Federer awaits the winner of Henman against Rusedski

Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski have been drawn together in the first round of the US Open - with the victor facing the prospect of meeting the world No 1 Roger Federer in round two.

It will be the 10th time the unseeded British pair have played each other, with Henman winning their last six encounters.

The draw favoured the British No 1 and No 17 seed Andy Murray, who will play a qualifier in the opening round. His first major test is likely to come in a third-round tie with the 10th seed Fernando Gonzalez.

The prospect of facing Federer, who begins against Yeu-Tzuoo Wang of Taiwan, will be a big blow for Henman and Rusedski, who are both desperate to get their season back on track.

It will be particularly galling for Henman, now down to 62nd in the world rankings, as he was thrashed by Federer in the second round of Wimbledon this summer. Rusedski, who last beat his long-time British rival in Germany in 1998, has slumped even lower to a ranking of 138.

Henman said: "It is never easy playing against somebody from the same country. Greg and I have played some very important matches against each other over the years, and this one is just as important.

"Both of us would like our rankings to be higher and we have to do well in big events. They don't come any bigger than Grand Slams."

Five British players ­ Josh Goodall, Richard Bloomfield, Katie O'Brien, Sarah Borwell and Melanie South ­ are hoping to secure a place through qualifying.

The second seed Rafael Nadal has been handed a difficult test against the Australian wild card Mark Philippoussis, who reached the final in 1998, when he lost to Pat Rafter.

Andre Agassi will have to work hard to make his retirement tournament a successful one as he starts against the Romanian Andrei Pavel before a possible second-round meeting with the Wimbledon semi-finalist Marcos Baghdatis.

The former women's champion Serena Williams, who is unseeded after six months out with a knee injury, meets Lourdes Dominguez Lino but could play the world No 18 Daniela Hantuchova in round two.

The top seed Amélie Mauresmo will start against a qualifier while the second seed Justine Henin-Hardenne has what looks an easy opener against the Italian Elena Camerin.

The world No 2 Kim Clijsters may return earlier than expected as a scan on her wrist suggested the injury could heal more quickly, a source close to the player said yesterday.

The Belgian had initially feared she would be out of action for more than two months. The injury has left her unable to defend her US Open crown next week.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
This weekend's 'Big Hero 6' by Disney Animation Studios
arts + ents
News
i100
News
Budapest, 1989. Sleepware and panties.
newsDavid Hlynsky's images of Soviet Union shop windows shine a light on our consumerist culture
Arts and Entertainment
Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
books
News
In humans, the ability to regulate the expression of genes through thoughts alone could open up an entirely new avenue for medicine.
science
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee