By Jed Jones

  • Novak Djokovic [1] v Stan Wawrinka [23]
  • Elina Svitolina [5] v Madison Keys [10]
  • Grigor Dimitrov v Alex de Minaur
NEW YORK, USA – The round of 16 is upon us and many players are eager to book their spot in the quarterfinals.

 

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Novak Djokovic [1] v Stan Wawrinka [23] | Djokovic leads H2H 19-5

Only three years ago this match was the US Open final, now the two former champions will battle it out in the fourth round. Novak Djokovic is the defending champion, has won four of the last five Slams and is the world No. 1 so you would expect him to be the overwhelming favourite. The Serb is also yet to drop a set but there is one cloud of doubt over him: injury concerns.

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Stan Wawrinka will be the first man to give Djokovic a test, and see if his injury can cope at the top level. The Swiss is looking to make his first US Open quarterfinal since winning the event back in 2016. Wawrinka often bulldozes his way through his opponents and on his day, can defeat anyone. The 34-year-old has defeated a world No. 1 four times in his career – all occurring in Grand Slams.

Djokovic dominates the overall head-to-head 19-5, but only leads 4-3 in Slams. Their last meeting was in the final here and Wawrinka produced a stunning performance to defeat the Serb. This match could be a classic so a good start is imperative for both players.

Prediction: Djokovic in four sets.

 

Elina Svitolina [5] v Madison Keys [10] | H2H tied at 1-1

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This match-up always draws attention due to the huge contrast of styles. Will it be rhythmic consistency who prevails, or raw power? Elina Svitolina would have expected better from herself this season, but ultimately cannot complain as she has performed at the big events. Before this year, the Ukrainian had reached total of three Grand Slam quarterfinals, now she is bidding to make her third of the season. The 24-year-old is yet to drop a set and once she gathers momentum she can be extremely difficult to stop.

Madison Keys is also yet to drop a set and is one of the in-form players right now. The 24-year-old won the last big event before the US Open, in Cincinnati. The American somehow manages to find her best tennis in the biggest events – a win for her will see her in an eight career Grand Slam quarterfinal. Keys loves the US Open too and that shows in her results here: she is 14-2 since 2017.

The pair have met twice before, both coming in the fourth round of hard court Slams. Both matches were three sets so the Arthur Ashe crowd could be treated to another epic. The crowd might be the difference in this match, as Keys searches for her first Grand Slam title.

Prediction: Keys in straight sets.

 

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Grigor Dimitrov v Alex de Minaur | First meeting

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This could be the match of the day. Both players play such different games and both are at a completely different stages of their respective careers. Grigor Dimitrov has only played two matches at this years event as Borna Coric withdrew from their second round meeting, so the Bulgarian could have some extra energy in the tank. The world No. 74 is looking to make his first ever US Open quarterfinal, but for that to happen he will have to win three straight matches for the first time since January.

Alex de Minaur has been in some spell-binding form this tournament. The young Australian recorded his maiden top 10 win over Kei Nishikori in the previous round and he will be eager to eliminate another big name. A victory could be momentous for de Minaur, as it will see him into his first Grand Slam quarterfinal.

This will be their first meeting and the match-up looks very intriguing. Both defend extremely well, but Dimitrov has more variety and can transition into attack more easily. However, de Minaur’s fighting qualities are second to none and as the pressure builds, you will have to back the tenacious Australian.

Prediction: De Minaur in four sets.

Play starts at 11am (4pm BST).

 

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