Tennis Channel Live: A discussion on WTA player income

Advertising

Aryna Sabalenka vs. Danielle Collins

This one may feel more like a collision than a tennis match. Sabalenka and Collins don’t pull any punches, either in the way they hit the ball, or in their approach to competition. They want to win, badly, and they don’t try to hide it. Sabalenka is the higher-ranked player—No. 2 to Collins’ No. 29—and she has won both of their previous meetings. But Collins may have more momentum and confidence at the moment. She won back-to-back tournaments this summer, returned to the Top 30 after finishing 45th last year, and has cruised in her first two matches in New York. Winner: Collins

Azarenka has flown under the radar at Flushing Meadows—where she was dominant this time last year.

Azarenka has flown under the radar at Flushing Meadows—where she was dominant this time last year.

Garbiñe Muguruza vs. Victoria Azarenka

At first glance, there’s something very 2010s about this matchup. Azarenka won her two Grand Slam titles in 2012 and 2013, in Australia; Muguruza won hers in 2016 and 2017, at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Yet while their days of contending for No. 1 may be over, both women continue to be threats at the majors—Muguruza reached the Australian Open final last year, and Azarenka did the same at the US Open. If their career records make them seem evenly matched, their head-to-head does, too: They’re 2-2, and each has retired from a match against the other down a set and 3-1. Put all of that together, and this one is a toss-up. I’d only say that, at her best, the 27-year-old Muguruza retains more of her old Slam-winning power from the ground than the 32-year-old Azarenka does. Winner: Muguruza

Advertising

Frances Tiafoe is relishing the opportunity to face a player like Andrey Rublev at his home Slam.

Frances Tiafoe is relishing the opportunity to face a player like Andrey Rublev at his home Slam.

Andrey Rublev vs. Frances Tiafoe

Third-round matches don’t come any more potentially crowd-pleasing than this one. With Rublev, we have an established Top 10 player searching for his first semifinal appearance at a Slam. With Tiafoe, we have an American who thinks of himself as part player, part entertainer. They’re both 23, they’ve both been on tour for half a decade, yet they’ve never faced each other. Which will make this an interesting test for both: Can Rublev keep his cool against a streaky opponent who has the fans behind him? Can Tiafoe hang with one of the elite players of his young generation? It should be a pleasure to find out. Winner: Rublev