US Open Day 4, 2nd Round Predictions: Isner-Monfils, Errani-Pennetta and Tomic-Evans

Three days in and there have been a fair splattering of seeds exiting the competition.  By far the biggest of those was the departure of Sam Stosur, who fell in three sets to the young American, Victoria Duval on Tuesday night.  I really thought Stosur would enjoy a solid US Open having peaked at this event in the last two years including winning it in 2011.  She has recently split with long standing coach, Dave Taylor so things look a little uncertain for Sammy right now.  Credit to Duval though who sounds like she played a blinder.

Rain decimated yesterday’s schedule so see yesterday’s preview for the second round womens matches that did not get completed.  A better preview for you to feast your eyes on tonight… who knew rain delays could have their benefits 😉

1. John Isner v Gael Monfils
John Isner
When I looked at the mens draw, I couldn’t see much excitement ensuing until the quarter-finals.  There are of course a few exceptions and this match-up featuring John Isner and Gael Monfils is one of those, promising to be a highly intriguing affair.  Both showed good form during the summer hard court season; Isner won Atlanta and made finals in Washington and Cincy, beating Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro in the latter.  Monfils made the final of a depleted Winston-Salem the week before the US, having to pull out with an injury in the final.  I thought his US Open campaign may be in jeopardy, but he danced through his first rounder against Adrian Ungur for the loss of just 3 games.

Isner fared just as well, losing only 5 games against Filippo Volandri, even dropping a bagel which doesn’t exactly cover Volandri in glory with Isner well known for his weakness of returning.  Both playing well, this should present us with a high quality and competitive match under the lights.  The pair are tied in their head-to-head at 3 all with Monfils winning their last encounter in a third set tiebreak, two years ago in Washington.  I was worried to hear Isner called the trainer about a knee complaint in his match yesterday, but he is still my favourite for this one…

Prediction – Isner to beat Monfils in 4 sets

2. Sara Errani v Flavia Pennetta
Flavia Pennetta
The last couple of years have witnessed a changing of the guard with womens tennis in Italy.  Francesca Schiavone and Flavia Pennetta were the spearheads, both cracking the top ten and one even triumphing at a Grand Slam.  As their careers have slowly began to wane, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci have emerged from the shadows and taken the baton in quite some style with Errani making the final of a Grand Slam and Vinci knocking on the door of the top ten.  The four potential match-ups between the Italians have yielded just one encounter in the past two years where Errani beat Pennetta in Acapulco.  At the US Open in 2013 they will meet once again with Errani firmly cemented as the number one Italian.
Both enjoyed comprehensive wins in the first round following sluggish summers; Errani double bagelled Olivia Rogowska, who hit a staggering 38 unforced errors in just 51 minutes, meanwhile Pennetta was very solid in taking out Nicole Gibbs, 6-0 6-2.  Their last match on the clay was a gripping final, which after two very tight sets, saw Errani roll to victory in the decider.  Pennetta does appear to be in the final stretches of her career, but she still has game.  I fancy her to nick a set, but Errani will prevail.
Prediction – Errani to beat Pennetta in 3 sets

3. Bernard Tomic v Daniel Evans
Bernard Tomic

As a Brit, I thought it would be fitting to preview Dan Evans‘s second round match after he progressed to the second round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career with a fantastic 6-4 6-4 6-2 victory over the number 11 seed, Kei Nishikori.  Evans seems to have committed to his tennis and the results are starting to come.  He reached two consecutive ITF finals, bagging two top 100 wins in the process and also made the third round of Queens where he defeated Jarkko Nieminen.  Evans definitely has a shot in his next match against Bernard Tomic, who overcame Albert Ramos in an entertaining-for-all-the-wrong-reasons first round match, that went the full five sets.  Tomic still looks disinterested at times and was playing way behind the baseline in his match, generating little pace, but causing enough trouble with his tricky slice backhand.  Tomic has the experience over Evans, but I am backing the Brit to eek out another terrific win.

Prediction – Evans to beat Tomic in 5 sets

4. Svetlana Kuznetsova v Peng Shuai

Peng Shuai

One of the toughest calls to make in the first round was deciding whether Svetlana Kuznetsova was going to make it through her first match.  Kuznetsova has peaked at the slams this year and made it through her first round match with Mallory Burdette to post her first WTA main draw victory since a stunning run to the quarter-finals of Roland Garros.  Next up is Peng Shuai, who knocked out Yvonne Meusberger in straight sets.  Peng has been sidelined in and out by injuries this year which have prevented her from gaining any momentum.  Peng had a breakout year in 2011 where she reached number 14 in the world and proved she can beat a lot of good players.  Kuznetsova leads the head-to-head by 3 wins to 2, but Peng has won their last 2 matches.  Peng gets a lot of balls back therefore making this an always frustrating match-up for the Russian.  Advantage, barely, to Kuznetsova…

Prediction – Kuznetsova to beat Peng in 3 sets

Best of the rest: 2nd round US Open womens predictions
Caroline Wozniacki to beat Chanelle Scheepers in 2 sets
Camilla Giorgi to beat Hsieh Su-Wei in 2 sets
Elena Vesnina to beat Karin Knapp in 2 sets
Roberta Vinci to beat Lucie Safarova in 3 sets
Maria Kirilenko to beat Michelle Larcher de Brito in 2 tight sets
Simona Halep to beat Donna Vekic in 3 sets

Petra Kvitova to beat Bojana Jovanovski in 3 sets
Mona Barthel to beat Alison Riske in 3 sets
Julia Glushko to beat Sacha Vickery in 2 sets
Daniela Hantuchova to beat Victoria Duval in 3 sets
Ana Ivanovic to beat Alexandra Dulgheru in 2 sets
Elina Svitolina to beat Christina McHale in 2 tight sets
Alize Cornet to beat Ajla Tomljanovic in 3 sets
Victoria Azarenka to beat Aleksandra Wozniak in 2 sets

Best of the rest: 2nd round US Open mens predictions

Richard Gasquet to beat Stephane Robert in 3 sets
Dmitry Tursunov to beat Guillaume Rufin in 4 sets
Feliciano Lopez to beat Bradley Klahn in 4 sets
Milos Raonic to beat Pablo Andujar in 3 sets
Jack Sock to beat Maximo Gonzalez in 3 sets
Janko Tipsarevic to beat Dudi Sela in 4 sets
Mikhail Kukushkin to beat Andrea Haider-Maurer in 5 sets
David Ferrer to beat Roberto Bautista-Agut in 4 sets

Roger Federer to beat Carlos Berlocq in 3 sets
Sam Querrey to beat Adrian Mannarino in 5 sets

Tommy Robredo to beat Frank Dancevic in 5 sets
Philipp Kohlschreiber to beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin in 3 sets
Ivan Dodig to beat Nikolay Davydenko in 4 sets
Rafael Nadal to beat Rogerio Dutra-Silva in 3 sets

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