Three to See, US Open Day 4: Coco, Rafa and Zverev vs. Tiafoe

Three to See, US Open Day 4: Coco, Rafa and Zverev vs. Tiafoe

Can America's favorite 15-year-old keep her magic carpet ride afloat?

Before each day's play at the 2019 US Open, we'll preview three must-see matches.

Alexander Zverev vs. Frances Tiafoe

It has been (another) tough Slam for the ATP’s future. Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Karen Khachanov, three top-of-the-line young guns, all went out in the first round. Strangely, it was Zverev, whose confidence has hit rock bottom in 2019, who survived in five sets; while Tiafoe, who has had an OK summer, advanced when Ivo Karlovic was forced to retire. However they arrived in the second round, the German and the American could put on a good show. Zverev has won three of their four meetings with relative ease, but Tiafoe recorded something of a breakthrough victory over him in Cincinnati in 2017. Zverev is steady and Tiafoe is flashy; that’s often a recipe for an entertaining encounter. Winner: Tiafoe

Coco Gauff vs. Timea Babos

America’s favorite 15-year-old returns to face a tougher and more experienced, though perhaps slightly less talented, opponent than she did in the first round. Babos is a 26-year-old veteran of the tour wars who has been ranked as high as No. 25, and who hits a heavy ball. To keep her magic carpet ride afloat, Gauff will need to avoid another nervous start, and play with the rangy power she showed in the third set of her opener against Anastasia Potapova. As she has proven, with a crowd behind her, anything is possible, and we know this crowd will be behind her. But after winning three qualifying matches, Babos should have worked up a good head of steam. So I’ll pick against Gauff. But I did the same thing before her last match, too. Winner: Babos

Rafael Nadal Vs. Thanasi Kokkinakis

Does Nick Kyrgios’s old friend Kokkinakis also have a grudge against Rafa? They’ve only played once, five years ago at the Australian Open, and Nadal won in three straightforward sets. In those days, Kokkinakis was considered a prospect of equal potential as Kyrgios, but injuries have sidetracked him. Now, after a summer spent playing Challengers, he’ll be back on the big stage. Kokkinakis has a win over Roger Federer, and he has the shots and the swagger to make it fun against Rafa, but probably not to win three sets against him. Winner: Nadal

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.