Team Stripes is up 3-1 over Team Stars heading into a pivotal day 2 at the DraftKings All American Team Cup being played in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia in front of socially distanced fans. The match of the day will feature the two tallest ATP level tennis players in the world John Isner (6ft10) and Reilly Opelka (6ft 11). Opelka was the player who lost the match of the day on day 1 to Steve Johnson 10-6 in a 3rd set match tiebreak.
Team Stripes being composed of veterans in John Isner, Steve Johnson, Tennys Sandgren and Sam Querrey vs Team Stars which is composed of next-gen stars in Francis Tiafoe, Reilly Opelka, Taylor Fritz, and Tommy Paul.
This is the first tennis event in the US actually being played in front of fans. Yes, the tournament under strict guidelines managed to get approval for a 30% capacity. Each player was responsible for getting balls and towels as no ball kids are working while the fans will be social distancing with most rows of seats being blocked off. The tournament is organized by the same organization that handles the yearly ATP 250 tournament in Atlanta.
Friday matches were each worth 1 point while the matches on Saturday will be valued at 2 and Sunday will be 3. The team with the most points at the end of day 3 will present a $10,000 check to Folded Flag Foundation and will get the Team Cup trophy.
The format best of 3 sets with a match tiebreaker being played in lieu of a 3rd set just to make things quicker. Now that your all caught up on the information of the event let’s actually get to the action recapping day 1 and predicting day 2.
Day 1 : Frances Tiafoe got things started for Team Stars by beating Sam Querrey in straight sets 6-4, and 7-6. Tennys Sandgren was able to tie the score winning the next match against Tom Paul in 3 tight sets 3-6, 6-3, 7-6. In the night session John Isner easily handled Taylor Fritz in straights 6-3,6-4 before the aforementioned Steve Johnson beat Reilly Opelka.
DraftKings All American Team Cup Day 2 predictions:
Tennys Sandgren vs Christopher Eubanks
Head to Head: first meeting
Embed from Getty Images*Editors note: Frances Tiafoe has withdrawn from the tournament after testing positive for coronavirus. Christopher Eubanks has replaced him.
Chris Eubanks is young up and comer currently at 238 in the world the 6ft 7 American will have a major size advantage on Sandgren and we should see some big serves. Prediction: Eubanks in 3
Sam Querrey vs Tommy Paul
Head to Head: first meeting
This matchup features 2 players who lost their respective matches on day 1 so both will be looking to get into the win column. Surprisingly enough they have actually never met on tour so it will be key for both players to figure out each other game quickly. Tommy Paul is a player that has been back and forth between the ATP and the Challenger tour. Sam Querrey is a well-known vet that is tough to beat day in and day out.
Sam Querrey uses his size and his ferocious serve to blow players off the court while Tommy Paul is a more tactical player that uses the angle of the court to place precise winners. Querrey has spent most of his time during the pandemic taking care of his new baby so we will have to see how good of shape he is in. Tommy Paul was having a great 2020 going 9-5 before the pause and even pulling off a huge upset in Acapulco beating Alexander Zverev.
Prediction: Sam Querrey in 2
John Isner vs Kevin King
Kevin King is a 6ft 3 American who has spent most of his time on the atp challenger tour currently ranked 286 in the world. He played college tennis for Georgia Tech and is a 2 time ITA All ACC performer with a peak ranking of 162 on the ATP Tour. Isner’s level of accomplishment and peak ability should give him a significant advantage in this scratch match. King replaces Reilly Opelka who withdrew with a knee injury.
Prediction: Isner in 2
Steve Johnson vs Taylor Fritz
Head to Head: Johnson 2-1 Fritz
In the last match of the day, we have the wily veteran in Steve Johnson taking on another next-gen player in Taylor Fritz. Johnson is coming off a win vs Opelka and will look to finish the day 2-0 while Fritz will look for his first win of the weekend. This could actually be an intriguing matchup as both players like to power shots from the baseline. Only 1 of their 3 meetings went to 3 sets so this either could be a cakewalk for Johnson or it could be an intense battle.
Currently, at number 24 in the world, Taylor Fritz is one of the youngest players in the top 30 while Johnson is trying to make his way after falling to number 63 in the world. The keys to victory are to play the key points well and go for the opening when it comes. This will be very interesting to see if this youngster can pull off the victory. Johnson proved in his first match he isn’t intimidated by a young kid who will do anything to win.
Prediction: Johnson in 3