Multiple top ranked players have already fallen in the first round, including Stefanos Tsitsipas, Roberto Bautista Agut, and American No. 1 Taylor Fritz. Is this been a sign of things to come? Wednesday’s schedule provides plenty of fantastic matches, and there’s quite a few chances for upsets.
No. 1 Danlil Medvedev vs. Arthur Rinderknech (Head-to-Head: 0-0)
The top ranked player in the world and the defending champion Medvedev had no issues in the first round, looking in peak performance with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 victory over Stefan Kozlov.
The first round was not as smooth for Rinderknech, who dropped the first set but battled back to win 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-2 against fellow Frenchman Quentin Halys. Allowing Halys to save nine break points, Rinderknech will have to covert as many chances as possible to have a chance in this match.
Prediction: Medvedev in 3
No. 12 Pablo Carreño Busta vs. Alexander Bublik (Head-to-Head: Carreño Busta leads 3-0)
The Montreal Champion Carreño Busta defeated 2020 US Open Champion Dominic Thiem in four sets, 7-5, 6-1, 5-7, 6-3. Thiem has been battling injuries since winning that Grand Slam, but he can still cause issues for top players, such as PCB. Nonetheless, the Spaniard was able to take care of business and advance to round two.
Bublik had no real trouble in round one, defeating Hugo Gaston 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, who has now not won an ATP Main Draw Match since July 12. Bublik has the skillset to provide trouble for PCB, but I don’t believe it’ll be enough to defeat him.
Prediction: Carreño Busta in 4
No. 5 Felix Auger-Aliassime vs. Jack Draper (Head-to-Head: 0-0)
Auger-Aliassime survived a slight scare in round one, dropping the third set and allowing twelve break point chances to Swiss Qualifier Alexander Ritschard, but came out on top 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. FAA has not been playing his best tennis as of late, but is still an incredibly tough player to face at any time.
Jack Draper, on the other hand, had no real trouble with Emil Ruusuvuori in his opening matchup, handling business 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. Draper, making his first appearance in the US Open, is playing with nothing to lose, and he has the talent to knock off another top seed.
Prediction: Draper in 5
No. 13 Matteo Berrettini vs. Hugo Grenier (Head-to-Head: Berretini leads 1-0)
Grenier was able to secure a spot in the first round as a Lucky Loser after Pablo Andujar withdrew, setting up Grenier against Tomás Martín Etcheverry, who he defeated 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.
Berrettini has not had the kind of year he was hoping for, having to withdraw from Wimbledon after testing positive for COVID-19, a place where he was the second-highest odds-on favorite. Berrettini put on a dominant performance against Nicolas Jarry, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3, and should do the same here.
Prediction: Berrettini in 3
Alejandro Tabilo vs. J.J. Wolf (Head-to-Head: Tabilo leads 1-0)
The American J.J. Wolf got the chaos started on Monday as he defeated Roberto Bautista Agut, giving Wolf his first Top 20 win in his career. He did not simply win that match, he controlled it from start to finish, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, never dropping a service game.
Tabilo held control for the majority of his first round matchup against Kamil Majchrzak, 6-1, 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-1. Tabilo showed an immense amount of poise after playing a bad third set tiebreak to take care of the fourth set in the form that he did. However, if Wolf can carry over the level of play from Monday’s match, Tabilo will be in a lot of trouble.
Prediction: Wolf in 4
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina vs. Márton Fucsovics (Head-to-Head: Fucsovics leads 1-0)
Davidovich Fokina won an interesting match against the Japanese No. 1 Yoshihito Nishioka 6-3, 7-5, 6-3, where there were twelve breaks of serve total, with ADF getting eight of those. Nishioka was not playing at his best, which Davidovich Fokina took advantage of completely.
Fucsovics is back once again into the US Open Main Draw, this marking his seventh appearance. However, this only marks the second time he’s advanced past the first round (2020), after getting a walkover against Maxime Cressey while leading 6-7(4), 7-5, 5-1. This is truly one of the biggest toss-ups of the day, but if Davidovich Fokina can limit his unforced errors, he should walk away victorious.
Prediction: Davidovich Fokina in 5
No. 23 Nick Kyrgios vs Benjamin Bonzi (Head-to-Head: 0-0)
Kyrgios, dubbed as one of the most entertaining players on tour due to his on-court antics, including everything from attempting between-the-legs shots to arguing with the chair umpire on a regular basis. All of that aside, Kyrgios is, without a doubt, one of the most talented players in all of tennis, and recently won his first Masters 1000 title at the Citi Open. Kyrgios defeated his doubles partner Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4) in round one, and sits as one of the favorites to win the US Open.
Bonzi was put through the ringer in a five-set match that lasted over three-and-a-half hours against Ugo Humbert that he was able to escape 7-6(1), 6-1, 5-7, 3-6, 6-2. Bonzi has not been playing very well since establishing himself on the ATP Tour, and would need Kyrgios to lose complete focus to give him a chance in this one.
Prediction: Kyrgios in 3
No. 18 Alex De Minaur vs. Cristian Garin (Head-to-Head: De Minaur leads 3-1)
The 23-year-old Australian De Minaur had no problems in the first round, defeating Filip Krajinovic 7-5, 6-2, 6-3, De Minaur has quietly put together an impressive few months, which included winning the Atlanta Open title.
Prior to Monday, Garin had not won an ATP Tour match since July 4th in the Round of 16 at Wimbledon. His opponent that day? Alex De Minaur. Garin is hoping that his victory over Jiri Lehecka, 3-6, 7-6(1), 7-5, 6-1, will put himself back on course. I believe that De Minaur has continued to improve since that match at Wimbledon, and I can’t say the same for Garin.
Prediction: De Minaur in 3
No. 29 Tommy Paul vs. Sebastian Korda (Head-to-Head: Korda leads 3-0)
In this All-American second round match, we’ll get to see part of the future of American tennis with these two, as both of them are only going to get better. Neither of them could get through the first-round unscathed, with Paul having to work the hardest before defeating Bernabe Zapata Miralles in five sets 4-6, 6-3, 2-6, 6-0, 7-5.
Korda secured the victory over Qualifier Facundo Bagnis 5-7, 7-6(3), 7-5, 6-1. He and Paul have both landed some quality victories since the hard-court swing began, but both have lost matches that they probably shouldn’t have. Korda has proven three times that he can handle Tommy Paul, I’d expect him to do it a fourth time, in a very entertaining match.
Prediction: Korda in 5
Andy Murray vs. Emilio Nava (Head-to-Head: 0-0)
Nava came into his first US Open, as a big underdog, to get his first ATP Tour win against John Millman 7-6(7), 4-6, 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-1 to set up a match with one of the all-time greats. Murray faced No. 24 Francisco Cerundolo, who finishes the month of August 0-3, and gutted out the 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 victory.
Murray holds a clear advantage over the 20-year-old Nava, but that doesn’t mean Nava won’t make Murray work for it. This could be an unexpected thriller.
Prediction: Murray in 4
Daniel Elahi Galán vs. Jordan Thompson (Head-to-Head: Galán leads 1-0)
The biggest upset in the first round on the men’s side came when Galán knocked off No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-0, 6-1, 3-6, 7-5. Tsitsipas was not on top of his game, but Galán deserves all the credit. Tsitsipas stated post-match that Galán looked like a “world-class player” against him, and he’s not wrong. If Galán can keep that level of play, he could go deep into the US Open.
Jordan Thompson landed a five-set comeback victory over Lorenzo Sonego 2-6, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4, a match where Thompson had to assist Sonego off the court afterwards due to cramping, showing a ton of class.
A matchup between two first-round underdogs, but with the level that Galán played with in the first round, you’ve got to expect, at least, some of it to carry into Wednesday’s match.
Prediction: Galán in 4
Nuno Borges vs. Yibing Wu (Head-to-Head 0-0)
Easily the most slept on matchup of round two (probably because the winner will most likely face Medvedev), but this has all the makings to be one of the best matches of the tournament. Borges defeated American Ben Shelton in round one 7-6(6), 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-7(8), 6-3, in what has been the best match thus far in the tournament. Shelton has caused a lot of issues for players, already, due to his incredible serve, but Borges was able to handle it extremely well.
Yibing Wu also secured his first Grand Slam victory, defeating Nikoloz Basilashvili in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-0, and secured the first for a Chinese man since 1959. Wu has grown into a true prodigy by storming onto the scene via the ATP Challenger Tour, and has the talent and skillset to be around for a long, long time.
This is a match you’re going to want to sit back, eat popcorn, and enjoy the show. Watching two players who could be the No. 1 for their respective countries by this time next year, will be a thrilling experience. If Borges is able to continue hitting shots as consistently as he did against Shelton, as well as returning the way that he was able to, Borges should be able to set up a potential date with the No. 1 seed Medvedev.
Prediction: Borges in 4
Brandon Holt vs. Pedro Cachín (Head-to-Head 0-0)
Holt has quickly made a name for himself after defeating the American No. 1 Taylor Fritz 6-7(3), 7-6(1), 6-3, 6-4. Holt deserves all the credit he is receiving for this victory, as he thoroughly outplayed Fritz on Monday evening.
Cachín was forced to work extremely hard, and win a fifth-set tiebreak to advance over Aljaz Bedene 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 1-6, 7-6(6). In a match that lasted almost four hours, Cachín forced 21 break point opportunities, but only converted four of them. He’ll need to do much more than that to hang with the young American.
Prediction: Holt in 3
No. 21 Botic van de Zandschulp vs. Corentin Moutet (Head-to-Head: 0-0)
BVDZ was pushed to the brink by Tomas Machac, but escaped with a 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 win, but if he plays at that level against Moutet, that match will be over quickly. Moutet is well-rested, advancing due to a retirement of veteran Stan Wawrinka, while Moutet was leading 6-4, 7-6(7).
Moutet has all the intangibles to cause a lot of issues for BVDZ, especially when BVDZ isn’t playing at his top level. Expect another seeded player to fall.
Prediction: Moutet in 4
No. 5 Casper Ruud vs. Tim van Rijthoven (Head-to-Head: 0-0)
Tim van Rijthoven saved seven match points and completed a massive comeback in five-sets against Chinese Qualifier Zhizhen Zhang 3-6, 6-7(4), 7-6(9), 6-1, 6-4. This was van Rijthoven’s first ATP Tour victory since the third round of Wimbledon.
Ruud has an opportunity to become the top ranked player on tour, but he’ll need to win this tournament along with getting a little help elsewhere. Ruud cruised through his first round match against Kyle Edmund 6-3, 7-5, 6-2. There will be upsets elsewhere, not here.
Prediction: Ruud in 3
No. 27 Karen Khachanov vs Thiago Montiero (Head-to-Head: Khachanov leads 2-0)
Montiero has defeated big name players before, and has another opportunity to do so here. Montiero defeated Alex Molcan 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 on Monday, dropping the second set due to a slight lapse in focus.
Khachanov followed a trend we’ve seen multiple times so far: losing the first set and then winning the match, which he did against Denis Kudla 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. Khachanov holds a big advantage against Montiero, and has beaten him twice before. Expect a third win for Khachanov in this one, as he looks to match his deepest run in the US Open (third round in 2018, 2020).
Prediction: Khachanov in 3
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