Federer 'screwed' in US Open draw change

Swiss tennis player Roger Federer
US Open officials have done Roger Federer and tennis fans no favours in a reshuffled draw. (AAP)

Roger Federer and Nick Kyrgios remain on a fourth-round collision course after a controversial reshuffle of the US Open men's draw in New York.

Australian super-coach Darren Cahill is advocating a rule change after a US Open seedings fiasco left Nick Kyrgios on a fourth-round collision course with Roger Federer.

The 11th-hour withdrawal of second-seeded former champion Andy Murray with a hip injury has forced officials into a controversial reshuffle of the men's draw at Flushing Meadows.

But rather than third-seeded Federer being the chief beneficiary -- and thus sparing Kyrgios a potential last-16 confrontation with the title favourite -- officials have instead elevated fifth seed Marin Cilic and three other lower-ranked players.

Cilic has been ushered into Murray's prime slot at the bottom of the draw, with Wimbledon semi-finalist Sam Querrey, the 17th seed, assuming Cilic's original position.

Unseeded Philipp Kohlschreiber also wins after being moved to Querrey's initial spot, giving the German protection from seeds until at least the third round, while "lucky loser" Lukas Lacko has gained a place in the main draw despite failing to qualify.

The contentious rejigging has caused a furore in New York, with fans also upset after being robbed of the prospect of Federer and top seed Rafael Nadal squaring off in a dream final.

Instead, the two great rivals remain slated to emerge from a loaded top half of the draw to clash in the semi-finals, while Cilic and German young gun Alexander Zverev spearhead a glaringly weak bottom half.

Two damning statistics further highlight the disparity between the talent-laden top half -- which also contains 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro and Cincinnati champion Grigor Dimitrov -- and the bottom half.

Cilic, who won the 2014 US Open, is the only grand slam champion in the bottom half, while the four highest-ranked players in the bottom quarter have won a total of just three matches since Wimbledon.

While officials have adhered to grand slam regulations, Cahill believes they've got it wrong.

Responding to the obvious question of "Why do all the other seeds get rearranged and Federer NOT move from No.3 to No.2?", Cahill tweeted: "that would make too much sense".

He then proposed: "3 to 2. 5 to 3. 33 to 5. Fairer draw and doesn't screw the player ranked 3 or 5."

Federer being "screwed" also impacts Kyrgios's campaign should both stars, as expected, win their first three matches.

Had Federer been promoted to second seeding, the mighty Swiss wouldn't loom as conspicuous road block for Kyrgios en route to the quarter-finals.

Seeded 14th after his run to the final in Cincinnati last week, Kyrgios opens his tournament on Tuesday against fellow Australian John Millman.

The winner will face either Tunisian Malek Jaziri or Brazil's Thiago Monteiro in the second round.

Source: AAP