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Ricky’s picks for Day 5 of the US Open, with Brits Murray and Draper in action

Matteo Berrettini of Italy will face former US Open champion Andy Murray in the US Open third round. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

By Ricky Dimon

The British contingent is making moves in New York, with both Andy Murray and Jack Draper among those still in the tournament. They will both run into seeded opponents in the third round on Friday; it’s Matteo Berrettini for Murray and Karen Khachanov for Draper.

Here are my previews and picks for the two matchups.

Andy Murray vs. (13) Matteo Berrettini

Berrettini and Murray will be squaring off for the fourth time in their careers and for the second time this summer when they battle for a proverbial spot in week two of the U.S. Open on Friday. The head-to-head series stands at 2-1 in favor of Berrettini, who most recently triumphed 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 in the Stuttgart final. The Italian has won each of their two previous grass-court encounters, while Murray took their first hard-court meeting 7-6(2), 7-6(7) at the 2019 Beijing event.

This one should be every bit as good on the court as it is on paper. Berrettini is the obvious favorite as the younger and much higher-ranked player, but Murray has impressed through two rounds–especially from a physical standpoint. The 35-year-old Scot has advanced with victories over Francisco Cerundolo and Emilio Nava, dropping only one set to Nava in the process. Berrettini eased past Nicolas Jarry but then just barely beat lucky loser Hugo Grenier 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(4), 7-6(7) on Wednesday. This is a winnable match for Murray, but he isn’t going to win it quickly and it’s hard to see him holding up better than Berrettini physically in a long four-setter or five-set battle. The world No. 14’s three most recent U.S. Open results are semifinals, fourth round, and quarterfinals, so he should have a slight edge over the 2012 champion.

Pick: Berrettini in 5

Jack Draper of Great Britain in action against Felix Auger-Aliassime at the US Open. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

(27) Karen Khachanov vs. Jack Draper

Draper is without question one of the top rising stars in the game, and at the moment he might be the hottest of all. The 20-year-old Brit reached the quarterfinals in both Montreal and Winston-Salem and now he is crushing opponents in New York–very good opponents, too. Draper opened with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 rout of Emil Ruusuvuori and then had no trouble upsetting Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday night.

Up next for the world No. 53 on Friday is a first-ever meeting with Khachanov. The 26-year-old Russian has been going in the opposite direction from Draper since capturing the silver medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. He comes in at 31st in the world and had been just 6-6 in his last 12 matches prior to this fortnight. Four-set wins over Denis Kudla and Thiago Monteiro don’t inspire much confidence, as Draper is a whole different beast. The youngster’s lefty serve will be especially tough on the Khachanov backhand and should carry him into the second week of the season’s final Grand Slam.

Pick: Draper in 4

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