Rafael Nadal takes on Fabio Fognini on day 4 of the US Open, Nadal will look to once again reach the third round of a Grand Slam. We have predictions for every second round match in New York including John Isner’s match.
Rafael Nadal vs Fabio Fognini
Shane Black: This will be the 18th meeting between these two, with Fognini having won four of their matchups, including a Round 3 battle at the 2015 US Open. Although Nadal is a year older, he certainly seems more spry than the Italian. I expect Fognini’s three hour and 36 minute win over Karatsev to catch up to him here. Nadal should win in three, but there will not be a lack of showmanship in Arthur Ashe Stadium when these two take the court. Nadal in 3
Damian Kust: Rafael Nadal had a slow start against Rinky Hijikata and he definitely needs a bit more time to get into the right groove. Fabio Fognini took him out at the US Open before, but as weird as it sounds, that much younger version of the Spaniard was much inferior to the current one game-wise.
Nadal in 4
Diego Schwartzman vs Alexei Popyrin
Shane: Diego Schwartzman was lucky to advance after dropping the first two sets of his Round 1 match against Jack Sock. When the American retired, it was a sign of relief for ‘El Peque’, who now has a second chance in New York. Alexei Popyrin is just 2-7 in his last nine matches. Unless he has a career day serving the ball, Schwartzman should advance. Schwartzman in 4
Damian: Diego Schwartzman is vulnerable to upsets here and Jack Sock showed it, but just didn’t have the fitness to capitalize. If Alexei Popyrin can produce a performance as composed and balanced as in the opening round, this should be very tight. Improving his first-serve percentage would help.
Popyrin in 5
Jenson Brooksby vs Borna Coric
Shane: It was a long road back to competitive tennis for Borna Coric, but he is now peaking at the exact right time. Coming back from 2-5 down in the fifth set against Enzo Couacaud reaffirmed my confidence in the 25-year-old. Although Jenson Brooksby did not have nearly the Round 1 battle as Coric, his overall form in August was much worse. These two are likely to play long points. It would not surprise me to see them play one of the longest matches of the tournament. I will take the American in five sets backed by the home crowd. Brooksby in 5
Damian: Enzo Couacaud served for the match, but Borna Coric managed to hold him off. Does he throw a stinker like that again? Probably not, I think he can pick himself up and start playing tennis of the kind he showed to win Cincinnati. Coric in 4
Hubert Hurkacz vs Ilya Ivashka
Shane: #8 seed Hubert Hurkacz looked strong in his straight-set victory over Oscar Otte. The fast courts play right into the hands of his big-serve/first-ball finish style. Ilya Ivashka does have ‘giant killer’ potential, but I don’t see him holding the current form to take three sets off of Hurkacz. Hurkacz in 4
Damian: Hubert Hurkacz is desperately looking for a big Slam run outside of Wimbledon and this could be it. Ilya Ivashka is a very tricky customer though and someone who will take the game to him. The Pole. Hurkacz in 4
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