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Djokovic, Murray, Federer, Nadal lead 2016 US Open men's field

Novak Djokovic (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images))
Photo by:  (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images))

The top four men's players in the world will return to New York next month to compete for a shot at the title at the year's final Grand Slam. Defending champion and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, reigning Wimbledon winner and No. 2 Andy Murray, five-time men's singles champion and No. 3 Roger Federer and two-time titlist and No. 4 Rafael Nadal headline a packed men’s singles field set to compete at the 2016 US Open.

This year's men's field includes five former men's singles champions. In addition to Djokovic (2011, 2015), Murray (2012), Federer (2004-2008), Nadal (2010, 2013), 2014 winner Marin Cilic is also entered. Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion, is entered as an alternate and would be making his first appearance at the US Open since 2013.

In addition, each of the world’s top 98 men, representing 38 countries, received direct entry into the 2016 tournament.

Djokovic, who has reached the singles final in New York in five of the last six years, captured his 12th major championship at the French Open in June to complete the career Grand Slam. The Serb held all four major titles and had a 30-match winning streak at major tournaments before he was defeated by Sam Querrey in the third round at Wimbledon.

Murray won his third major and second Wimbledon title earlier this month after finishing runner-up to Djokovic at this year’s Australian and French Opens. The Scot, also the reigning Olympic gold medalist, defeated Djokovic in the 2012 US Open final to win his first Grand Slam championship.

Federer, the all-time leader in Grand Slam singles titles with 17, was bidding to win his eighth Wimbledon title this summer before falling to Milos Raonic in the semifinals. The Swiss is competing for his sixth US Open title, which would surpass Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors for the most US Open men’s singles championships in the Open era.

Spain's Nadal, a 14-time Grand Slam champion, won his 69th career ATP World Tour title in Barcelona this April. He has not played competitively since withdrawing from the French Open in June with a wrist injury.

The 2016 men’s singles field also includes: No. 5 Stan Wawrinka, the 2014 Australian Open and 2015 French Open champion; No. 6 Kei Nishikori, a 2014 US Open finalist; No. 7 Raonic, who reached his first Grand Slam singles final at Wimbledon this month; No. 8 Tomas Berdych, a former world No. 4 and 2016 Wimbledon semifinalist; No. 9 Dominic Thiem; No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga; and No. 11 David Goffin.

Vasek Pospisil, ranked No. 98, is the last man to receive direct entry into the field of 128. Six players used a protected ranking to gain entry: Nos. 39 Julien Benneteau and Janko Tipsarevic, No. 56 Brian Baker, No. 81 Thanasi Kokkinakis, No. 89 Dmitry Tursunov and No. 94 Jerzy Janowicz. Sixteen more players will gain entry through the US Open Qualifying Tournament, which will be held Aug. 23-26, while the eight remaining spots are wild cards awarded by the USTA.

American men who received direct entry include No. 16 John Isner, No. 25 Steve Johnson, No. 26 Jack Sock, No. 29 Querrey, No. 56 Baker, No. 57 Donald Young and No. 67 Taylor Fritz, the 2015 US Open boys' singles champion.

The July 18 edition of the Emirates ATP Rankings was used to determine the US Open main-draw entry list. Seeds will be determined and announced closer to the start of the event.

The 2016 US Open will be played Monday, Aug. 29, through Sunday, Sept. 11, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The US Open Men’s Singles Championship is presented by Mercedes-Benz.