By Jake Davies
- Victoria Azarenka vs Daria Gavrilova 
- Camila Giorgi vs Venus Williams 
- Daniil Medvedev vs Stefanos Tsitsipas 
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES – With the first round matches drawing to a close, we look at the pick of the second round matches on Day 3 of the US Open.
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Victoria Azarenka vs Daria Gavrilova  H2H: First meeting
An intriguing match on paper, two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka has really dominated the hard-courts for a number of years, particularly back in 2012, but now has made her return to a tournament she has made the final on two occasions, but this time she is striving to do that as Top-80 player as he looks to shoot her way back up the rankings. Daria Gavrilova will be a tough second round match-up though.
The Australian really prides herself on her ability to make players play that extra ball, play forehands and backhands in awkward positions on the court and you can never fault Gavrilova for the amount of effort she puts into a rally, which can be draining for her opponent.
I think Azarenka will come out on top in this one. She has the composure in her groundstrokes to play aggressively for two or three extra balls before looking for the winner. Also Azarenka’s biggest strength is her return of serve, while Gavrilova’s limitations on serve can sometimes mean she hits close to 20 double faults a match, so that is one key area where the Belarussian is going to get the job done and make the third round.
Prediction: Azarenka in straight sets
Camila Giorgi vs Venus Williams  H2H: Venus Williams leads 1-0
In easily one of the picks of the matches of the third day of the US Open, Camila Giorgi looks to build on one of her best ever major performances at Wimbledon, but will need to go through two-time US Open champion Venus Williams.
Williams has had a bit of a stop-start year, but really picked up a very good win against Svetlana Kuznetsova in the previous round, so will look to build on from there. It is hard to really prepare for a match against the Italian, though, who really does not compromise on her groundstrokes, has the baseline power to really blast through anyone and has the finesse in her volleys to finish the rally on the shorter ball.
The problem for Giorgi has been her consistency and finding that middle ground in her game to really produce performances when she is not always finding the court with regularity. If Giorgi is even 10% off her game, then Williams should have enough control in her aggression to see the match out.
Prediction: Venus Williams in two sets
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Daniil Medvedev vs Stefanos Tsitsipas  H2H: Medvedev leads 1-0
Daniil Medvedev has been on quite a roll in recent weeks. After winning his third tour-level title in Winston-Salem, the big-serving Russian came through his opening US Open round match to continue his win streak of seven matches and is yet to drop a set on tour since Cincinnati, so he really is one of the form players on tour when you isolate these last two weeks. His opponent in the second round is one of the better players of the 2018 season as a whole and that is Greek No.1 Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Tsitsipas, now a Top-15 player at the tender age of 20, has bags of talent. The inside-out forehand is a real weapon of his, but the key to his success has been the versatility not only to his forehand shot, but to his game overall as he has made his way up the rankings. Two areas he can improve on his backhand side return and the second serve. Medvedev is a player that likes to take huge cuts at the ball and dominate from the beginning, so it will be intriguing to see how Medvedev’s no-nonsense style of play will match up with Tsitsipas’ second serve delivery.
Prediction: Tsitsipas in five sets
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