US Open: Andy Murray to open defence against Michael Llodra at Flushing Meadows

Last Updated: 23/08/13 10:17am

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Andy Murray: Opening test in US comes against Michael Llodra

Andy Murray: Opening test in US comes against Michael Llodra

Sky Bet

Defending champion Andy Murray has been drawn to play France's Michael Llodra in the first round of the US Open.

Third seed Murray will feature in the same half of the draw as world No 1 Novak Djokovic, which means there can be no repeat of last year's final or the recent Wimbledon final between the pair.

Murray emerged victorious from both contest though and will go into the tournament in confident mood.

Roger Federer is seeded only seventh at Flushing Meadows after a year in which he has struggled for form and fitness.

The Swiss was drawn in the bottom half and is a potential quarter-final opponent for No 2 seed and old adversary Rafael Nadal.

Murray has beaten Llodra all three times they have played before, including twice at slams, most recently in the third round of the 2012 Australian Open.

The 33-year-old Frenchman is ranked 49th and, as a serve-volleyer, will present Murray with a challenge he rarely faces these days.

Murray's first week looks relatively comfortable, with either Victor Hanescu of Romania or Argentina's Leonardo Mayer in round two and Juan Monaco, Andreas Seppi and Nicolas Almagro the seeds standing in his path to the quarter-finals.

In the last eight Murray is seeded to meet Tomas Berdych, who defeated him in Cincinnati last week and beat Roger Federer here last year before losing to Murray in a semi-final that was heavily affected by strong winds.

Time for business

The Scot has been enjoying post-Wimbledon life, though, and said: "It's been nice. The first week it didn't quite feel real. It's something I've been working towards for a long time. There was a lot of pressure, and not just on me but the people before me like Tim Henman.

"I've enjoyed my tennis the last few weeks, but now it's time for business. This is a huge tournament for me. I love this tournament and I'll try to have a good run."

"I've enjoyed my tennis the last few weeks, but now it's time for business. This is a huge tournament for me. I love this tournament and I'll try to have a good run."
Andy Murray

Djokovic begins his campaign against talented Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis in a potentially tricky section that also includes Lukas Rosol and 25th seed Grigor Dimitrov.

Sixth seed and former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro is his potential quarter-final opponent.

Nadal, who goes into the tournament in superb form after back-to-back titles in Montreal and Cincinnati, looks to have the toughest draw of the top players, at least until the semi-finals.

The Spaniard opens against America's Ryan Harrison, fast-rising Canadian Vasek Pospisil is likely to be his second-round foe and Fernando Verdasco and John Isner also lurk in his quarter.

Federer meets Slovenian Grega Zemlja first up, while the quarter that includes fourth seed David Ferrer could provide an opportunity for the likes of Milos Raonic, Jerzy Janowicz or Ernests Gulbis to make the latter stages.

US Open first round draw:

Novak Djokovic (SRB 1) v Ricardas Berankis (LTU)
Benjamin Becker (GER) v Lukas Rosol (CZE)
Lukasz Kubot (POL) v Jarkko Nieminen (FIN)
Joao Sousa (POR) v Grigor Dimitrov (BUL 25)
Benoit Paire (FRA 24) v Alex Bogomolov (RUS)
Tim Smyczek (USA) v James Duckworth (AUS)
Jurgen Zopp (EST) v Marcel Granollers (ESP)
Rajeev Ram (USA) v Fabio Fognini (ITA x16)
Tommy Haas (GER 12) v Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA)
Lu Yen-Hsun (TPE) v Daniel Gimeno-Traver (ESP)
David Goffin (BEL) v Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR)
Nicolas Mahut (FRA) v Mikhail Youzhny (RUS 21)
Jurgen Melzer (AUT 29) v Evgeny Donskoy (RUS)
Igor Sijsling (NED) v Qualifier
Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) v Brian Baker (USA)
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) v Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG 6)
Andy Murray (GBR 3) v Michael Llodra (FRA)
Victor Hanescu (ROM) v Leonardo Mayer (ARG)
Qualifier v Martin Klizan (SVK)
Florian Mayer (GER) v Juan Monaco (ARG 28)
Andreas Seppi (ITA 20) v Xavier Malisse (BEL)
Lukas Lacko (SVK) v Qualifier
Tobias Kamke (GER) v Steve Johnson (USA)
Denis Istomin (UZB) v Nicolas Almagro (ESP 15)
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI 9) v Radek Stepanek (CZE)
James Blake (USA) v Qualifier
Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) v Qualifier
Daniel Brands (GER) v Kevin Anderson (RSA x17)
Julien Benneteau (FRA 31) v Michal Przysiezny (POL)
Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) v Jeremy Chardy (FRA)
Jiri Vesely (CZE) v Denis Kudla (USA)
Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) v Tomas Berdych (CZE 5)
Richard Gasquet (FRA 8) v Michael Russell (USA)
Qualifier v Qualifier
Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) v Guillaume Rufin (FRA)
Aljaz Bedene (SLO) v Dmitry Tursunov (RUS 32)
Feliciano Lopez (ESP 23) v Qualifier
Kenny De Schepper (FRA) v Bradley Klahn (USA)
Pablo Andujar (ESP) v Thiemo De Bakker (NED)
Qualifier v Milos Raonic (CAN 10)
Jerzy Janowicz (POL 14) v Qualifier
Jack Sock (USA) v Qualifier
Andrey Kuznetsov (RUS) v Dudi Sela (ISR)
Pablo Cuevas (URU) v Janko Tipsarevic (SRB 18)
Ernests Gulbis (LAT 30) v Andreas Haider-Maurer (AUT)
Qualifier v Qualifier
Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) v Thomaz Bellucci (BRA)
Qualifier v David Ferrer (ESP 4)
Roger Federer (SUI 7) v Grega Zemlja (SLO)
Santiago Giraldo (COL) v Carlos Berlocq (ARG)
Horacio Zeballos (ARG) v Adrian Mannarino (FRA)
Guido Pella (ARG) v Sam Querrey (USA 26)
Tommy Robredo (ESP x19) v Marinko Matosevic (AUS)
Robin Haase (NED) v Qualifier
Albert Ramos (ESP) v Bernard Tomic (AUS)
Qualifier v Kei Nishikori (JPN 11)
John Isner (USA 13) v Filippo Volandri (ITA)
Adrian Ungur (ROM) v Gael Monfils (FRA)
Albert Montanes (ESP) v Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
Colin Altamirano (USA) v Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER 22)
Fernando Verdasco (ESP 27) v Ivan Dodig (CRO)
Rhyne Williams (USA) v Nikolay Davydenko (RUS)
Qualifier v Vasek Pospisil (CAN)
Ryan Harrison (USA) v Rafael Nadal (ESP 2)

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