Who are you? Guide to US Open top stars' first round rivals

New York (AFP) –


Guide to the players hoping to spring a surprise on the top seeds at the US Open which gets underway on Monday (x denotes seeding):

Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) v David Ferrer (ESP)

Head-to-head: Nadal leads 24-6

-- Destined to be one of the most emotional matches of the first round as the two close friends and Davis Cup teammates meet. Former world number three Ferrer, 36, has seen his ranking sink to 148 and will retire at the end of the season. Ferrer, who has captured 27 titles in his career, has won just twice on the tour since April. Nadal defeated Ferrer in the 2013 French Open final but the veteran triumphed when they met in the last 16 at the US Open in 2007.

Roger Federer (SUI x2) v Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN)

Head-to-head: First meeting

-- Left-hander Nishioka, ranked 177, saw his career derailed by a year-long absence due to torn knee ligaments in April 2017 just as he was making his way into the world top 60. Before his injury, the 22-year-old had reached the quarter-finals in Acapulco and the fourth round at Indian Wells, his maiden last 16 run at a Masters tournament.

Novak Djokovic (SRB x6) v Marton Fucsovics (HUN)

Head-to-head: First meeting

-- The 26-year-old Fucsovics is on a career-high 40 and made the last 16 at the Australian Open in January where it needed Federer to stop him. The Hungarian went on to lift his first career title on clay in Geneva on the eve of the French Open, seeing off Stan Wawrinka on the way. Has yet to win a main draw match at the US Open.

Andy Murray (GBR) v James Duckworth (AUS)

Head-to-head: First meeting

-- Murray, the 2012 champion in New York, is ranked 378 but 26-year-old Duckworth is even lower on the ladder at 445. The Australian has won just two matches all year and both of those came in Washington this month. Has been plagued by injuries -- needed surgery on his on right foot in February 2017, right shoulder in March 2017, right foot in August 2017, right foot in January 2018 and right elbow in February 2018.

Simona Halep (ROM x1) v Kaia Kanepi (EST)

Head-to-head: Halep leads 1-0

-- World number 44 Kanepi made the quarter-finals at the US Open last year just as she did in 2010. She has also made the last eight at Wimbledon (2010 and 2013) and Roland Garros (2008 and 2012) so not the ideal opponent for French Open champion Halep who lost in the first round in New York last year to Maria Sharapova.

Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x2) v Samantha Stosur (AUS)

Head-to-head: Wozniacki leads 7-5

-- Blockbuster first round features reigning Australian Open champion and two-time US Open runner-up Wozniacki (2009 and 2014) against Stosur who was the 2011 champion at Flushing Meadows. Stosur, 34, is ranked 64 in the world and has endured a mixed bag at the Slams this year. Lost first round in Australia to Olympic champion Monica Puig despite holding match point.

Angelique Kerber (GER x4) v Margarita Gasparyan (RUS)

Head-to-head record: First meeting

-- Gasparyan is ranked at 410, having been on the cusp of the top 40 just two years ago when she recorded her best run to a Slam -- the last 16 at the Australian Open. She will make her main draw debut in New York against Kerber, the reigning Wimbledon champion and 2016 US Open winner.

Serena Williams (USA x17) v Magda Linette (POL)

Head-to-head: First meeting

-- 26-year-old Linette, ranked at 60, has never face the American legend but if Serena needs advice she can ask her sister Venus who has defeated the Pole on two occasions. Linette made the third round of the Australian Open this year, defeating highly-rated Daria Kasatkina on the way.