Review: US Open 1st round matchups that will likely go the distance

Thompson v Sonego

A battle of 2 players who have been in the top 50 before. It will come down who is fitter on the day. Either player can win in 3 sets, or the match could go to 5 sets. Sonego in 4 or Thompson in 5.

 

Marterer v Cilic

On paper, this should be a non-matchup.

However, Cilic has a reputation for struggling early at grand slams. His marathon 5 set match against Alex de Minaur (in the 2nd round of the US Open 2019) ended past 2am in New York.

Marterer is a player that is very visible on the ATP 250 scene. He has never truly made a run at a grand slam. Perhaps he can make a run against Cilic, given Cilic is susceptible to matches going the distance in early rounds of majors.

 

Murray v Cerundolo

Cerundolo is a young up and comer. He made the semi final of the Miami Masters 1000, as well as reaching the quarter finals of the Rio Open 500 level tournament, He made his maiden ATP final last season as well at the Argentina Open, losing to none other than Diego Schwartzman. He also made his top 100 and top 50 debut in 2022. Look out for Cerundolo

Murray is Murray. He is former world number 1 and 11-time grand slam finalist. After a tough 5 years, his results are slowly and surely coming good. He is now ranked number 49, and is actually surprisingly close to being seeded at a slam in the very near future. This match could end in straights for either player or got to 5. However, Murray really can’t be ever be completely written off, especially at a major

 

Evans v Vesely

Evans has made the third and fourth round of majors before, and is currently seeded. Although logic says the seeded player goes through with ease, Vesely is a nightmare to play at grand slams, because he often plays well above his rank in the bigger tournaments

However, for Evans, in later rounds against tougher opposition, it is unclear if he can take his game to the next level- and play at a top 10-15 level. He is currently seeded at number 20 for the US Open. Take both with what you will

 

Kecmanovic v Tien

Kecmanovic has had a breakout season. At the Australian Open, he was set to draw Novak Djokovic in round 1, before his visa was cancelled. Since then, he has had almost a second chance to show his worth, taking Novak’s favourable draw at the Australian Open to propel himself to new heights. He reached the last 16 of the Australian Open, then made the quarter finals at the Rio and Chile Open, as well as Indian Wells and Miami masters 1000 events. He followed that up with a a quarter final at the Serbia Open and semi final at the Bavarian International. Unfortunately, he drew Nadal in the second round of the Madrid Masters,  and also lost early in a tight 3 set match against Schwartzman at the Rome Masters.

Kecmanovic has every reason to expect a few wins at least at the US Open.  His opponent, as well,  was only born in 2005! Learner Tien will make his main draw debut at a major, and is almost a complete unknown to the tennis world.  Tien made the quarter-final of Wimbledon juniors earlier this year, and has competed at futures and challenger tour level.  Quite an amazing story in this match, but best of luck to the newly turned 17 year old!

Thiem- Carreno-Busta

Dominic Thiem is entering his favourite major in arguably the worst form of his career. Plagued by injury ever since he won his maiden major at the 2020 US Open, Thiem will be looking to get match fit, this time in a best of 5 major. Having not played well at a best of 5 match since last January, and having not made a deep enough run at a major since the 2020 US Open, Thiem will be looking to make some inroads in his progress back from his long term wrist injury. His opposition: Dellien, from Bolivia, is a player who consistently features in the 2nd round of majors. Dellien has played under the big lights before, having played Nadal on centre court at the Australian Open. It will be a coin toss who wins this one, given the player Thiem is at the moment.

His opponent is Pablo Carreno-Busta, a man who is absolutely on fire at the moment, and is arguably having his most succesful season to date (having recently won the Montreal Masters). Carreno-Busta should win convincingly based off Thiem’s form, however, this could be the tournament where Thiem shows us a glimpse of his old self. If that happens, don’t be surprised if Thiem pushes the match to 4 or 5 if Carreno-Busta has a sub-par outing.

 

Wawrinka- Moutet

Wawrinka seems like he is starting to get back to where he belongs. Having made the last 16 of the recent Rome Masters 1000 event, he will be entering the US Open with plenty of positives. Earlier this year, Wawrinka lost to Moutet in the 1st round of the French, after having not played a best of 5 match in almost 18 months. Nevertheless, Wawrinka has also not made a deep enough run at a major since at least the Australian Open 2020.

Moutet, on the other hand, is a player of the future. Despite not getting the results he has wanted, he is very much a future top 15 player if he can get his game sorted. Wawrinka in 5.

 

Dimitrov- Johnson

Dimitrov, in no stretch of the imagination, is a player who finishes his early rounds at majors easily. He has time, and time again, been pushed to 5 sets in the first 2 rounds of majors. Against his opponent, Johnson, who also has a pretty big record of playing 5 set tennis at majors- it is not hard to guess why this could also be a messy affair. Dimitrov in 3 or Johnson in 5

 

 

Ymer- Kubler

Mikael Ymer is increasingly becoming a player who features in the main draw of majors.  Since January 2020, Ymer has featured  in all 10 of the majors that were played. Last year, he reached the 3rd round of the French Open, losing to Jannik Sinner in straight sets.  Kubleris in a similar boat, having suddenly become a player who features in the main draws of majors, despite previously never consistently qualifying for all 4 majors in a year. Hot off the heels of making a grand slam final in mixed doubles alongside Jaimee Fourlis, Kubler is one to watch. A former junior world number 1 who was compared to Rafael Nadal in the juniors, he is a player looking to finally make his mark. Ymer, however, seems to have an easy time against players ranked around or below him.  Take with that what you will, but Ymer in 3.

 

de Minaur- Krajinovic

Alex de Minaur has had a mixed bag of results at all levels. In 2019, Alex de Minaur has won 3 titles and made another final. He clearly can win on the ATP level. In 2020, he also made the QF at this very major. However, he is the 21st seed, and he should be able to win some of the matches at majors he has lost recently. At Wimbledon, he was up 2 sets and 5-4 in the 4th round against Garin, and still lost. His opponent in New York will be Filip Krajinovic. A player who has made a Masters 1000 final at his peak, he is definitely a player that should not be underestimated. Despite this, I’m ready to say de Minaur in 3 or 4.

Edmund- Ruud

Kyle Edmund is a player who hasn’t featured in the main draw of a major in a long long time. At his peak, Edmund was a semi-finalist at a grand slam and peaked just outside the top 10. His opponent is none other than world number 5 Casper Ruud, a player who is looking to make his mark at majors on hard courts. Ruud is the heavy, heavy favourite, but I would not be surprised if Edmund causes the upset of the tournament. Ruud in 3 or Edmund in 5

Nishioka- Davidovich-Fokina

Nishioka has had an incredible summer so far. 3 weeks ago, he reached the final of a 500 tournament in Washington DC, but fell to a red-hot Nick Kyrgios. In that week, he beat Rublev, Evans and de Minaur along the way- so he is definitely not a player to sleep on. Davidovich- Fokina is currently unseeded, just missing the cut with a rank of number 36 in the world. This match could really be anyone’s match, and Nishioka has played plenty of 5 set matches at majors. Nishioka in 5