US Open 2016: 10 Bold Predictions during Flushing Meadows

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Jeremy EcksteinFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2016

US Open 2016: 10 Bold Predictions during Flushing Meadows

    ROBERTO SCHMIDT/Getty Images

    The 2016 U.S. Open looks to be a bridgehead for a flourishing adversary between universe No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, though several other stars on a men’s and women’s tours have a talent to make history.

    Our “Bold Predictions” preview examines a few of a possibilities for a initial week of a contest when copiousness of variable upsets and surprises will take place. Nobody knows accurately how a movement will unfold, and there are copiousness of questions that need to be answered before a contenders apart themselves into second-week pretension shots.

    Tennis fans consternation if Djokovic’s wrist is healthy. Per Press Association Sport (via Eurosport), he said: “The wrist hasn’t been ideal for a final three-and-a-half weeks. But I’m doing all in my energy with apparently a medical group to make certain that I’m as tighten to 100 per cent as probable during a march of this tournament, during slightest for a commencement of it.”

    Djokovic has not played given his first-match dissapoint exit during a Olympics 3 weeks ago. He skipped Cincinnati’s Western Southern Open, and a initial week will exam his timing as good as his health.

    If he’s not tighten to his best, he competence not make it to a second week. For certain he’s going to need to be healthy for 7 good matches. Otherwise, Murray will demeanour to collect adult a pretension from a bottom of a bracket.

    Meanwhile, women’s No. 1 Serena Williams has had to take time off with an harmed shoulder. Will she be means to come behind and offer with her common fireworks?

    For now, we will pass on including Djokovic or Serena as dissapoint victims. They merit a advantages of doubt until we see them play a compare or two.

    Nobody wins a pretension a initial week, though 112 of 128 hopefuls on any debate will be separated before a fourth round. Who will tarry and who will be cleaning out their lockers and hailing a cab to a airport?

Steve Johnson Will Defeat Juan Martin del Potro

    Juan Martin del Potro needs to be on upset-alert a initial week.Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Juan Martin del Potro was a feel-good story of a Olympics, though a 2009 U.S. Open champion will find it formidable to keep personification during a top-10 level. He should get past associate Argentine Diego Schwartzman, though a second spin will be a trap compare that he competence not survive.

    American Steve Johnson has been sensitively personification glorious tennis on a quick surfaces this summer. He won on a grass-court in Nottingham, England, got to a fourth spin during Wimbledon, battled to a semifinals during Washington D.C., took one set off Murray in a Olympic quarterfinals and degraded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during Cincinnati before bowing out in a quarterfinals to impassioned Grigor Dimitrov.

    Johnson is a new No. 1-ranked American, and he has won 20 of his final 27 matches with good forehand power, a nasty cut backhand and plain returns. He’s earthy adequate to conflict Del Potro. The throng could give him a required boost to lift off a win, and a slightest we will get is a gritty, rival match.

    Don’t be repelled if Del Potro is incompetent to replicate a approach he played in Brazil, even if we favourite him as a No. 7 contender during a U.S. Open.

Venus Williams Ousted in a First Week

    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    Venus Williams is ranked No. 6 in a WTA, though she has a tough time progressing her best spin from one compare to a subsequent given of her ongoing tired issues from Sjogren’s syndrome. She’s also 36 years old.

    Although means of a good run like her semifinal during Wimbledon in early July, she’s customarily as expected to get suspended early like her first-round improved during a Olympics.

    She will remove in a initial week, many expected to Julia Goerges in a second round. Goerges is an gifted maestro during age 27 who hits a tough offer and groundstrokes. She plays good doubles and has had sparse wins opposite a tip players by a years.

    Goerges is unsuitable though dangerous, and an competition like Venus will have her courtesy though a concomitant pressure.

Rafael Nadal Will Look Very Dominating in Week One

    Bryan R. Smith/Associated Press

    Let’s spin to a certain story for one of a biggest superstars in tennis history. Rafael Nadal has had some-more than his share of injuries and setbacks, including over dual months missed between his withdrawal after winning a second spin of a French Open. The Spaniard rebounded with a overwhelming bid during a Olympics, personification 11 matches while seizing a doubles bullion award and a semifinals in singles.

    But there was also concern he had crashed from tired when he was drilled by rising star Borna Coric during Cincinnati. The U.S. Open tough courts are faster than Nadal likes, and he has won a championship during Flushing Meadows customarily when his offer has been lights out (2010 and 2013). Those years are over.

    But this week, Nadal should browbeat his initial 3 opponents starting with Denis Istomin. Only third-round probability Albert Ramos-Vinolas is seeded during No. 31, and that’s unequivocally an arrogant seeding that came with an irregular run on clay courts during a French Open.

    Nadal is rested, and he customarily dominates obtuse opponents with his tenacity. He will be scarcely pointy this week, so many so that tennis fans will start to speak severely about his chances to win a title.

Simona Halep Will Lose to Daria Gavrilova in a Second Round

    Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

    Simona Halep is personification some of her best tennis recently, highlighted by outrageous titles during clay-court Madrid and a Rogers Cup final month. She’s a overworked millstone who hustles, leads beautiful, vital shots and has been a top-five actor for over dual years.

    But a No. 5 Halep gets hiccups now and then, and notwithstanding a 36-13 record in 2016, she ‘s exposed to obtuse players.

    She will be in difficulty with her second-round probability opposite Daria Gavrilova, whom Halep routed twice in a final month—at Montreal and Cincinnati.

    Why? For starters, Gavrilova knows she can kick Halep, like she did during Rome a few months ago. She’s also many improved than her No. 45 ranking after a clever year in 2015 that had her named a WTA’s Newcomer of a Year. She should hurl Lucie Safarova (who is a distant improved clay-court actor than on tough courts) in a initial round.

    Gavrilova is a feisty aspirant who will aim a Halep compare and chuck defensive retrievals, angles and risk-reward shots during a adored Romanian star. She’s going to be ready.

    It has intensity to be a knockdown, drag-out match, and Gavrilova is identical to Halep in how they play and their tiny stature. Gavrilova is also dynamic and would adore to get a few wins in New York so she can pierce into destiny tournaments as a seed with improved draws.

    We’ll take Gavrilova in a stirring upset.

Young ATP Aussies Will Play a Five-Set Thriller in a Third Round.

    Tomic (left) and Kyrgios are friends. (Really.)Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

    Aussie stars could have a polite fight in a third-round ATP strife between No. 14 seed Nick Kyrgios and No. 17 seed Bernard Tomic. It will have all a elements of a blockbuster, finish with arrogant hype, egos and argumentative behavior. That is if Tomic, age 23, and Kyrgios, age 21, work and play their best, something that has been controversial over a years.

    They have not played opposite any other in ATP singles. Tomic is entrance off one of his career’s best stretches, including wins over David Goffin and Kei Nishikori during Cincinnati final week. Kyrgios won a Atlanta pretension instead of going to a Olympics, and he will be a slight favorite, should they meet, mostly given of his some-more absolute offer and forehand.

    Somehow a compare will live adult to a hype. Tomic could win if he keeps control of his prosaic shots that tend to tempt desirous opponents. Kyrgios needs to dispatch after each turn as if this were some-more critical than playing Pokemon Go.

    There will be tragedy and reminders about their Davis Cup failures 6 months ago in losing to a U.S., quite when Tomic indicted Kyrgios of faking illness to equivocate personification a tie.

    The leader will have a probability for a career-best vital by subsequent week.

    That will be Kyrgios.

Petra Kvitova Will Fall in Third Round to Elina Svitolina

    Svitolina (left) will difficulty Kvitova (right) in a third round.LUIS ACOSTA/Getty Images

    Looking for a high-percentage upset? World No. 14 Petra Kvitova has been trending down in 2016, and she’s customarily been past a initial week during a U.S. Open 3 times in 9 years, peaking final year as a quarterfinalist. Off Wimbledon’s grass, a big-serving Czech has been neutralized some-more opposite improved baseliners.

    In a third round, Kvitova will be looking adult during Elina Svitolina, who is uninformed off a final coming during New Haven. Svitolina also dissapoint Serena Williams during a Olympics. A spin later, she was drilled 6-2, 6-0 by Kvitova who went on to measure a bronze award in singles.

    We should get a many closer compare this time around, given Svitolina is a some-more unchanging hitter who can potentially pierce Kvitova around and force her into a high-risk tennis that mostly plagues a Czech.

Alexander Zverev Will Hit Through Stan Wawrinka in a Third Round

    Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

    We could get an intriguing demeanour during maestro vs. pretender if No. 3 seed Stan Wawrinka faces off opposite No. 27 seed Alexander Zverev. On a surface, a blocky Swiss has a knowledge and energy to propagandize a immature German, though Zverev is on a fork of leaping into a elite.

    Zverev stands during a lanky 6’6” and has unusually nimble footwork. He can moment his groundstrokes like Wawrinka, though his defensive intensity and athleticism is greater. Zverev has competed fiercely opposite a handful of tip players this year, including a few tighten waste to Dominic Thiem and a feat over Roger Federer to get to a final in Halle, Germany.

    Zverev is flourishing some-more gentle on a large stages, and it’s customarily a matter of a large win or dual as he storms toward a ATP Top 10. If he gets early momentum, he will be some-more than prepared to nick another big-time win.

    It’s customarily a matter of time, and we’re looking during this weekend for Zverev to lift off a dissapoint opposite a unsuitable Swiss.

Coco Vandeweghe Will Win 3rd-Round Civil War Against Madison Keys

    Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

    Madison Keys keeps brushing closer to stardom, though she’s nonetheless to get a outrageous title. Keys is a new entrance to a WTA Top 10 this summer. The 21-year-old boasts a outrageous serve, large groundstrokes and all a talent and collection to be a large leader on tour. She was a finalist during Rome and Montreal, losing to Serena Williams and Halep, respectively, and she’s left low in roughly all her tournaments this summer.

    But she’s going to accommodate her compare in another American energy player—Coco Vandeweghe. Vandeweghe is a intrepid aspirant who will penchant a loser role. She’s a maestro with a lot of energy in her game, and if she keeps her composure, she can exist Keys by forcing her to strike with reduction margin.

    The leader could be adored to get to a quarterfinals subsequent week in a probable strife opposite universe No. 3 Garbine Muguruza.

Milos Raonic Will Lose in a First Week

    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Wimbledon finalist and universe No. 6 Milos Raonic should journey behind his large offer during Week 1 opposite a comparatively walking lineup. He can explosve his approach past Dustin Brown in a initial round, and afterwards he would face possibly Ryan Harrison or Adrian Mannarino in a second spin before a third-round probability opposite Benoit Paire—the lowest seed in a men’s lift and an unsuitable talent.

    Raonic has been plain given Wimbledon, removing to a Rogers Cup quarterfinals and Cincinnati semifinals. He’s also had adequate rest after bypassing a Olympics, and he likes to play on North American surfaces.

    There’s not unequivocally a good reason he should lose, and many observers will collect him to get to a semifinals, maybe after powdering off Nadal.

    Except that there’s an unconstrained list of players who follow adult a breakthrough vital by flopping in a subsequent one.

    Raonic mostly plays parsimonious sets where tiebreakers are a difference. If he is forced to blemish out a integrate of tiebreakers opposite his scrappy first-week opponents, it could wear on him by a third round.

    Paire is still a many expected actor to lift off a upset, generally if he plays a approach he did in violence Wawrinka during Marseille final February, though it’s mostly infuriating perplexing to figure out when he will play good or overlay his hand.

Jimmy Connors’ 1991 Heroics Will Loom over Young Americans

    Long before Babolat’s yellow rackets, Connors immortalized his neon special all a approach to a 1991 U.S. Open semifinals.Getty Images/Getty Images

    In 1991, 39-year-old Jimmy Connors finished a supernatural run to a U.S. Open semifinals. There will be some-more reminders 25 years later, and it will dawn over a newest stand of immature Americans who wish to one day have their possess epic careers.

    Anytime play is halted given of severe weather, a networks will be certain to lift out some aged Connors footage when he rallied past Aaron Krickstein or when he strike some supernatural defensive earnings opposite Paul Haarhuis. It’s a kind of things that can galvanize American tennis fans—a sip of nostalgia churned in with wish for new stars.

    The iconic Connors is about 40-45 years comparison than Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, Michael Mmoh, Jared Donaldson and Jack Sock. Any of those players who are means to lift off a few upsets will be a toast of New York, and a suggestion of Connors will be tangible once again.

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