Fri, Aug 27, 2004 - Page 22 News List

US Open draw promises electrifying quarterfinals


Defending champ Andy Roddick is on course for a quarterfinal clash with Juan Carlos Ferrero while World No. 1 Roger Federer was handed a prospective quarterfinal with Andre Agassi as the US Open tennis draw was made on Wednesday.

A possible Roddick and Ferrero encounter would be a rematch of last year's final which Roddick won 6-3, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3.

Reigning Australian and Wimbledon champion Federer has been placed in the top half of the men's draw.

The potential Federer-Agassi match would be an electric showdown, but before the Swiss star can start thinking about Agassi he must overcome 2002 Roland Garros winner Costa.

This will be Federer's fifth career meeting with the Spaniard who has won the last two. Costa rallied to beat Federer on clay 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 three months ago in Rome and on hardcourts 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 last year in Miami.

Federer, who has been No. 1 since January 2004, won their first matchup 7-6, 6-2 three years ago in Vienna.

Defending women's champion Justin Henin-Hardenne was drawn to face reigning Wimbledon champ Maria Sharapova in the women's quarterfinals.

The winner could square off against red-hot Lindsay Davenport as long as Davenport can defeat fellow American Venus Williams in the fourth round and 2004 French Open champ Anastasia Myskina in the quarters.

The other semifinal should see Venus' sister Serena, a three-time US Open champion, battle Athens Olympic silver medalist Amelie Mauresmo, of France.

Roddick, who turns 32 on the event's opening day, will face fellow American Scoville Jenkins in the first round as Roddick appears to be in one of the easiest quarters of the draw.

Australia's Lleyton Hewitt, the 2001 US Open champ, will have to negotiate the toughest quarter, which includes Argentine David Nalbandian, French Sebastian Grosjean and Olympic bronze medallist Fernando Gonzalez.

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