Tennis: Federer and Nadal kick off U.S. Open campaigns

Reuters , Tuesday 29 Aug 2017

Roger Federer
In this Jan. 29, 2017, file photo, Switzerland's Roger Federer, right, is congratulated by Spain's Rafael Nadal after winning the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia. Federer and Nadal have never met at the U.S. Open, where play begins Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, and if they face each other this year in New York, it could only be in a semifinal. (AP)

A year ago, few would have bet Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal would be the top contenders at the 2017 U.S. Open, yet the Swiss maestro and the Spanish juggernaut start their campaign with the favorites tag on Tuesday.

Federer and world number one Nadal won the first three grand slam titles of the season as they came back to prominence with a bang, and nothing suggests their first-round opponents, American Frances Tiafoe and Serbian Dusan Lajovic, will bother them.

Federer closes proceedings on center court, which was equipped with a roof last year that could prove helpful as rain might disrupt the action at Flushing Meadows.

Women's world number one Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic will get things going on Arthur Ashe against Poland's Magda Linette before defending champion Angelique Kerber takes on talented Japanese Naomi Osaka.

Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, who is suing the U.S. Tennis Association for negligence after she sustained a concussion in a fall on the locker room's floor in New York last year, takes on Russian Evgeniya Rodina on Grandstand.

Former champion Juan Martin Del Potro, the 24th seed, is also in action, against Swiss Henri Laaksonen.

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