Novak Djokovic is the top seed for the US Open and he will be gunning for his 17th Grand Slam tournament. (Image credit: Twitter)
World number ones and defending champions Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka were named as top seeds for the US Open on Wednesday. Djokovic, who will be chasing a 17th Grand Slam singles title in New York next week, heads the men's field with Spain's Rafael Nadal seeded second. Former world number one Roger Federer, seeking a 21st Grand Slam crown, is seeded third for the tournament.
The draw for the men's and women's singles takes place on Thursday. In the women's draw, Osaka is ranked number one while 2018 runner-up Serena Williams is seeded eight. Japanese ace Osaka won her first Grand Slam title in a controversial final victory over Williams last year and then followed it up with her second Slam at the Australian Open in January.
The two other reigning Grand Slam champions are seeded in the top four, with Australia's French Open champion Ashleigh Barty seeded second and Romania's Wimbledon champion Simona Halep seeded four. Former world number one Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic is seeded third in the women's draw.
Djokovic wilted under pressure from Daniil Medvedev, falling 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to the ninth-seeded Russian in the Cincinnati Masters semi-finals. Medvedev's upset win on Saturday sent him into a title showdown with another unexpected finalist, 16th-seeded Belgian David Goffin, who defeated France's Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-4 to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 final. A fuming Djokovic, who looked to have control of the contest in the early going, was caught out when Medvedev stepped things up in the second set.
"I don't know how I turned it around, I was so tired after the first set and I thought I might not be able to keep up the intensity," said Medvedev, who has competed in 15 hardcourt matches since July 30. "But I had a momentum chance in the second set and the crowd gave me energy," added the Russian, who will be playing his second Masters series final in eight days, after falling to Rafael Nadal in Montreal last Sunday.
"Novak had been destroying me on second serve, so I just went for it," Medvedev said. "It's a great feeling to win and beat the number one. That shows I deserve to be in this final. I played an unbelievable match, I'm very happy."
Medvedev also beat Djokovic in their last meeting, on clay at Monte Carlo in April. Djokovic, the defending champion who was playing his first tournament since his Wimbledon triumph in July, shouldered his bag and left the grounds within moments of his defeat.