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Ricky’s picks for Day 6 of the U.S. Open, including Sinner vs. Wawrinka

The jam-packed top half of the U.S. Open draw returns to the court on Saturday, when Jannik Sinner and Alexander Zverev have especially intriguing matchups on their hands. Sinner awaits Stan Wawrinka, while Zverev will battle Stan Wawrinka for a place in the last 16.

Here are my previews and picks for those two matches.

Stan Wawrinka vs. (6) Jannik Sinner

Even though Sinner is in the relatively early stages of his career, this will already be his sixth contest against Wawrinka. They have squared off at the U.S. Open once before, too (Wawrinka earned a 6-3, 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3 victory in the 2019 first round). Sinner lost each of their first two meetings (both in 2019), but the 22-year-old has since won three in a row–including two this season.

It has been an all-around incredible 2023 campaign for the Italian, who goes into this match as a heavy favorite. Still, Wawrinka cannot be dismissed as having no chance. The Swiss is still playing well at 38 years old and he has climbed back into the top 50 (currently No. 49 in the world). This should be an entertaining affair to say the list, but Sinner is the obvious choice.

Pick: Sinner in 4

(12) Alexander Zverev vs. (19) Grigor Dimitrov

Zverev and Dimitrov will be going head-to-head for the seventh time in their careers. The German has won five of their six meetings, including five in a row since losing to Dimitrov on the indoor hard courts of Basel in 2014. Two of Zverev’s victories have come already in 2023; 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 at the French Open and 6-2, 6-2 in Cincinnati.

If not for the lopsidedness of the head-to-head history, on paper this looks like a blockbuster matchup. On paper they are separated by just seven spots in the rankings and Dimitrov is coming off a 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 beatdown of Andy Murray in round two. Still, in round one the Bulgarian almost lost to Alex Molcan (saved three match points before prevailing 11-9 in a fifth-set tiebreaker). Zverev is playing great tennis at the moment and will likely continue his mastery of Dimitrov.

Pick: Zverev in 4

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