By Jake Davies

  • Rafael Nadal [1] vs Alexandr Dolgopolov
  • Roger Federer [3] vs Philipp Kohlschreiber
  • Coco Vandeweghe [20] vs Lucie Safarova
NEW YORK, USA – We close out the best of the action to see as Round Four of the US Open draws to a close.

 

Rafael Nadal [1] vs Alexandr Dolgopolov H2H: Nadal leads 6-2

The ultimate perfectionist Rafael Nadal is still searching for answers and solutions following a four-set victory over Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer, but is determined to improve and specifically mentioned the areas to get better at for his upcoming fourth round match.

The success of the 15-time slam champion rests mostly on how well he can strike the fearsome forehand. If he is feeling confident then his forehand can be the single most destructive shot in the men’s sport. The problem for Nadal is having that belief in the shot at all times and if he is to win his third US Open he will need that shot to be firing.

Dolgopolov represents a familiar opponent for Nadal. The Ukrainian has wins over Nadal at Indian Wells and Queens, but the No.1 seed has a lot to play for this week and I feel he will keep ironing out the minor problems and make the business end of the tournament once again.

Prediction: Nadal in four sets

 

Roger Federer [3] vs Philipp Kohlschreiber H2H: Federer leads 10-0

Roger Federer US Open 2017, Flushing Meadows, New York

Photo by Mike Frey/BPI/REX/Shutterstock
Roger Federer US Open 2017, Flushing Meadows, New York

When breaking down the match-ups and form, Roger Federer could not have asked for a better draw. He had never lost to any of his first three opponents in any of their previous head-to-heads and now faces Philipp Kohlschreiber, whom he has a 10-0 record against. These match-ups have allowed Federer to grow into the event and take tiny steps to improving his level and hopefully to get better when the elite players are staring down at him on the other side of the net.

The win against Feliciano Lopez was the most imposing and effective performance of the week for Federer. He had moments where he served phenomenally, but also the same serve got him out of trouble when he was in sticky positions with considerable deficits on his own serve. Kohlschreiber has a gorgeous one-handed backhand and is a well-liked opponent on the tour, but I do not think he has the mettle and arrogance to believe he can get his first win over Federer on the Arthur Ashe stadium.

Prediction: Federer in three sets

 

CoCo Vandeweghe [20] vs Lucie Safarova H2H: Safarova leads 3-1

Coco Vandeweghe, WTA Stanford, Bank of the West Classic

CoCo Vandeweghe | Anita Stahl / AnitaCaptures.com

CoCo Vandeweghe’s improvement in the last twelve months has been sensational. She has always had the forcing, intimidating game, but now she is starting to put it together and learning to play the right balls at the right moments. With the addition of Pat Cash, she is learning to play aggressive balls without searching for outright winners and adjusting to find that perfect shot, that perfect ball to win her the point rather than going for too much. Her serve is one of the best weapons in the women’s game as well.

It is nice to see Lucie Safarova back in the fourth round of a major. She has not had the cleanest of slam performances since she made her maiden Grand Slam final at the 2015 French Open, because of injury and illness, but she has excelled on the doubles court with the partnership and friendship she has developed with Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

I think Vandeweghe is in a very good headspace at the moment and I really believe she is not that far away from a Grand Slam title. She has the game and the confidence, but now it is a question of whether she can throw those components together over seven matches at a major. It is possible.

Prediction: Vandeweghe in three sets

Play continues on Round Four of the US Open 2017 at 11am (4pm BST).

Main Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

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