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Ricky’s U.S. Open Tennis Picks for all Eight men’s Third-round Matches on Friday — Medvedev, Tsitsipas, and more

Andrey Rublev of Russia reacts as he plays Pedro Martinez during their match on the third day of the US Open. EPA-EFE/JUSTIN LANE

By Ricky Dimon

The field has been cut from 128 to 32. Now things are getting serious.

Round three of the U.S. Open gets underway on Friday, and there are plenty of surprising men’s matchups on offer. Whereas women’s seeds have been winning left and right, a whole host of men’s upsets have taken place. The result is a somewhat bizarre-looking third-round lineup. Of course, the very top favorites have advanced. So it creates an interesting mix.

What will transpire next? Ricky makes his picks for the eight matches on Friday.

Andrey Rublev over Frances Tiafoe in 4 – This is the most fun matchup of the day and also the one with the biggest forehands. Neither player really has a plan B; so whoever is winning with plan A (which is hit the ball hard, and then hit the ball even harder) will win the match. At the moment, Rublev is executing plan A better.

Stefanos Tsitsipas over Carlos Alcaraz in 4 – Alcaraz is playing great and when he is on he can hang with anyone. But asking him to red line for more than a set against Tsitsipas is probably too much.

Roberto Bautista Agut over Felix Auger-Aliassime in 4 – Bautista Agut has disposed of Nick Kyrgios and Emil Ruusuvuori by set scores of 6-3, 6-4, 6-0, 6-1, 6-3, and 6-2. He is simply in machine-like form, making it brutally tough for opponents to hit through him–especially in a best-of-five match. Auger-Aliassime has struggled since Wimbledon.

Dan Evans over Alexi Popyrin 5 – This is a tough one to call because both guys were in pretty terrible form on hard courts this summer. But Evans won their only previous meeting a couple of months ago at Queen’s Club and he will likely have too much variety once again for Popyrin.

Daniil Medvedev over Pablo Andujar in 3 – It has been absolute beatdown city for Medvedev through two rounds and it will be more of the same on Friday.

Diego Schwartzman looks up at rain blowing in under the roof at Louis Armstrong Stadium during his match against Kevin Anderson of South on the third day of the US Open. EPA-EFE/JUSTIN LANE

Diego Schwartzman over Alex Molcan in 3 
– Molcan in the third round of a major is nothing short of shocking. Schwartman should win swiftly.
Henri Laaksonen over Peter Gojowyczk in 4 – This is a Texas-sized opportunity for both well-traveled veterans. Gojowyczk has never previously advanced to the third round of a Grand Slam in his entire career. Laaksonen had been to a third round only once (at this year’s French Open). The Swiss continues to be in impressive form and has dropped only one set this week. He also leads this head-to-head series 2-0.

Botic Van de Zandschulp over Facundo Bagnis in 4 – This is a bizarre matchup for round three of a slam. It will be one dictated by the surface. A hard court favors BVZ.

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.