Shotmakers Marin Cilic, Nick Kyrgios and Gael Monfils take center stage on day 4 of the US Open. Damian Kust and Steen Kirby offer their predictions, and we also have predictions for matches featuring John Isner and Rafael Nadal.
Gael Monfils vs Marius Copil
Damian: The only seeded player left in his section, Gael Monfils played one of his best matches in a while to dismantle Albert Ramos-Vinolas. The Romanian had a tough five-setter and will struggle to get through Monfils’s counterpunching. If the Frenchman is already over the ankle injury he had in Toronto, he should be ready to get his US Open campaign rolling. Monfils in 3
Steen: Gael Monfils is at his best when he’s aggressive, Copil has shown flashes of brilliance but Monfils is better when he’s fit and focused. Perhaps this will be the slam where Gael puts all the pieces together. Monfils in 3
Marin Cilic vs Cedrik-Marcel Stebe
Damian: After a ton of protected ranking losses, it seems like Stebe is slowly finding his former self. The German reached a final in Gstaad a month ago and pulled off an upset against Filip Krajinovic here in the first round. Cilic is in the middle of a disastrous year, currently sitting outside of the top 50 in the ATP Race to London Ranking. It’s high time the Croat got things going and he looked solid in his opening match against Martin Klizan. Stebe finally healthy is a good thing to see but he won’t be ready for Cilic’s big game yet.
Cilic in 4
Steen: Stebe is a nice guy who saw his career derailed by injuries. Cilic is a former US Open Champion who is trying to return to form. The Croatian will be favored in this one but his confidence will still be low. Cilic in 3
Denis Shapovalov vs Henri Laaksonen
Damian: It’s been just a week since Mikhail Youzhny started working with the Canadian, yet for some reason it seems to have clicked instantly. No one expected the blockbuster against Auger-Aliassime to be so lop-sided and if Shapovalov can bring his A-game in consecutive matches, the sky is the limit. Laaksonen did well to come back from a break down in the fifth to defeat Marco Cecchinato but he won’t have too much to say against the Canadian. Shapovalov in 3
Steen: Shapovalov is better on this surface and if his mind is focused he could make a deep run here. The Canadian is set to reach the third round and has a great shot at doing further damage. Shapovalov in 3
Nick Kyrgios vs Antoine Hoang
Damian: The Australian looked focused against Steve Johnson. With the draw opening up, he might be getting a shot at a big run here. Fair play to Antoine Hoang, who dismissed Leonardo Mayer in five sets, but this match is completely on Kyrgios and if he keeps his cool he’s way too good to lose here. Kyrgios in 3
Steen: Hoang is new to all this and Kyrgios remains as lethal as ever when he cares about the match. The only thing stopping Kyrgios is himself in this one. Kyrgios in 3