Defending champion Novak Djokovic was handed the perfect US Open draw, as he will avoid meeting Roger Federer and Andy Murray until the final.
On the men's side, where Spanish star Rafael Nadal is absent because of continuing knee trouble, the draw set up a possible rematch of the Wimbledon and Olympic finals in the semi-finals with Murray and Federer in the same half of the draw.
World number one Federer, who won his 17th Grand Slam title by beating Murray in last month's Wimbledon final, won five US Open titles in a row from 2004 through 2008.
He will start against American Donald Young.
Federer could face Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals while Murray, the third seed who beat Federer for Olympic gold earlier this month at Wimbledon, opens against Russian Alex Bogomolov.
Murray could meet French fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last eight.
Serbian second-seed Djokovic, who opens against Italy's Paolo Lorenzi, could face Argentina's seventh-seeded Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarter-finals and Serb eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic or Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer in the semi-finals.
Bernard Tomic and Lleyton Hewitt are in the same half of the draw.
Tomic begins against Argentine Carlos Berlocq and could face former champion Andy Roddick in the second round and then Del Potro in the third.
Hewitt also faces a tough prospective third-round task against David Ferrer, if he can get past Mikhail Youzhny in the second.
Marinko Matosevic and Matthew Ebden are in Murray and Tsonga's quarter of the draw.
Matosevic faces the toughest opening match of any Aussie against 12th-seed Marin Cilic, while Matthew Ebden plays Japan's Tatsuma Ito.
AFP/ABCTags: sport, tennis, united-states First posted August 24, 2012 08:29:23