The second round of the US Open begins in New York on Wednesday on a day where we get closer to the seeded players being able to face each other for the first time as the final major of the year continues at Flushing Meadows.
It would appear we are going to need to dodge some early rain but when play does get underway across the main courts we have a very good schedule to enjoy throughout the day and right into the evening.
Arthur Ashe Stadium
The same schedule applies on the main stadium as it has gone all week so far which means that we have two matches in the day session and two more at night. It is the American star Coco Gauff who will grace the court first in the day. She has a clash with fellow teenager Mirra Andreeva to overcome. When that match has concluded Novak Djokovic will continue his quest for Grand Slam number 24 when he goes up against Bernabe Zapata Miralles to round off the day action.
It is the men who get the night session underway on Ashe on Wednesday and it is an American player who will have the spotlight first up when Frances Tiafoe takes on Sebastian Ofner for a spot in the third round of his home Slam. We might well save the best for last on this court as the night session concludes with the former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova going up against Caroline Wozniacki in a real standout clash.
Louis Armstrong Stadium
We have three matches in the day session over on the Louis Armstrong Stadium to enjoy and we begin with another clash which could steal the show on the day as Elise Mertens meets the home player Danielle Collins. When they are done we get a rare outing of the world number one and defending champion Iga Swiatek over on the Armstrong Stadium. She faces off against Daria Saville before the former winner Dominic Thiem is given the honour of rounding off the day action when he faces Ben Shelton.
The night session begins with the women on this court and we get to see the former Wimbledon champion and Australian Open finalist Elena Rybakina on show. She will meet the Australian player Ajla Tomljanovic, who has caused seed problems in Slams in the past. When they are done the American number one male will grace the court to close the show as Taylor Fritz looks to build on an encouraging first round win when he meets Juan Pablo Varillas.
The doubles gets underway on Wednesday as well so we have singles and doubles mixed into the schedule on the Grandstand court. The Los Cabos champion Stefanos Tsitsipas will be given the honour of opening up the show when he takes on the qualifier Dominic Stricker. When they are done we have the former finalist Victoria Azarenka going up against Lin Zhu for a spot in the third round. It is the women’s doubles match that follows those two and when we return to singles action the 2022 finalist Casper Ruud will face Zhizhen Zhang in a good looking closer on this court.
There is a really good looking schedule to enjoy over on Court 17 once again on Wednesday. We begin with the popular American player Taylor Townsend taking on Beatriz Haddad Maia before the Mallorca champion Christopher Eubanks looks to progress to the third round at the expense of Benjamin Bonzi. Tommy Paul is a dark horse for many at this tournament and he will surely attract a raucous crowd to this part of Flushing Meadows when he competes in the third match on the schedule. Roman Safiullin is his opponent. Jennifer Brady is the last American on this court on Wednesday. She meets Magda Linette.
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Best of the Rest
Seeded players have dropped quite quickly in the opening couple of days of the tournament but we still have a number of them condensed into the schedule in and around the doubles on the outside courts. Over on Court 5, Belinda Bencic, Laslo Djere and Sorana Cirstea will look to make progress while Karolina Muchova, Adrian Mannarino and Jelena Ostapenko are all on the Court 11 schedule. Francisco Cerundolo and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina are other seeds dotted around the grounds.
I like a couple of bets from the men’s draw on Wednesday with the first of those coming in the match between Dominic Thiem and Ben Shelton. Thiem picked up a first Grand Slam win since the Australian Open in 2021 in the first round when he saw off Alexander Bublik and I would imagine he is going to free up and play some of his better tennis from here on in now that he has that monkey off his back. Bublik was a bit of a mess in that match but he might not find much more resistance from Shelton who dropped the first set to Pedro Cachin 61 in his opening match before finally coming through. There was little that was impressive about that win though and while it took Carlos Alcaraz and Stefanos Tsitsipas to beat him in Toronto and Cincinnati, he didn’t really show much in either of those tournaments. Thiem clearly has some confidence after making the final of a clay event on home soil earlier in the month and if he frees up and plays a solid match here I expect him to have too much for an overrated Shelton.
Many people are suggesting Tommy Paul is a dark horse this fortnight after beating Carlos Alcaraz in Toronto and then taking him to a deciding set in Cincinnati but he might not have it all his own way against Roman Safiullin, who just last month was competing in the quarter finals at Wimbledon having taken care of Roberto Bautista Agut and Denis Shapovalov on his way there. The Russian showed his liking for quick courts in the first round here when he battered Marco Cecchinato. To be fair, he was expected to do that but he still did it and probably doesn’t have a huge amount to lose against Paul. Paul showed his fallible side when he lost a set to Stefano Travaglia in the opening round and I think Safiullin is good for a set if not two here which should keep him safely within the 5.5 game handicap.
There is just the one that I like in the women’s draw on Wednesday and we have to wait until the closer on Arthur Ashe for it to arrive. I always feel that Petra Kvitova is most vulnerable in this Grand Slam and the fact that she has never been beyond the quarter final here as opposed to the other three where she has, suggests that it is the weakest of the Slams. I suspect a reason for that is her questionable movement can be exposed more on this track.
Caroline Wozniacki is still in her first month back on the tour but there is no doubt that she is improving with every match that she has played and the one thing which hasn’t left her is her defensive skills and that could be key here. We have seen Kvitova struggle in humid conditions in the past and with the storms around New York over the next day or so the humidity is going to be high. Wozniacki is probably playing with nothing to lose this season and I think she’s value to take out a hit or miss Kvitova.
Back D.Thiem to beat B.Shelton for a 3/10 stake at 2.10 with William Hill
Back R.Safiullin (+5.5 games) to beat T.Paul for a 3/10 stake at 1.85 with William Hill
Back them here:
Back C.Wozniacki to beat P.Kvitova for a 3/10 stake at 2.90 with Coral
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