Murray and Djokovic in same bracket at US Open
World number one and defending champion Serena Williams leads the women's field
US Open champion Andy Murray faces the mouthwatering prospect of meeting top seed Novak Djokovic in this year's semi-finals after the draw for the season's final grand slam was announced.
Murray, who is also the Wimbledon champion, landed in the top half of the draw for the Aug 26-Sept 9 tournament in New York while second seed Rafael Nadal and five-times US Open champion Roger Federer were placed in the bottom half.
Scotsman Murray, who beat Serb Djokovic in an epic five-set final to claim last year's title at Flushing Meadows, was elated to be back at a venue where he has enjoyed considerable success.
"This is a huge tournament for me," Murray, 26, said after the official draw ceremony was completed at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
"I came here for the first time when I was 15. I got to my first grand slam final here, my first grand slam win here and I won the juniors here when I was 17 so I love coming back."
Murray will take on Frenchman Michael Llodra in the opening round while Djokovic launches his title bid against Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis.
Seventh-seed Federer has been placed outside the top three for the first time in more than a decade at a grand slam and is drawn to meet in-form Nadal in the quarter-finals.
However, the Spaniard could face a tricky opponent in the previous round where he is scheduled to meet big-serving American John Isner, whom Nadal beat in the final of the Western and Southern Open last week.
In the women's singles draw, world number one and defending champion Serena Williams is set to come up against Germany's Angelique Kerber in the last eight but she has two other intriguing opponents potentially lying in wait.
Top seed Williams is scheduled to face fellow American Sloane Stephens in the fourth round, the player who stunningly beat her in this year's Australian Open quarter-finals.
Should Williams overcome that potential hurdle, she could then meet her older sister, Venus, who has the chance to advance through Kerber's section of the draw. However, Serena Williams has no plans to look too far ahead as she sets her sights on winning a 17th grand slam singles title.
"I take every match really seriously," she said while sitting next to Murray after the draw ceremony. "I don't look too far in the draw. I just look at each match.
"Every match is going to be a very, very tough competition for me and I will just stay focused on one at a time."