At the time of writing, the US Open day two first round matches were underway but rain had interrupted play and the only matches taking place were in the Arthur Ashe stadium under the new roof, which is already paying back the millions of dollars invested in it.
So far on the men’s side there have been a handful of upsets with 13th seed Sock being the highest ranked player to lose so far against the talented but injury prone Aussie Jordan Thompson in five sets. Veteran Ferrer (seeded 21), who had been in good form in the build up to this year’s US Open, failed to live up to the expectations of many expert pundits when losing against qualifier Kukushkin in four sets. The talented NextGen star Khachanov seeded 25 found wily veteran Lu too good and 32nd seed Haase was sent packing in straight sets by Britain’s in-form Kyle Edmunds.
The women’s tournament has witnessed more upsets so far and already we have lost three top 10 stars. Firstly, second seed Halep lost out against “drug cheat” Sharapova for the second time losing their first round match 6-4 4-6 6-3 on Monday night while defending champion and sixth seed Kerber crashed out 6-3 6-1 against the talented young Japanese star Osaka last night. Furthermore, seventh seed Konta was also embarrassed when losing from a set up against the unseeded Serbian Krunic, also on Monday night.
From a second-round match betting perspective there are a few matches that have caught my eye. I think favourite Thompson (1.30, who knocked out 13th seed Sock, will struggle to raise his game to the same level and win against the more experienced Italian Fabbiano tonight. The Italian leads the head-to-head 2-1 with both his wins coming on hard courts and he beat Thompson’s compatriot Patrick-Smith in the first round.
Fourth seed and third favourite Alexander Zverev (1.14) has not proved himself at Grand Slam level yet and while this year’s US Open might be the one where he finally does do well, his results at past Slams suggest he is not yet ready. He has not made it past the third round of a Grand Slam yet and at the hard-court ones the US and Australian Opens he’s not made it past the second round yet. His opponent today Borna Coric won their only encounter on hard courts at the Cincinnati Masters in 2015 in straight sets and definitely has the game and talent to push Zverev close or to beat him if he is at all tired after a very busy successful season so far.
Eighth Seed Tsonga (1.40) faces the talented in form NextGen star and qualifier Canadian Shapovalov tonight and on current hard-court form, which includes wins against Del Potro, Nadal, Mannarino and Medvedev, it’s worth siding with the young Canadian as Tsonga lost his two hard court matches in the build up to the US Open.
Ninth seed Venus Williams (1.08) was made to work hard in her opening match against the little known 19 year old Kuzmova from Slovakia and things won’t get any easier against the more experienced and talented French youngster Dodin tonight. While its asking a lot for Dodin to beat Venus it’s definitely not out of the question at this stage of the season as Venus’s ageing body will be feeling the strain more and the hot and humid conditions will only make things more physically challenging.