By Jake Davies

  • Juan Martin Del Potro [3] vs Borna Coric [20]
  • Elina Svitolina [7] vs Anastasija Sevastova [19]
  • Rafael Nadal [1] vs Nikoloz Basilashvili
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES – The fourth round match-ups are finally here and we take a look at the biggest matches to watch out for on a big day at Flushing Meadows.

 

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Juan Martin Del Potro [3] vs Borna Coric [20] H2H: First meeting

It has been nine years since Juan Martin Del Potro won his maiden Slam at Flushing Meadows. In those nine years, the Argentine has had so many ups and downs, multiple wrist surgeries, but has now blasted his way to a new career high of No.3 in the world.

Del Potro’s game has taken so many changes in that length of time. The forehand has very much stayed the same, as has the power of the first serve, but it is the backhand that is forever changing. When he feels discomfort in his wrist he elects to slice his way through matches, but now we are seeing him have the confidence to use his backhand as more of an offensive weapon. It will never have the potency of his forehand, but at least it is an option during the rally.

In his fourth round match, Del Potro will play Croatia’s Borna Coric. Coric really does play a naturally defensive game and defends very well out of his backhand corner. He is a little bit more suspect on the forehand side, but he has worked very hard in turning that into more of an attacking shot in order to give himself a better chance to win big matches. In many ways his game mirrors Novak Djokovic and his game development has taken on similar progress too.

I think Del Potro will have most of the rallies on his terms. Coric can penetrate through the court on the backhand side and he will look to break down Del Potro’s backhand, but I think this is a match where Del Potro will blast his opponent off the court. He is confident, playing well, beating good players and one of the contenders for the title this week.

Prediction: Del Potro in four sets

 

READ MORE | US Open 2018 | Latest Schedules, Draws, Results, and How to Watch

US Open 2018 | Latest Schedules, Draws, Results, and How to Watch

 

Anastasija Sevastova [19] vs Elina Svitolina [7] H2H: Svitolina leads 1-0

Elina Svitolina in the first round of Roland Garros, 2018

Elina Svitolina in the first round of Roland Garros, 2018 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

In the pick of the WTA fourth round matches, Elina Svitolina takes on Anastasija Sevastova for a place in the quarter-finals. It is an interesting battle and it will give us another chance to see how the Ukrainian holds up when the matches get tougher, and the adversity raises up a notch. Svitolina is a fantastic player on the regular tour, but has mentally shown weary signs in Grand Slam action, which is preventing her from grabbing that maiden title.

Sevastova is a very difficult customer. She has bags of variety, mixes up the pace of the rally regularly using the backhand slice and she consistently brings her opponent out of their baseline comfort zone through the use of the drop shot. The Latvian goes against the grain of blistering and overwhelming power from the back of the court and finds different ways to win her points. Her main issue is keeping her emotions together when she does get into challenging predicaments and maybe that is something that the talented Ukrainian can capitalise on.

Prediction: Svitolina in three sets

POLL: Who will win the US Open 2018 Women’s Singles Title?

 

Rafael Nadal [1] vs Nikoloz Basilashvili H2H: Nadal leads 1-0

Rafael Nadal in the first round of Roland Garros, 2018

Rafael Nadal in the first round of Roland Garros, 2018 | (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal came through one huge epic in the third round against 22-year-old Karen Khachanov, but Nadal showed his ability to really play the big points well and maintain his belief when things were not going his way. On another day it is a match that he could have lost, but in the 2018 season he has more often than not come out on top in this contests. Next up for Nadal is Nikoloz Basilashvili, who really relies on a first serve and forehand combination heavily. The difference between Basilashvili and Khachanov is that the Georgian does not hit the ball anywhere near as powerful and he does have a tendency to throw in bunches of double faults that do not help his cause.

Nadal will quickly suss out the flaws in the Georgian’s game as the top players regularly do. The forehand cross-court into Basilashvili’s backhand side will be something that the defending US Open champion will look to regularly do. And the depth control is key as it will prevent Basilashvili from stepping into his shots and becoming even more of a threat. When these two did meet at the French Open last year, Basilashvili won just the one game in a straight sets defeat.

Prediction: Nadal in three sets

 

POLL: Who will win the US Open 2018 Men’s Singles Title?

 

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