By Jake Davies

  • Caroline Garcia [6] vs Monica Puig
  • Caroline Wozniacki [2] vs Lesia Tsurenko
  • Gael Monfils vs Kei Nishikori [21]
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES – With the second round matches drawing to a close we look at the three matches that stand out on Day Four of the US Open 2018.

 

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Caroline Garcia [6] vs Monica Puig H2H: Puig leads 3-0

In the pick of the final second round matches on Day 4 of the US Open, No.6 seed Caroline Garcia will look to gain sweet revenge for her loss in New Haven last week, where she eventually got upended by an inspired Monica Puig in the quarter-final in three sets.

Garcia very much is an ‘one her day’ sort of player. She’s capable of playing Top-5 tennis when her game is clicking together and when her service motion is fluid, but sometimes can really go off the boil and lose her way. The stunning thing about Garcia’s recent success is that she is having more very good days on court more often than not and is finally reaching the potential that many had predicted she had all those years ago.

Puig comes into this match with concern because of an abdominal injury suffered in her semi-final last week, but she is another player that has the power to blow her opponent off the court and can be hard to live with when she puts her game together, very much like her French opponent.

Prediction: Garcia in three sets

 

READ MORE | US Open 2018 | Konta outgunned by Garcia in opening round

US Open 2018 | Konta outgunned by Garcia in opening round

 

Caroline Wozniacki [2] vs Lesia Tsurenko H2H: Wozniacki leads 1-0

Caroline Wozniacki in the first round of the Mutua Madrid Open, 2018

Caroline Wozniacki in the first round of the Mutua Madrid Open, 2018 | (c) Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

World No.2 Caroline Wozniacki, who is a twice a runner up here in New York, now can approach a Grand Slam campaign in a very different way. After winning her maiden title in Melbourne, Wozniacki has effectively got the monkey off the back and can now look to add another major trophy to her cabinet and she will look to edge one step closer with a big victory over Lesia Tsurenko.

It is safe to say that neither Wozniacki or Tsurenko play blistering, aggressive brands of tennis. Both like to defend from the back of the court and both players really put their defensive capabilities to the test rather than going for outright winners at times. There are many similarities in the games of these two, which makes for an appealing second round match. Tsurenko likes to penetrate through the court a bit more on the backhand side and although she has struggled in the past with the aggression and consistency of her forehand, the Ukrainian has improved that weaker wing immensely inside the last two years.

Wozniacki will just about edge this match. She can match everything that the Ukrainian offers but has that little bit extra special star quality in each and every department. She’s ironed out the problems with the forehand by being a bit more aggressive and she is one of the best defenders in the women’s game.

Prediction: Wozniacki in two sets

 

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Gael Monfils vs Kei Nishikori [21] H2H: Nishikori leads 3-1

Gael Monfils, ATP Doha 2018

Photo by NOUSHAD THEKKAYIL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock |
Gael Monfils, ATP Doha 2018

A match that showcases the contrast in styles as Gael Monfils looks to upset former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori in their second round encounter. Nishikori looked immense in his first round win over Maximilian Marterer and really imposed his high-tempo game on the German from the first point to the last, but Nishikori will undoubtedly have to work even harder to maintain that level against the Frenchman.

Monfils will try to soak up pressure, using his unbelievable court coverage to defend from all the corners, but he also has the efficiency behind his first serve to cause real problems. The key for Nishikori really is to keep hugging the baseline, beat the bounce of the ball and expect the unexpected when it comes to the level that Monfils produces on the other side of the court.

Nishikori mentally is in a very good place, Perhaps the best place he has been in for quite some time. We saw glimmers of his better level during the preparation to the US Open and he has a fair shot and making another run this time around.

Prediction: Nishikori in four sets

Play continues at the US Open from 11am (4pm BST).

 

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