The 2019 US Open rolls on with John Isner and Hyeon Chung both looking to return to form and reach the third round. Our panel of Damian Kust and Steen Kirby offer their predictions, we also have predictions for matches featuring Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal.
John Isner vs Jan-Lennard Struff
Steen: Isner has been poor but he is at his home slam on a surface that favors his game. Struff is talented and can notch the upset, but he’s always been lacking in the mental aspect of the game. I’ll back Isner, but not with confidence. Isner in 5
Damian: Not an easy draw for the Big John. On a good day, Struff’s serve is not that much worse than his and he’s clearly a better mover. Isner hasn’t played that much lately and he might struggle if Struff turns up playing great. It will be a match of not many break point chances and I somehow trust Isner to convert more of them this time around. Isner in 4
Hyeon Chung vs Fernando Verdasco
Damian: After a stunning qualifying session, Hyeon Chung was the overwhelming favorite against Ernesto Escobedo and no one expected him to have to come back from 1-2 in sets. At an early stage of his comeback these poor matches will happen. Don’t expect him to throw in another stinker here and Verdasco is not exactly playing the tennis of his life.
Chung in 4
Steen: Verdasco is a tough out, even in this late stage of his career. Chung has found form though and he’s a capable player, I’ll back the young Korean to edge the Spanish veteran in a competitive contest. Chung in 4
Alexei Popyrin vs Mikhail Kukushkin
Steen: Popyrin looks set for another run in a slam, Kukushkin is a battler but he lacks weapons and Popyrin should be able to find enough exploits to win and reach round 3. Popyrin in 4
Damian: Another player who overperforms at the slams, Kukushkin made the headlines by defeating Roberto Bautista Agut. He’s got a tricky game and the 20-year-old Australian might not handle it too well due to his inexperience. Kukushkin in 4
Andrey Rublev vs Gilles Simon
Steen: Simon performs well in the slams but Rublev has more upside. He should ride his first round upset win to at least a third round showing by edging the French grinder. Rublev in 4
Damian: Following up a big win is always tough and after a four-hour affair against Tsitsipas, the Russian will be exhausted both physically and mentally. Simon is not a player you want to face when you’re slower on the legs and if he can drag Rublev into many extended rallies, he should be able to take control. Simon in 4