Before each day's play at the 2019 US Open, we'll preview three must-see matches.
Naomi Osaka vs. Cori “Coco” Gauff
I’ll start by saying that I’ve picked Gauff to lose both her first two matches here, so I’m obviously prone to underestimating what a 15-year-old can do at the pro level. But this will be a big step upward: Timea Babos, Gauff’s last victim, is ranked No. 122; Osaka is ranked No. 1, and is the defending champion here. Of course, Gauff has a chance, which she can probably maximize by mixing speeds and spins and heights, and not feeding Osaka the steady diet of pace she likes. Gauff knows how to do that, and if she really is inspired by the crowd at the Open, the one she’ll have behind her in Ashe on Saturday could take her a long way. But I’m going to pick her opponent to win again. Winner: Osaka
Is there a world record for time spent, and shots hit, in the air in a tennis match? If so, Monfils and Shapovalov could shatter it. Neither of them has ever met a shot they didn’t think would look better with a leap attached. The Frenchman and the Canadian have never faced each other, which should add to the unpredictability of a match that already features two of the tour’s streakiest players. Monfils has the higher ranking and more experience getting to the second week at majors. But Shapovalov has a new attitude and newly decisive game under recent coaching hire Mikhail Youzhny. Winner: Shapovalov
Can anyone stop Kyrgios in his quarter other than himself? The way he’s been serving, it won’t be easy; he hasn’t dropped a set in his first two rounds. But Rublev has the powerful baseline game and solid return to make this a match. He’s coming off a win over Roger Federer in Cincinnati in which he read Federer’s serve well, and took away his time at the baseline; he’ll need to do both against Kyrgios. These two have played once, at the Kremlin Cup last year, and Kyrgios won in three sets. If their current form holds, I could see something similar happening in five sets on Saturday. Winner: Kyrgios
Wake up every morning with Tennis Channel Live at the US Open, starting at 8 a.m. ET. For three hours leading up to the start of play, Tennis Channel's team will break down upcoming matches, review tournament storylines and focus on everything Flushing Meadows.
Tennis Channel's encore, all-night match coverage will begin every evening at 11 p.m. ET, with the exception of earlier starts on Saturday and Sunday of championship weekend.