Stories of the Open Era: Tennis Channel launches
A decade removed from reaching a career-high No. 5 in the world, Robredo has spent most of this season grinding on the challenger circuit. The heavy-hitting Spaniard has just played just one ATP tour-level match this year. His opponent at Flushing Meadows, Laaksonen, is a hard, flat-ball hitting aggressive baseliner who will look to capitalize on the speed of the Open's hard courts and take down the man who once beat Roger Federer in New York.
Expect plenty of fireworks in this matchup of talented Aussies both struggling to regain their confidence and form. Tomic, whose past trouble with the ATP is well documented, has only four tour-level victories on the season, all on grass. His opponent, 22-year-old Kokkinakis, has just three. But one of these victories was a three-set victory over Federer in Miami. Grab your popcorn, because this match is sure to feature some drama, as both players try to advance to the main draw and earn the biggest first-round paycheck in tennis history.
Ever since her run to the 2014 Wimbledon final, Bouchard’s tennis has been trending in the wrong direction. It appears she may never find that particular level again, and at this point her former No. 5 ranking must feel like a lifetime ago. That being said, both fans and tournaments want her in the main draw Her opponent, former Stanford Cardinal Zhao, is struggling to find her footing in the pros. Bouchard’s confidence may never return to peak form, but expect her to make quick work of her fellow Canadian.