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Ricky’s Preview And Picks for Day 3 Of The U.S. Open Tennis Including Dimitrov vs. Coric

By Ricky Dimon

Onward the U.S. Open goes, into the second round on Tuesday. Familiar foes Grigor Dimitrov and Stan Wawrinka are both in action, but this time not against each other. Wawrinka is facing Jeremy Chardy, while another Frenchman–Lucas Pouille–is also part of a busy schedule.

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

Grigor Dimitrov vs. (12) Borna Coric

Is Dimitrov ever going to recapture the form that carried him to No. 3 in the world at the end of 2017? Now would be a good time to start a trend back upward, as time is not entirely on his side at 28 years old. For now, though, he is in the prime of his career and capable of turning things around. He has been plagued by bad draws–mostly against Stan Wawrinka–this summer but played an especially high-quality match in Cincinnati, albeit in a losing effort against the Swiss. The Bulgarian’s chances in this showdown actually have more to do with Coric. The 12th-seeded Croat has struggled physically of late, compiling a 1-4 record in his last five matches prior to the U.S. Open and missed Wimbledon due to injury.

Pick: Dimitrov in 

(23) Stan Wawrinka vs. Jeremy Chardy

There is nothing to like about Chardy’s chances heading into this one. The Frenchman has done well just to reach the second round after retiring in Winston-Salem with an injury, but this is likely where his U.S. Open road ends. First, he is coming off a tough five-setter against Winston-Salem champion Hubert Hurkacz. Perhaps even more important is the fact that Chardy is 0-5 lifetime against Wawrinka. He is 1-11 lifetime in total sets. Wawrinka, of course, is a former U.S. Open champion (2016) and has won three slams throughout his illustrious career.

Pick: Wawrinka in 3

(25) Lucas Pouille vs. Dan Evans

Pouille quite simply knows what he is doing on the biggest stages in tennis. The 27th-ranked Frenchman has reached at least the quarterfinals at three of the four Grand Slams, including at the U.S. Open in 2016 thanks to an upset of Rafael Nadal and the semifinals at this year’s Australian Open. His current campaign in New York City got off to a strong start with a convincing win over tough veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber. Evans was just 1-5 in his last six main-draw matches heading into this tournament. The 58th-ranked Frenchman has won only four main-draw matches in his career at the U.S. Open, so an edge in both experience and current form go to Pouille.

Pick: Pouille in 4

(27) Dusan Lajovic vs. Denis Kudla 

Lajovic may have a huge edge in the rankings (No. 29 to Kudla’s 111th), but this should be a much more even contest than those numbers suggest. Lajovic’s ranking is a bit inflated due to a runner-up performance in Monte-Carlo this spring, which came on his favorite surface: clay. The Serb has never done much in Grand Slams, so this is a nice opportunity for Kudla to be competitive against a seeded opponent and perhaps even win outright. Kudla has home-court advantage in the United States and is at his best on relatively fast surfaces, which is what this event offers. The head-to-head series is tied up at 1-1 and this rubber match of sorts should be a long, drawn-out affair.

Pick: Lajovic in 5

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

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