Wednesday’s action at Flushing Meadows features several mouth-watering matches for tennis fans across the world. Don’t have time to watch them all but want to know when you should be tuning in? Fear not, I’ve taken the pick of the lot from the men’s and women’s draws and broken down why each match is must-see tennis. Here are what should be the 2021 US Open day 2 matches of the day.
2021 US Open Matches of the Day:
Mens Draw – Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Adrian Mannarino
Stefanos Tsitsipas is fast picking up a negative reputation for his antics on the tennis court. While the Greek is enjoying a career year, he was accused of cheating by Alexander Zverev in Cincinnati and of intentional time wasting by Andy Murray in his first round match at Flushing Meadows. Those issues aside, Tsitsipas is lucky to be here after Murray squandered an opportunity to put him away in straight sets. He now faces another tricky opponent in Adrian Mannarino and may well be staring down the barrel of another early Grand Slam exit.
Mannarino is a left-handed player which instantly gives him an advantage against Tsitsipas. It’s common knowledge that the Greek likes to dictate play with his forehand. That will be far more difficult to do with Mannarino as the Frenchman will be able to angle the ball into his backhand far more effectively than a right-handed player would. That is particularly true on serve given Tsitsipas’ backhand return has been particularly poor over the course of his career. Mannarino also hits a very flat ball that will come in low and fast to Tsitsipas. That will take away some of the time he needs to load up on that menacing forehand. Overall this is a tough matchup for Tsitsipas even without the added pressures away from the court itself.
As the #3 seed, the pressure is firmly on Tsitsipas to perform in New York. Given his back and forth with Murray after their match on Monday, that pressure will be amplified. The best way for the Greek to put it behind him is to keep winning matches, starting with this one. It promises to be a fascinating matchup tactically and it will be interesting to see if the Greek can block out the noise and perform to his best in order to move on to the third round.
Women’s Draw – Marketa Vondrousova vs Daria Kasatkina
In choosing these matches I look for one of two things, an intriguing story line or two players in blistering form that should make for great tennis. The men’s match is the former, but this is definitely the latter. Marketa Vondrousova is fresh of a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics in what was a career week for her. She now looks to be firmly back on the path to the top of the women’s game after battling injuries last year. Equally, Daria Kasatkina has already lifted two titles in 2021 and is in great form. The Russian appears to be playing at the level that saw her reach #10 in the world. Add to their form the tactical differences between them and this should be a great match to watch.
Vondrousova has a powerful forehand and is able to generate incredible tough angles with it. This is particularly true given that she is left-handed. Her serve is dangerous when on song and she undoubtedly has the greater firepower of the two. However, Kasatkina’s tennis IQ is amongst the best in women’s tennis. Her leaping backhand is also a sight to behold and a deadly weapon when firing. She also has more variety to her game than Vondrousova and will be quick to change things up if her original game plan isn’t working.
The courts in New York are playing fast this year and have rewarded power for the most part. However, the likes of Ons Jabeur and Kasatkina can certainly do equally well with guile and court craft. It will be fascinating to see which approach comes out on top here. Either way it is must-see tennis and a deserving pick for the US Open day 3 women’s match of the day.