August 26, 2016 8:46:04 pm
When the U.S. Open draw sets the first-round matchups, top players could find themselves taking on an Olympic medalist.
Women’s gold medalist Monica Puig and men’s silver medalist Juan Martin del Potro are unseeded at the year’s final major, which starts Monday. Puig is ranked 34th and missed a seed by one spot. Del Potro is No. 142 in the world because three left wrist surgeries forced him to miss so much time. The 2009 U.S. Open champ needed a wild card to get into the tournament.
So Friday’s draw could create a daunting opening match for a seeded player. That’s what happened to top-ranked Novak Djokovic at the Olympics, when he lost to del Potro in the first round. It’s possible they could meet again early at Flushing Meadows.
Puig beat three Grand Slam champions in Rio de Janeiro in her surprise run to gold, while del Potro has defeated three of the U.S. Open’s top four seeds since the start of Wimbledon.
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