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Ricky’s Preview and Picks For Day 5 Of The U.S. Open Tennis Including Tsitsipas|Coric

By Ricky Dimon

We are now into the point of the tournament where seeds are going head-to-head against each other. And the first day on which that is the case offers an especially intriguing schedule. Stefanos Tsitsipas is going up against Filip Krajnovic and David Goffin is facing Filip Krajinovic. Novak Djokovic, meanwhile, is set for another meeting with familiar foe Jan-Lennard Struff.

Ricky previews the action and makes his predictions.

(4) Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. (27) Borna Coric

It required absences of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, but Tsitsipas is a top-four seed at a Grand Slam for the first time in his career–and surely not the last. The 22-year-old Greek is up to No. 6 in the world and he is sporting an 18-6 match record this season even though five months were missed due to the coronavirus pandemic. He has already won five matches in the bubble, reaching the Cincinnati semifinals before beating Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Maxime Cressy at the U.S. Open.

Whereas Tsitsipas cruised through his first two rounds in straight sets, Coric is coming off a five-set, four-hour and 19-minute struggle against Juan Ignacio Londero on Wednesday. The 32nd-ranked will make Tsitsipas work harder that he had to against Ramos-Vinolas and Cressy, but the No. 4 seed is simply in a different class right now–in terms of both current form and past history of success at Grand Slams. And Coric’s marathon in the previous round does not help the chances of an upset.

Pick: Tsitsipas in 4

(1) Novak Djokovic vs. (28) Jan-Lennard Struff

If not for Novak Djokovic, Jan-Lennard Struff could potentially be in the top 20 right now. The 29th-ranked German has lost to Djokovic twice in the last four Grand Slams and at last week’s Cincinnati Masters, dropping to 0-4 lifetime in the head-to-head series. Struff succumbed twice with a lot of points on the line (fourth round of the 2019 French Open, Cincinnati quarterfinals) and he had to play the world No. 1 in round one of this year’s Australian Open. The 30-year-old has already produced another good result at a big tournament, having crushed both Pedro Martinez and Michael Mmoh so far this week. Djokovic is 7-0 in the bubble with a Cincinnati title and U.S. Open victories over Damir Dzumhur and Kyle Edmund. Although Edmund actually took first set in a tiebreaker, Struff may not be able to steal one. The underdog is 1-10 lifetime in total sets against Djokovic and he managed to win only four total games last week.

Pick: Djokovic in 3

(26) Filip Krajinovic vs. (7) David Goffin

Goffin and Krajinovic will be squaring off for the fourth time in their careers at the ATP level on Friday. The head-to-head series stands at 2-1 in favor of Krajinovic, who has won two in a row at Goffin’s expense. A pair of 2016 encounters went the way of the Serb, who got the job done 6-4, 6-4 on the indoor hard courts of Montpellier and 6-3, 6-3 at the Indian Wells Masters.

Along with Djokovic, Tsitsipas, Milos Raonic, and Roberto Bautista Agut, Krajinovic has been one of the MVPs of the bubble. The world No. 26 crushed Dominic Thiem en route to the Cincinnati quarterfinals and had a match point against Raonic before losing in three tight sets. He destroyed Mikael Ymer and Marcos Giron to begin his U.S. Open campaign, while Goffin dropped a set to both Reilly Opelka and Lloyd Harris. Krajinovic is the favorite despite being lower ranked, but things are never easy against the 10th-ranked Belgian.

Pick: Krajinovic 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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