By Jed Jones

  • Naomi Osaka [1] v Cori Gauff
  • Caroline Wozniacki [19] v Bianca Andreescu [15]
  • John Isner [14] v Marin Cilic [22]
NEW YORK, USA – The second phase of third round matches are set to get underway. Which matches should you keep an eye on?

 

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Naomi Osaka [1] v Cori Gauff | First meeting

This has all the ingredients to be the match of the tournament: the defending champion and world No. 1 against the 15-year-old home favourite on the biggest tennis stadium on tour. Naomi Osaka is looking to win three consecutive matches for the first time since Madrid, which is surprising given she tops the WTA rankings. Two solid wins have seen the 21-year-old reach this stage, but a loss could see her fall to No. 4.

Cori Gauff is having another fairytale run at a Grand Slam. The American made the fourth round of Wimbledon on her debut and she is one match from equalling that impressive feat. Gauff is in terrific form, having won 17 of her last 23 matches dating back to April – and she has a ridiculous 5-1 record in Grand Slam main draws.

This will be the pairs first ever meeting and it could be a blockbuster. Both have massive games and strike the ball with such purpose and ferocity. Gauff fears absolutely no one, but experience may be the deciding factor. The American has also come through two gruelling three set matches so fatigue may also play a part.

Prediction: Osaka in three sets.

 

Caroline Wozniacki [19] v Bianca Andreescu [15] | Andreescu leads H2H 1-0

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A match that presents a complete contrast of styles. The big hitter versus the consistent defender. Both will be able to play their game, but who will come out on top? Caroline Wozniacki is a two-time finalist in New York (2009 and 2014) so she clearly knows her way around the Arthur Ashe Stadium. However, since claiming her first Grand Slam at the 2018 Australian Open, the Dane is yet to reach another quarterfinal at a Slam. She has had to come through two three set matches to reach the third round, but we all know Wozniacki has endless reserves of energy.

Bianca Andreescu is looking mightily impressive on her US Open debut. The Canadian has dominated both her opponents here as she is yet to drop a set. The 19-year-old goes into the event in very good form, having won her home event in Toronto – defeating three top ten players along the way. Andreescu has serious hard court pedigree as she also won Indian Wells back in March.

There is no doubt that this match will be entertaining due to the severe contrast in styles. The pair have met once before: Andreescu defeated Wozniacki 6-4, 6-4, en route to her first ever final in Auckland. The Canadian has been in the much better form, with their respective careers going in opposite directions.

Prediction: Andreescu in straight sets.

 

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John Isner [14] v Marin Cilic [22] | Cilic leads H2H 8-3

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For the twelfth time, these two big serving veterans will face off once again. John Isner has had a fairly quiet year by his standards. The American usually does so well during the US Open series but this year he went a poor 3-4 – without winning back-to-back matches. Isner has found a way to pick himself up for when it matters as he has dominated both his opponents here to reach the third round without dropping a set.

Marin Cilic has also had a relatively disappointing year too, and he is yet to defeat a top ten player all season. In addition, he has a 53% win record this year, his lowest since 2006. That being said, the Croatian plays his best in New York and won the US Open in 2014. Out of all the Slams, this is definitely (and statistically) his best as Cilic has a fantastic 78% win record in the Big Apple.

This match could save both players’ seasons so the pressure is definitely on. Although it has been picked for Grandstand, the magnitude of this match is massive. Cilic leads the H2H 8-3, and 4-1 on outdoor hard courts. The Croatian knows how to win big matches at the US Open and that could be the difference in this battle.

Prediction: Cilic in five sets.

Play starts at 11am (4pm BST).

 

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