The No. 1 player in the world is seeking his record-tying sixth consecutive U.S. Open title and third major of the year. Federer has won four of the last five tournaments he's entered.
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Serena and Venus Williams
Neither won a tournament during the hard-court tune-ups, but never discount the sisters at majors. Defending champion Serena is looking for her third Grand Slam of the year and fourth U.S. Open crown; she is 18-1 in majors and 20-9 in other tournaments this year. Venus, who won the Open in 2000 and '01, is coming off a loss to Kateryna Bondarenko in her first match at the Rogers Cup in Toronto.
3 of 17Jessica Kluetmeier/SI
Nadal ought to be fairly fresh for a change, having missed June and July to recover from a knee injury. The bad news: He's still not at full strength, as evidenced by his play in Montreal and Cincy.
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Back after a two-year retirement, Clijsters looked like her old self in winning five of seven matches over two tournaments, including victories against top 20 players Svetlana Kuznetsova, Victoria Azarenka, Marion Bartoli and Patty Schnyder. Clijsters, in fact, won the title in her last U.S. Open appearance, in 2005.
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The 22-year-old Scot, who recently ascended to No. 2, is 53-8 with five titles this year. He's hoping to make the Open the first Grand Slam title of his career.
6 of 17Simon Bruty/SI
The No. 1 player in the world has never won a major, a glaring omission for criticis who question the legitimacy of her ranking. Safina has made runs at the first three majors this year, only to unravel in the semifinals or final.
7 of 17Bob Martin/SI
He won over Tennis Nation with his stirring performance against Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final. Roddick's year centers on this event, which he won in 2003.
8 of 17Simon Bruty/SI
At 27, she's running out of chances to win her first major. The good news is that she enters in the U.S. Open in good form, having played well in the hard-court tournaments on the heels of nearly beating Serena Williams in the Wimbledon semifinals.
9 of 17Nick Laham/Getty Images
Since Wimbledon, the rising American won a title in Los Angeles, reached the finals in Newport, R.I., and Indianapolis, and beat Andy Roddick in Cincinnati. (He also was still alive at the Pilot Pen the weekend before the U.S. Open was to begin.) If the 23rd-ranked Querrey makes a run in New York, you'll be hearing plenty from his boisterous fan club, the Samurai.
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Sharapova reached the semifinals in L.A. and final in Toronto in her last two tournaments, promising signs in her comeback from shoulder surgery. But Sharapova has struggled badly with her serve as she tries to get comfortable with her new motion. She won the U.S. Open in 2006.
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The fourth-ranked Djokovic hasn't advanced past the quarterfinals in a Grand Slam tournament this year. The New York crowd reaction to Djokovic should be interesting; last year he was booed for comments he made after beating Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals.
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The 19-year-old from Denmark reached a career-high No. 8 ranking earlier this month; she's the only teenager in the top 10. Wozniacki has never been past the fourth round in a Grand Slam.
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Juan Martin del Potro
In his U.S. Open prep, the 20-year-old Argentine beat Andy Roddick in the Legg Mason final and pushed Andy Murray to three sets in the Rogers Cup final.
14 of 17Jessica Kluetmeier/SI
The former top-ranked player's results have been spotty all year, though she did beat Victoria Azarenka, Elena Dementieva and Dinara Safina en route to the Cincinnati title two weeks ago. She was an Open finalist last year.
15 of 17Nick Laham/Getty Images, Paul Crock/AFP/Getty Images
Marat Safin and Fabrice Santoro
The two entertaining longtime pros plan to retire after the season, making the U.S. Open their final major. The ultratalented and combustible Safin won the Open nine years ago. Santoro, nicknamed the Magician, delights fans with his unique brand of guile and shot making.
16 of 17Bob Martin/SI
The reigning French Open champion won the Open in 2004. She has the game to do it again, but she didn't play well on the summer hard-court circuit.
17 of 17Jessica Kluetmeier/SI
The Frenchman is capable of big things (he rallied to stun Roger Federer at the Rogers Cup) and perplexing flameouts (he lost opening matches to John Isner and Chris Guccione in his next two tournaments).
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