The 2019 summer hard-court season brought out stories, stars and questions. Nick Kyrigos took home a trophy from Washington DC and a hefty fine from Cincinnati. Daniil Medvedev made sure the third time was the charm winning the final in Cincinnati after dropping finals in Washington and Montreal. Rafael Nadal continued his winning ways while Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer bowed out early in their tune up events. Now, the tennis world turns its eyes to Flushing Meadow and the 2019 US Open.
With the Big Three still dominating as the Lost Gen looks to make a late run for glory and the newcomers look to earn their mark, there are many storylines to follow in the season’s final Grand Slam event. Now, the qualifying, seeding and waiting are over. Questions abound. Can an American make a run? Which seeds are on upset alert? Who will surprise? And…Who will take home the winner’s trophy?
We asked LWOT writers to review the draw and make picks on a variety of outcomes. Here’s their look across the men’s draw:
US Open Predictions
Which Qualifier will win his first-round match?
Harsh Boot: Jiri Vesely over Ricardas Berankis – Having already played three matches to qualify, Vesely should be too strong for Ricardas Berankis.
Eddie Davey: Hyeon Chung over Ernesto Escobedo – Chung is rapidly regaining form after injuries, won 6 straight sets in qualifying, never lost more than 3 games in a set.
Damian Kust: Janik Sinner over 23rd seed Stan Wawrinka – bold prediction, but the teenage Italian is a very natural power hitter and has all the arguments to keep Wawrinka on the back foot.
Which seeded player will lose his first-round match?
Harsh Boot: Reilly Opelka over 11th seed Fabio Fognini – these guys have never played each other before but with the crowd on his side, Opelka has a great chance.
Eddie Davey: Philipp Kohlschreiber over 25th seed Lucas Pouille – The 35 year old, but still tough German made it to the 4th round in the last 2 US Opens; age and guile will overcome youth and skill.
Damian Kust: Richard Gasquet over 24th seed Matteo Berrettini – Berrettini suffered an ankle injury during practice and has played just one match post Wimbledon lost to Londero, Berrettini won’t be coming in as a favorite against an in-form Richard Gasquet.
Which unseeded player can make a run to the Round of 16?
Harsh Boot: Grigor Dimitrov – the Bulgarian has the game and experience to reach the round of 16 with the only potential challenger being Borna Coric.
Eddie Davey: Ugo Humbert – the Frenchman has had a mediocre season but might be able to catch fire in a part of the draw filled with players who have been on again-off again this year.
Damian Kust: Hubert Hurkacz – a bit of Polish bias but provided he isn’t too tired after an amazing week at Winston-Salem, the seeds in his section are totally beatable.
Which player outside the top 10 could make a run to the US Open semifinals?
Harsh Boot: Richard Gasquet – a favourable quarter coupled with his current form can lead to a repeat of 2013.
Eddie Davey: 12th seed Borna Coric – after a soft summer in 2018 he went to the Round of 16 in New York, could be time for another strong last Slam of the season.
Damian Kust: Denis Shapovalov – it has to be the third quarter and the one whoever wins the first round match encounter between Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime will have a huge opportunity for a good run in New York.
The Men’s Final?
Harsh Boot: Top seed Novak Djokovic over second seed Rafael Nadal – Djokovic’s only challenger looks like Rafael Nadal, a player who hasn’t beaten him on hard courts since 2013.
Eddie Davey: Top seed Novak Djokovic over second seed Rafael Nadal – A repeat of the year’s first hard court slam in Australia; look for Nadal to put up more of a fight this time, but it’s not his surface.
Damian Kust: Top seed Novak Djokovic over second seed Rafael Nadal – The heart says a first Fedal meeting at the US Open with Federer likely taking it BUT the mind says Djokovic against whoever is in front of him, going with the mind.
Have thoughts, comments or picks? Comment below or Follow us on Twitter and let us know:
Eddie Davey – @LWOSeddiedavey
Damian Kust – @LWOSdamiankust
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