By Ros Satar
- Alexander Zverev  v Frances Tiafoe | Zverev leads H2H 3-1
- Simona Halep  v Taylor Townsend | Halep leads H2H 3-0
- Andrea Petkovic v Petra Kvitova | H2H tied at 5-5
- Jiggly Puff: John Isner v Jan Lennard Struff | Isner leads H2H 3-0
NEW YORK, USA – After the bulk of the second round matches were postponed or cancelled due to the rain, it is a bumper schedule on Day 4 – we pick our three to see, and one to miss!
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Alexander Zverev  v Frances Tiafoe | Zverev leads H2H 3-1
Alexander Zverev has had a real trial this year – with issues around his management providing an unwelcome distraction off the court. There was so much hope that his alliance with Ivan Lendl and following on from the win at the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals big things would happen for Zverev. A fourth round at the Australian Open, and the quarter-finals at the French Open were highlights but Wimbledon was a disappointing first round loss, and he went the roundabout route to book his spot in the second round, taken to five sets by Radu Albot.
He will face Frances Tiafoe, who captured many hearts with his run to the Australian Open quarter-final, and will have the crowd very much on his side. He had a good hard-court spring but from Roland Garros, his results in Europe were a little stagnant and it took him time to warm up on the US hard-courts.
The American relies on his big serve and powerful forehand and he will come up against an equally strong serve from Zverev – especially his second serve which can also pack a punch. Expect Tiafoe to put on a show for the crowds, but for Zverev to just be a little too strong.
Prediction: Zverev in four sets.
Simona Halep  v Taylor Townsend | Halep leads H2H 3-0
Simona Halep nay not have had the best luck in her past two US Opens, but the Wimbledon champion at least has ended that voodoo with advancing to the second round where she meets Taylor Townsend. Her second American in a row, she had to fight against Lucky Loser Nicole Gibbs, and will face Townsend who is match-sharp coming through qualifying and coming from a set down to book her spot in the second round.
Halep has been broadly consistent this year – struggling with a left Achilles issue in Toronto and having worked quite hard with just one win in Cincinnati.
Halep’s game is based very much on her ability to scramble determinedly around the court while Townsend is not afraid to come into the net, playing just as aggressively.
Ultimately though, experience will win out here.
Prediction: Halep in straight sets.
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Andrea Petkovic v Petra Kvitova | H2H tied at 5-5
Another slam, another match-up between Andrea Petkovic and Petra Kvitova. In Australia, Kvitova was still on her comeback after the horrific knife attack at her home, and it ended with an epic 10-8 score-line in the decider – the first time they had gone the distance.
Petkovic has picked up just two back to back wins this season, but her game matches up well to Kvitova, who has been struggling with an injury to her forearm which caused her to pull out of the French Open. She skipped Toronto and lost her opener in Cincinnati, but she looked very much in control in her first round win.
Petkovic can generate some spin and power with an unorthodox looking forehand, but Kvitova can mix things up quite effectively with a wicked leftie serve that she uses to good effect, heavy groundstrokes off both wings and variety, although she can rack up the errors from time to time.
This could be another long battle from the pair.
Prediction: Kvitova in three sets.
Jiggly Puff: John Isner v Jan Lennard Struff | Isner leads H2H 3-0
For that all important time to make a cuppa (or in the case of those watching in the UK have a well-earned break for a spot of dinner) then we suggest using John Isner v Jan-Lennard Struff. The big serving game of the American is not the most entertaining, albeit occasionally mixed up with creeping towards the net for a bit of variety to his usual one-two clobbering punch of a serve-forehand combo.
While Struff is also fond of some forceful ball-striking and his backhand accompanies his own capable serve, this is the one we might catch 40-winks over in readiness for later matches.
Play starts in Thursday at 11am (4pm BST).
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