By Jake Davies
- Andy Murray vs James Duckworth
- Kyle Edmund  vs Paolo Lorenzi
- Cameron Norrie vs Jordan Thompson
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES – Andy Murray, Kyle Edmund and Cameron Norrie look to make a good start to their US Open campaigns as they all have winnable matches to kick-start the event.
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Andy Murray vs James Duckworth H2H: First meeting
Murray has only played seven matches on tour since making his return from hip surgery, which started with a loss to Nick Kyrgios in Queen’s but since then Murray has looked very good in some of his matches, putting together three match-wins during his stay in Washington before pulling out of his quarter-final due to fatigue.
Murray later lost to Lucas Pouille in the first round of the Cincinnati Masters, which drew a lot of concern because of the way he lost it, but Murray recognised just how close he came to beating a Top-20 player in the Frenchman.
Murray now goes into a first major in over a year with a very different feeling about his chances and about his game. The former World No.1 usually prepares for a major with his sights set on winning the whole tournament, but is a realistic in what he can accomplish over the fortnight and there will be a lot of nervous energy as he tackles a best-of-five format for the first time in a while on Monday, which offers very different challenges for Murray.
The good thing for Murray is that he can ease his way into the tournament as he should have enough to beat Duckworth in the opening round. Duckworth has lots of variation on his first and second serve and can utilise the kick serve when needed, but he lacks the killer shot in terms of his capability off the ground. The Australian is a tireless worker from the back of the court, makes a lot of balls and forces an opponent to take the match out of his hands, but Murray will enjoy working out this match-up and should thrive upon breaking Duckworth’s baseline game down.
Prediction: Murray in straight sets
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Kyle Edmund  vs Paolo Lorenzi H2H: First meeting
Kyle Edmund faces a big tournament over the fortnight. The British No.1 made the third round of this event this time last year, so has some points to defend and will want to ensure he remains in the Top-20 for the end of the 2018 season – defending those points will go a long way to doing that.
Edmund faces experienced campaigner Paolo Lorenzi in his opening round match. Lorenzi has quite an awkward, unconventional service motion and that does really open up his second serve to getting preyed upon at times, but he has the experience and the battling skills to really make a match of this. Lorenzi did the right thing of dropping down to Challenger level to gain some confidence, pick up some match-wins and is fresh off a Challenger title win on the clay, but I think Edmund will just about have enough on a hard court.
Edmund’s last few weeks on tour have been quite up-and-down, but Edmund should have too much overwhelming power from the baseline for the Italian.
Prediction: Edmund in straight sets.
Cameron Norrie vs Jordan Thompson H2H: First meeting
Cameron Norrie, now World No.66, plays Australia’s Jordan Thompson in the opening round of the US Open. Norrie made a sensational start to the US hard-court series, making the semi-final in Atlanta and then Los Cabos and will go into this Grand Slam full of confidence and hoping he can continue to make a name for himself in Flushing Meadows.
Thompson is renowned for his never-say-die attitude and his tendency to play his best level tennis when he is behind in the scoreline, quite like Norrie in many ways. The Australian has the ability to win free points off of his first serve, has the net skills to cause havoc, but he is liable to dropping the ball short on the forehand side, which is something that Norrie can look out for in the heat of battle.
This is their first meeting on the main tour, but Norrie has beaten Thompson once at Challenger level.
Prediction: Norrie in five sets
Edmund & Lorenzi are scheduled on Court 13 at 11am (4pm BST), Murray & Duckworth on Louis Armstrong Stadium not before 12:30pm (5:30pm BST), Norrie & Thompson on Court 13, not before 2:30pm (7:30pm BST).
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