By Jake Davies

  • Novak Djokovic [6] vs John Millman
  • Naomi Osaka [20] vs Lesia Tsurenko
  • Marin Cilic [7] vs Kei Nishikori [21]
NEW YORK, USA – The last of the quarter-finals are here and our three matches to watch include Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic and the 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic.

 

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Novak Djokovic [6] vs John Millman H2H: Djokovic leads 1-0

Wimbledon Champion Novak Djokovic now looks to be one of the heavy favourites for the US Open title and continues his quest for a 14th major and a 2nd of the year as he takes on the dogged competitor John Millman in the quarter-final.

Djokovic has gone from strength to strength at this tournament. He has had his testing times and has battled through the humidity, but from groundstroke to groundstroke he is looking efficient and upping the tempo of his matches when he feels it is necessary.

Millman achieved the best victory of his career in the previous round when he beat World No.2 Roger Federer to progress to a career best grand slam performance by making the final eight and he offers a lot on a tennis court. Millman has solid, compact groundstrokes and moves around the court efficiently, giving very little away in the form of unforced errors, but the issue for the Australian will be that Djokovic can match his best attributes and then some.

The Serbian can excel in the protracted rallies, but he can take the match away from you with one serious backhand down the line, which is what he did in his fourth round victory over Joao Sousa.

Djokovic should bring Millman back down to earth and I think that the fact that Djokovic has more options and those additional layers to his game is what will get him through against the fearless Millman.

Prediction: Djokovic in four sets

 

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Naomi Osaka [20] vs Lesia Tsurenko H2H: Osaka leads 1-0

Naomi Osaka in the semi-final of the BNP Paribas Open, WTA Indian Wells

Naomi Osaka in the semi-final of the BNP Paribas Open, WTA Indian Wells | (c) Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

There is quite a buzz around the No.20 seed Naomi Osaka, who has advanced to the quarter-final of a major for the first time and you sense that it should be the first of many appearances. The star from Japan will have her work cut out in her quarter-final match-up as she comes up against one of the best competitors on a tennis court in Lesia Tsurenko.

The Ukrainian likes to play her points long and will try to reel Osaka into elongated rallies in testing conditions and will have her best chance of winning this match by turning it into a physical battle. If the Ukrainian goes power for power with the 20th seed then she will come unstuck as Osaka has the weaponry to break through the baseline game of most players.

In three of the four matches this tournament, Osaka has really served incredibly well and her baseline game is as explosive as they come, but Tsurenko will hope that her strong return game and her ability to work hard and make a nuisance of herself from the baseline can extract enough unforced errors to get the upper-hand.

Prediction: Osaka in straight sets

 

READ MORE | US Open 2018 | Latest Schedules, Draws, Results, and How to Watch

US Open 2018 | Latest Schedules, Draws, Results, and How to Watch

Marin Cilic [7] vs Kei Nishikori [21] | H2H: Nishikori leads 8-6

Kei Nishikori in the first round at Roland Garros, 2018

Kei Nishikori in the first round at Roland Garros, 2018 | (Photo by Mike Frey/Getty Images)

In a re-match of the 2014 US Open final, Marin Cilic will meet Kei Nishikori in what will be their 15th meeting overall in the head-to-head, with Nishikori edging it 8-6. The match really will be decided on how well Nishikori can neutralise the weapons that the Croatian brings to a tennis court.

Cilic likes to play high-tempo, high -risk tennis and looks to dominate the points with the forehand side. The real problem for Cilic is structuring the forehand enough to be a consistently destructive shot. He can go a whole set without finding the court on that wing, so that will be something that will give Nishikori motivation and confidence in this match-up.

For Nishikori it is about not becoming a passenger in this match-up. He has the court coverage to be able to hustle his way into winning points, but he can take the ball incredibly early and the time he takes away from his more powerful opponents is something that has served him well in his career. It will be a fascinating battle, with both players in a very good head space coming into this contest.

Prediction: Nishikori in four sets.

 

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