Got Tennis
  | By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo credit: Kenneth B. Goldberg

The USTA has announced that world number one Novak Djokovic and defending champion Rafael Nadal will lead the men’s singles field for the 2014 U.S. Open, set for Aug. 25-Sept. 8 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The field features six former U.S. Open champs, including Djokovic (2011), two-time champion Nadal (2010 and 2013), five-time champion Roger Federer (2004-2008), Andy Murray (2012), Juan Martin del Potro (2009) and Lleyton Hewitt (2001). Each of the world’s top 104 men received direct entry into the U.S. Open, representing 36 countries.

Leading the entry list is Djokovic who has reached the U.S. Open finals every year since 2010. He won his seventh major title earlier this month at Wimbledon, beating Federer in five sets, after which he reclaimed the world number one ranking from Nadal.

The defending U.S. Open champion Nadal defeated Djokovic in four sets last year to win his second U.S. Open, joining Federer (2007) as the only men to win the Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series and U.S. Open titles in the same year. This spring, the Spaniard won his record ninth French Open title, giving him 14 Grand Slam singles championships, tied with Pete Sampras for second all-time.

World number three Federer of Switzerland is the all-time leader with 17 major singles titles, and was bidding for his eighth Wimbledon title this month before falling to Djokovic in the five-set final. Federer is competing for his sixth U.S. Open title, which would surpass Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors for the most U.S. Open men’s singles titles in the Open Era.

Stanislas Wawrinka, a 2013 U.S. Open semifinalist, won his first major singles championship at the Australian Open earlier in 2014, joining del Potro (2009 U.S. Open) as the only men outside the “Big Four” of Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray to win a Grand Slam title since the 2005 French Open.

Filling out the field’s top 10 men’s field are number five Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, a 2012 U.S. Open semifinalist and 2010 Wimbledon finalist; number six Milos Raonic of Canada, a 2014 Wimbledon semifinalist; number seven David Ferrer of Spain, a French Open finalist in 2013 and two-time U.S. Open semifinalist (2007 and 2012); number eight and 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina; number nine Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, a 2014 Wimbledon semifinalist; and at number 10, Murray, the 2012 U.S. Open champion and 2013 Wimbledon champion.

American men who received direct entry into the draw are number 12 John Isner of Greensboro, N.C., number 62 Sam Querrey of Las Vegas, Nev., number 64 Steve Johnson of Orange, Calif.; number 69 Jack Sock of Lincoln, Neb.; number 70 Donald Young of Atlanta; and number 77 Bradley Klahn of Poway, Calif.

Germany’s Dustin Brown, currently ranked 104th in the world is the last man to receive direct entry into the field of 128. No players used protected or special rankings to gain direct entry. Sixteen more players will gain entry through the U.S. Open Qualifying Tournament, held Aug. 19-22, while the eight remaining spots are wild cards awarded by the USTA.