By Jake Davies

  • Julia Goerges vs Venus Williams [6]
  • Steve Johnson [19] vs Juan Martin Del Potro
  • Carla Suarez Navarro [11] vs Jelena Jankovic

NEW YORK, USA – As the younger seeds start to fall, will today be the day where experience prevails? Our picks for US Open Day 4.

 

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Julia Goerges vs Venus Williams [6] – H2H: Williams leads 1-0

We could be in for a classic on Thursday afternoon in the bright lights of New York as former Top 20 player Goerges takes on seven-time Grand Slam singles champion Williams.

Although Goerges is miles from the player she was back in 2011 and 2012, she is a formidable opponent who enjoys playing on a hard court. Her best tennis has evaded her for the best part of four years, but she has played in big arenas against top players in previous years.

The German’s form gradually faded under the tutelage of Sascha Nensel, a partnership that seemed to have gone stale, but she now has a new coaching set up and is lurking just outside the Top 50 – a place where her game belongs.

Williams will be wary of the upside of the Goerges forehand, which is her biggest weapon. Her backhand has a long take back with an elongated windmill motion, that is her weaker wing of those two shots. Goerges also possesses one of the more powerful serves in the Women’s Game, her biggest concern has been finding regularity in consistency on that particular shot however.

Williams has had a fantastic year, now at No.6 in the world rankings, and is still a force to be reckoned with at Grand Slam’s at the age of 36. She would have been disappointed with an early exit in the Olympics, a tournament she cares about dearly, but she still has a lot to play for in the remainder of the season.

Williams is the favourite in this match. Both players can have their moments on serve, but I think Williams’ serve may hold up greater out of the two players.

Prediction: Williams in 2 sets.

 

Steve Johnson [19] vs Juan Martin Del Potro H2H: first meeting

Johnson, now the No.1 ranked American in the world, will try to push himself further up the rankings when he faces 2009 US Open champion Del Potro. It is a contest worth immersing yourself into, as both players play well in this environment on the American hard courts.

Johnson’s rise from collegiate tennis to the Top 20 of the professional game has been quite something. He came ever so close to reaching the semi-finals of the Olympic Games this year, which several years ago would be beyond his wildest dreams.

The returning Del Potro took home another Olympic medal, this time a silver one. Del Potro’s fearsome forehand bulldozed through most of the field including Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals. He came up just short against Andy Murray in a classic Olympic Gold medal match in four hours of torture in those conditions.

Like Del Potro, Johnson’s game relies heavily on how well he hits his forehand. He has improved his backhand substantially, but still will look to run around the backhand in order to search for winners off the forehand side. Del Potro’s forehand is one of the most powerful and terrifying shots in world tennis and is the exact shot that delivered his singular grand slam title triumph.

Prediction: Del Potro in four sets.

 

Carla Suárez Navarro [11] vs Jelena Jankovic H2H: Jankovic leads 5-3

Suarez Navarro and Jankovic collide in a battle of the players that spend a lot of their tennis behind the baseline. Suarez Navarro, the elegant ball striker with a sublime one-handed backhand, will try to soak up pressure from the back of the court.

Former World No.1 Jankovic also is a good counter-puncher in her own right, but has been stuck in the tennis wilderness for large parts of 2016. Jankovic’s backhand is one of the cleaner and crisper contacts of racquet to ball on the WTA Tour. Jankovic had only won one Grand Slam match before this year’s US Open, which emphasises the significance of her struggles this season.

Suarez Navarro was hitting the ball effectively in her first round match against Teliana Pereira, where she served a double bagel win – I think Suarez Navarro will edge Jankovic in this match up.

Prediction: Suarez Navarro in 3 sets.

 

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