With the US Open beginning on Monday, we take a look at the first round matches to watch on the men’s side.
(15)Tomas Berdych-Ryan Harrison
Last year Ryan Harrison managed to pull off one of the biggest upsets at the US Open knocking off #5 seed Milos Raonic after coming through qualifying. This year Harrison is coming in after not having the best US hardcourt swing, but can be a dangerous opponent for the 15th seed Tomas Berdych. Harrison hasn’t performed too well against Berdych in their previous meetings (0-3) but don’t be surprised if Ryan Harrison is once again able to send a top seed home early in this years US Open.
Janko Tipsarevic-Thanasi Kokkinakis
This has the potential to be an underrated match in the early stages of the US Open. Thanasi Kokkinakis showed he’s close to getting back to form after reaching the finals in Los Cabos before falling to Sam Querrey. Kokkinakis returned to the tour right before the French Open after missing a significant amount of time recovering from shoulder surgery. Former world #8 Janko Tipsarevic seems to be on his last leg at the age of 33, but will see this as a great opportunity to win his first match at a slam since last years US Open when he defeated Sam Querrey in 4 sets. This might end up not being one of the prettiest matches with all the ebbs and flows of a best of five match and their physical issues, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this one ends in a fifth set.
(3) Roger Federer-Frances Tiafoe
It’s safe to say this match is most likely going to be one of the featured night matches in the first couple days of the tournament. Frances Tiafoe recorded the best win of his career last week in Cincinnati when he defeated Alexander Zverev. Before last week he was on a four match losing streak, so unfortunately for him he was just starting to find form and the draw did him no favors putting him up against five time US Open champion Roger Federer in the first round. Tiafoe and Federer faced each other in Miami back in March so maybe the 19 year old American won’t be as nervous seeing Roger Federer on the other side of the net. Regardless he’s facing a player that everyone would like to avoid in the early stages of any tournament.
(17) Sam Querrey vs Gilles Simon
Sam Querrey was originally slated to face Tim Smyczek in the first round, but once Andy Murray withdrew, Marin Cilic was placed in his spot forcing the draw to be rearranged. The switch didn’t do Querrey any favors as he’s now facing a player who he’s struggled with in the past. Even though Sam Querrey is playing arguably the best tennis in his career he’s 2-4 against Simon and won’t be an easy first round match as he looks to avoid losing in the first round of the US Open for a third straight year.
(4) Alexander Zverev- (Q)Darian King
It’s crazy when you look at the draw and see a #4 seed next to 20 year old Alexander Zverev’s name. Even though he still hasn’t had a signature win at a grand slam yet in his young career he finds himself coming in to the US Open with serious expectations from tennis fans across the world. After winning the Citi Open, and the Rogers Cup he looks ready to try and make a big run in the big apple. His opponent, Darian King is making his grand slam debut after coming through qualifying and will be making history as the first player from Barbados to appear in a grand slam main draw. Zverev shouldn’t look past his first round opponent as Darian King has put together a nice season to date. He won main draw matches in Indian Wells, and Miami both after qualifying and plays his best tennis on hard courts.
Daniil Medvedev-(Q)Denis Shapovalov
After 18 year old Denis Shapovalov’s historic week in Montreal many people thought he was deserving of a wildcard to the US Open. 21 year old Danill Medvedev probably liked his first round against (Q) until the qualifiers were placed and saw he was the unlucky player that had to face Shapovalov. It’s a great opportunity for each player to win their first match at the US Open, and also has implications for the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan in November. Shapovalov is currently fifth in the race to Milan, while Medvedev is seventh. (Top 7 qualify)