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Federer against Wang in US opener

Roger Federer will open the defence of his US Open crown by taking on Wang Yeu-Tzuoo of Taiwan.

india Updated: Aug 24, 2006 14:10 IST

Roger Federer will open the defence of his US Open crown by taking on Wang Yeu-Tzuoo of Taiwan.

The world No. 1 will be bidding to become only the third player in the professional era to win three straight titles at Flushing Meadows. The others were John McEnroe (1979-81) and Ivan Lendl (1985-87).

The Swiss star has never before played the 21-year-old Wang, who is ranked 109th in the world, and he looks set for a comfortable run into the second round.

Wednesday's draw was less kind on his top rival and second seed Rafael Nadal. The 20-year-old Spaniard was pitted against former finalist Mark Philippoussis.

The Australian had to accept a wildcard into the event after slumping down the rankings due to injury, but on his day and fully fit he can still be a match for the best.

Andre Agassi, in his farewell tournament, opens against Romanian veteran Andrei Pavel, but up-and-coming Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus would prove a tough hurdle for the 36-year-old former winner to pass in the second.

Fourth-seeded David Nalbandian of Argentina will take on German newcomer Michael Berrer, while third seeded Croat Ivan Ljubicic will get underway with a tough tie against Spanish serve and volleyer Feliciano Lopez.

Federer looks to have a reasonably comfortable run into the last eight where he could meet top-ranked American and fifth seed James Blake who enjoys playing in front of his hometown crowd.