US Open: 3rd Round Predictions for Day 6

The Top 4 on Day 6
Agnieszka Radwanska

1. Jelena Jankovic v Agnieszka Radwanska
My top match of the day is between two players who have had contrasting seasons on the tour.  Agnieszka Radwanska has had a stellar season, hitting 50 match wins and rising to world number two, meanwhile Jelena Jankovic has been spiralling down the rankings.  This match though could be an interesting one; Jankovic has had something of an upturn in form, making the final in Dallas and has surprisingly come through the first two rounds without any drama.  Radwanska, who has been battling a shoulder injury and fatigue, was inches away from falling in the last round before eventually storming past the shaky, Carla Suarez Navarro.  Jankovic will not get a better chance to progress deep into a Grand Slam draw and with Radwanska not 100% the opportunity is there for the taking.. can she do it?

Prediction – Radwanska to beat Jankovic in 3 sets

2. James Blake v Milos Raonic
James Blake was sensational in his second round beatdown of Marcel Granollers, 6-1 6-4 6-2.  Blake will feel slightly hard done by to be out on Grandstand in what should be a great match with the huge serving, Milos Raonic.  The Canadian struggled in his opening match against Santiago Giraldo, but looked much more comfortable in dispatching Paul-Henri Mathieu in the second round.  A win for Raonic here would mark his best ever performance at a Grand Slam.  Blake, with the backing of a strong American crowd will certainly cause Raonic some problems, who struggled to hack the pressure up against Lleyton Hewitt in Australia.  I think Blake can nab a set, but its time for Raonic to step it up…
Prediction – Raonic to beat Blake in 4 sets
M


3. Sloane Stephens v Ana Ivanovic
Sloane Stephens and Ana Ivanovic met at this exact stage of the US Open last year and once more, they will do battle in the night match on Arthur Ashe.  Sloane has had a pretty solid year and continues to progress well on the WTA tour… what is missing is that big breakthrough win and this is her opportunity.  Ivanovic has looked comfortable so far, but has not been tested against either Elena Svitolina or Sofia Arvidsson in the opening two rounds.  Stephens struggled being the favourite in her last match and knowing she was expected to win.  She was extremely gutsy to pull out of a three set stinker against Tatjana Malek.  In this match, she will be the outsider and I am predicting that breakthrough win under the lights…
Prediction – Stephens to beat Ivanovic in 3 sets

4. Marin Cilic v Kei Nishikori
You will have noticed with my highlights that I like to pick out some interesting matches that may miss the headlines.  This third round match between Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic offers up much intrigue and is particularly difficult to call.  Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was knocked out of this section offering the winner a massive opportunity to make the quarter-finals.  Cilic wasted a two set lead in his second round match before eventually passing the challenge of Daniel Brands in five sets.  Nishikori has been completely undisturbed in his path to the third round.  Cilic was my tip in my original predictions, but I have changed my mind since and am backing Nishikori for the win a tough five setter.
Prediction – Nishikori to beat Cilic in 5 sets

Best of the rest: Womens 3rd round
In the pick of the remaining matches, Serena Williams will face off against her conqueror at the Australian Open, Ekaterina MakarovaAngelique Kerber, who survived a nailbiter to Venus Williams in the second round, should have things much easier against Olga GovortsovaMaria Kirilenko has looked in excellent form so far and will take on Andrea Hlavackova, who has reached the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career.  Finally, watch out for the match between Dominika Cibulkova and Roberta Vinci, which promises to be highly competitive and closely fought.

Roberta Vinci

Predictions:

Serena Williams to beat Ekaterina Makarova in 2 very tight sets
Angelique Kerber to beat Olga Govortsova in 2 sets
Roberta Vinci to beat Dominika Cibulkova in 3 sets
Maria Kirilenko to beat Andrea Hlavackova in 2 sets
Sara Errani to beat Olga Puchkova in 2 sets
Tsvetana Pironkova to beat Silvia Soler Espinosa in 3 sets

Best of the rest: Mens 3rd round
There are a number of exciting mens matches tomorrow, most of them involving Americans.  Sam Querrey will once again do battle with Tomas Berdych; the pair faced off in Winston Salem where Berdych prevailed.  Mardy Fish plays the night match with Giles Simon, meanwhile Jack Sock will take on Nicolas AlmagroAndy Murray and Roger Federer both play Spaniards and should not be troubled against Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco respectively.

Tomas Berdych


Predictions:
Roger Federer to beat Fernando Verdasco in 3 sets
Mardy Fish to beat Giles Simon in 3 sets
Nicolas Almagro to beat Jack Sock in 5 sets
Tomas Berdych to beat Sam Querrey in 4 sets
Andy Murray to beat Feliciano Lopez in 3 sets
Jeremy Chardy to beat Martin Klizan in 3 sets

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