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Ricky’s Tennis Preview and Picks for Day 7 of the U.S. Open, Including Goffin vs. Shapovalov

By Ricky Dimon

It’s still technically the first week of the U.S. Open, but hypothetically if you make it to the fourth round of a major you are in the second week. And that proverbial second week begins on Sunday, when men’s fourth-round action will get underway. The most intriguing match of the day, which is understandably the night-session contest in Arthur Ashe Stadium, is David Goffin vs. Denis Shapovalov.

Ricky previews that showdown makes his picks for all four matchups.

(12) Denis Shapovalov vs. (12) David Goffin

It is no surprise that Goffin and Shapovalov find themselves in the fourth round of the U.S. Open. Goffin has reached the last 16 of a fourth consecutive U.S. Open. Shapovalov is 4-for-4 in reaching at least the third round of this tournament, and he is now through to the fourth round for a second time.

It certainly wasn’t easy for the 21-year-old Canadian.

Against Taylor Fritz on Friday, Shapovalov trailed two sets to one and 5-2 in the fourth set before storming back for a 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2 victory. He preceded that with four-set wins over Sebastian Korda and Soonwoo Kwon.

Shapovalov’s reward is a second career contest against Goffin, and it will get night-session treatment in Arthur Ashe on Sunday. Their only previous encounter came last fall at the 500-point event in Tokyo, where Goffin got the job done 7-6(5), 7-6(2).

The 10th-ranked Belgian has not had an easy draw in New York, but he has risen to the occasion in impressive fashion. Sandwiching a second-round defeat of Lloyd Harris, Goffin took down Cincinnati quarterfinalists Reilly Opelka (first round) and Filip Krajinovic (third round). Krajinovic had been especially on fire, but the No. 7 seed erased him 6-1, 7-6(5), 6-4 on Friday.

While Shapovalov is the shot-maker, he is also more erratic–off the backhand side, mostly–and more likely to break down given that he is also coming off a five-setter. Over the course of a best-of-five match, an in-form Goffin should be able to break down his younger opponent.

Pick: Goffin in 4

Other matches:

(1) Novak Djokovic vs. (20) Pablo Carreno Busta – PCB is one of the most underrated players on tour (especially on a hard court)…but it won’t matter. Djokovic is on fire and it would be surprising if he even comes close to losing a set. Djokovic in 3.

(27) Borna Coric vs. Jordan Thompson – Coric won the match of the tournament on Friday, saving six match points against Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Croat should be able to beat Thompson easily–and he may have to, because fatigue could come into play if this goes long.

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina vs. (5) Alexander Zverev – Like Thompson, Davidovich Fokina has capitalized on a great draw. Unless Zverev double-faults 15 times (which is possible!), this should be one-way traffic.

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