The 2021 edition of the US Open is in full swing and already proving to be an exciting tournament. 12 seeds in the men’s draw have been eliminated at the time of writing. That’s before the second half of the draw have even finished their second round matches. All Grand Slam matches have the promise of great tennis. However, some matches are a bit more juicy than others. In this series we outline the pick of the bunch on each day in our US Open day 4 men’s match of the day.
Day 4 Men’s Match Of The Day – Alexander Zverev vs Albert Ramos Vinolas
Alexander Zverev is fast emerging as the biggest threat to Novak Djokovic’s Calendar Slam attempt in New York. The German has won twelve matches in a row and lost just two sets along the way. That run includes an Olympic Gold medal run – he beat Djokovic in the semifinals – and a fifth Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati. So, why is this match worth watching at all? Well, because as great as Zverev has been, he is yet to fully shake his reputation of making a meal of Grand Slams.
Before last year, his best showing at a slam was the quarterfinals of the French Open. That’s not necessarily bad when you consider how old he is. However, it’s not good enough for someone with an ATP Tour Finals title and three Masters 1000 trophies by the end of 2018. In fact, the German has left Grand Slams before the fourth round twice as many times as he has gone past it.
This year he has lived up to his ranking with a quarterfinal appearance in Melbourne and a semifinal appearance in Paris. However, if he wants to beat Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and company then good showings won’t be enough. To win this tournament he needs to get through matches like this and do so comfortably. Ramos Vinolas is no slouch but is prefers the clay and should be a straight sets win for Zverev.
Zverev Must Get Rid of Marathon Matches in Grand Slams
The German superstar has played 11 five set matches in Grand Slams since the end of 2018. Of those 11, only four have come in the fourth round or better. He expends to much energy on opponents who he should be beating easily. That needs to change if he wants to make the final with enough left in the tank to win it. This match will be an easy win for Zverev if he is at his best. Even if it is, it is still a great marker for whether Zverev is in the kind of consistent form needed to take on the best in the game late in this tournament. Either way, this match is must-see and is a chance to see the red hot German in action.
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