORK — Defending champion Andy Murray could face top-seeded Novak Djokovic only in the semifinals at the U.S. Open, while Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer — who have never played each other at Flushing Meadows — might meet in the quarterfinals.
    Murray earned his first Grand Slam championship by beating Djokovic in the 2012 U.S. Open final, then added a second by beating the No. 1-ranked Serb in the Wimbledon title match last month. But there can't be a rematch in New York in the final, thanks to Thursday's draw.
    "Coming to the U.S. Open last year, I'd never won a Grand Slam. I didn't know if I was ever going to win one," Murray said at the draw ceremony. "A lot of people would say ... like, 'He's good enough to win a Grand Slam. He's going to win one.' But the more finals you lose in, the more you start to doubt yourself and think, 'Is it ever going to happen?' Getting that weight off my shoulders last year was huge."
    Play at the year's last Grand Slam tournament begins Monday.
    In addition to No. 2 Nadal against No. 7 Federer, a 17-time major champion who has his lowest seeding at the U.S. Open since he was 13th in 2002, the other possible men's quarterfinals are 2011 champion Djokovic vs. 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro, No. 3 Murray vs. No. 5 Tomas Berdych, and No. 4 David Ferrer vs. No. 8 Richard Gasquet.
    Federer, who owns five U.S. Open titles, and Nadal also were set up for a possible quarterfinal at Wimbledon this year, but that never materialized: Nadal lost in the first round, and Federer in the second.
    The potential women's quarterfinals at the U.S. Open are No. 1 Serena Williams against No. 8 Angelique Kerber, No. 2 Victoria Azarenka against No. 7 Petra Kvitova, No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska against No. 5 Li Na, and No. 4 Sara Errani against No. 6 Caroline Wozniacki.
    The woman who originally was seeded third in the tournament, 2006 champion Maria Sharapova, withdrew Wednesday because of a right shoulder injury.
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