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Ricky’s picks for Day 2 of the U.S. Open: Alcaraz, Venus, Wawrinka in action

First-round action at the U.S. Open continues on Tuesday, when Carlos Alcaraz, Andy Murray, Daniil Medvedev, and Stan Wawrinka are among those taking the court. On the women’s side, Venus Williams is in action. The night session features Williams and then Alcaraz.

Alcaraz figures to cruise past Dominik Koepfer, but there could be a couple of much more competitive contests earlier in the day. Here are my picks for two of the more intriguing ones.

Stan Wawrinka vs. Yoshihito Nishioka

At 38 years old, Wawrinka hasn’t gone away just yet. In fact, he just broke back into the top 50 of the rankings for the first time since October 2021. The three-time Grand Slam champion recently finished runner-up in Umag and reached the Cincinnati third round. Wawrinka has played seven consecutive main-tour tournaments without losing in the first round.

Up first for the 49th-ranked Swiss is Nishioka. Their only previous encounter came at the Indian Wells Masters in 2017, when Wawrinka prevailed 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4). Nishioka is 14-15 this season and 1-6 in his last seven matches dating back to the French Open. It’s hard to see him digging out of this funk against Wawrinka.

Pick: Wawrinka in 3

(24) Tallon Griekspoor vs. Arthur Fils

Griekspoor and Fils alike are in the midst of their best seasons on tour. One, though, will be out right away in New York. Which one it is probably won’t go down without a fight, as both guys are stout both physically and mentally–at least that appears to be the case based on current form.

Griekspoor captured the first two ATP titles of his career in Pune and ‘s-Hertogenbosch and he has remained in stellar form with a runner-up showing in Washington, D.C. and a third-round effort in Winston-Salem. Fils triumphed for the first time on the red clay of Lyon, but he is 0-2 on hard courts this summer and he is also 0-2 lifetime at Grand Slams. A slight edge goes to the Dutchman.

Pick: Griekspoor in 5

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