10sBalls.com

Ricky’s Preview | Picks For Day 2 of the U.S. Open Tennis Including Shapovalov vs. Auger-Aliassime

By Ricky Dimon

First-round action continues on Tuesday in New York, where there is a jam-packed schedule on the men’s side. Good friends and fellow Canadians Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime are set for a first-round rematch.

Ricky previews four of the best matchups and makes his predictions.

Denis Shapovalov vs. (18) Felix Auger-Aliassime

In the long run I’m on the Auger-Aliassime bandwagon just like everyone else. He is a slam winner for sure and possibly a future world No. 1. For now, though, I’m not anywhere close to being on it. The 19-year-old Canadian appears to have hit the wall in what has been a breakout 2019 campaign. Most notably, his serve is an unmitigated disaster at the moment. Shapovalov has been struggling relative to his good friend and fellow Canadian, but he is coming off a semifinal performance in Winston-Salem under new coach Mikhail Youzhny. Unless Auger-Aliassime suddenly starts serving decent, Shapovalov should win this U.S. Open first-round rematch. 

Pick: Shapovalov in 4

(8) Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Andrey Rublev

Rublev is one of the toughest first-round draws, it has to be said. He is a former U.S. Open quarterfinalist and he recently upset Federer in Cincinnati. That being said, he is being hyped as the Second Coming heading into the U.S. Open and people probably need to tone it down just a bit. Federer was rusty having not played since Wimbledon and Rublev has not done much at any slam over the past 23 months. The Russian has to be somewhat fatigued, too. Tsitsipas may be struggling, but at least he is well-rested heading into the season’s final major. And the Greek loves the big stage. 

Pick: Tsitsipas in 4

Steve Johnson vs. (28) Nick Kyrgios

With no disrespect to Johnson, he will mostly be an innocent bystander in this match. Like many Kyrgios opponents (although certainly not all), the American will not have much of an impact on the outcome…which might be a good thing for him. After all, Johnson just lost the last two sets of his Winston-Salem semifinal against Benoit Paire 6-0, 6-0 after winning the first set 6-1. Kyrgios his been all over the place this summer both mentally and from a results standpoint. The Aussie will likely be up and down in this one, as well, but he is actually playing good tennis right now and he will be inspired by a U.S. Open draw that gives him some marquee matchups down the road while also providing a very real shot at the semifinals. 

Pick: Kyrgios in 4

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Tennys Sandgren

Tsonga has quietly compiled a 23-14 record this season and he has not lost to anyone outside the top 35 since early May. The veteran Frenchman appears to be healthy these days, and when healthy he is always dangerous–especially on a big stage and on a relatively quick surface. Sandgren’s hard-court summer has been a complete debacle aside from a Winston-Salem first-round win over Andy Murray. Of course, Murray is not the same Murray…(yet?). Tsonga is not the same Tsonga, for that matter, but the 34-year-old is slowly making his way back and should have way too much firepower from the American in these conditions. 

Pick: Tsonga in 4

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *