Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: ATP Tour 2019: US Open Preview (Round of 64)

ATP Tour 2019: US Open Preview (Round of 64)

ATP Tour 2019: US Open Preview (Round of 64)

We take a look at selected round of 64 matches from the ATP Tour's US Open taking place at Flushing Meadows, New York. 

ATP Tour 2019 | US Open | Flushing Meadows, New York
Selected Round of 64 Matches | 29 August 2019

John Isner (7/10) 
vs Jan Lennard Struff (21/20)
Things haven’t exactly been plain sailing for American Number One John Isner this season. He hasn’t progressed beyond the 2nd round of a slam this year, though he did win the Hall of Fame event, though that is almost akin to an exhibition event. He reached three semi-finals in the opening portion of the season prior to that one shining light in Miami. He showed his undeniable class with a run to the final in Miami. The huge-serving Isner is a two-time quarterfinalist in this event and he blew Garcia Lopen away in the opening round. But his recent form has been dreary, with round of 32 appearances in Cincinnati and Canada. He will look to feed off of boisterous home support in an attempt to rediscover that winning mentality. Isner’s confidence is key to performance: he noticeably shuts down when things start to go against him.

Jan Lennard Struff has had an extremely interesting year. He has actually been four or five strategic victories away from having a great one. He started the year with a semi-final in Auckland, showcasing his efficacy on faster surfaces. He would reach the final 16 at Indian Wells, disposing of compatriot Alex Zverev in the process. A quarter-final in Barcelona and 4th round at Roland Garros highlighted progress on clay. He then reached the semi-finals in Stuttgart prior to a 3rd round turn at SW19. He recently beat Tsonga in Canada and Stefanos Tsitsipas in Cincinnati. He reminds me heavily of fellow countryman Phillip Kohlschreiber. His is a no-nonsense game, based on consistent groundstrokes and defensive solidity. He is just the sort of player who may be able to get underneath the skin of Isner this week.

Isner dominates their head-to-head at 3-0. Having said that, they last met in 2016. Isner would have been 31 then and Struff 26. Isner is now 34 and may not quite be in the same physical space of previous seasons. Struff could be in with a sniff, especially when you look at how close he has been to making significant breakthroughs throughout the season. But the smart money has to be on Isner, whose price is fairly attractive due to his perform. Perhaps Isner to win in four sets at 33/10 could work.  

Alex Zverev (11/20) 
vs Frances Tiafoe (14/10)
This one has box office written all over it. Frances Tiafoe is at an impasse in his young career, where all that latent talent has to bear some tangible fruit. He won in Delray last year, highlighting his comfort on this surface. But 2019 has been a slightly rocky road for the huge-serving American. He is yet to make a semi-final in the entire calendar year. But there have been some encouraging showings in massive events. He reached his maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal with a magnificent run on the Aussie hard-courts. He also demonstrated that he has what it takes for this event with a quarterfinal run in Miami. He was slightly unfortunate at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, going out in the opening rounds off the back of five-set thrillers. A recent quarterfinal at Winston Salem could be an ominous sign for Tiafoe as he looks to ignite the first week of Flushing Meadows.

Alex Zverev’s tumultuous relationship with Grand Slam tennis is well documented. Considering all he has achieved, two quarterfinal appearances at Roland Garros are not a satisfactory reflection of his massive potential. There are lingering doubts over his physique and temperament. He enters the US Open in indifferent form, winning one match in that critical Canada-Cincinnati leg of the Masters 1000 Series. He won in Geneva, though he was by far the stand-out in that event. He also lost in a pulsating final on the Mexican hard-courts. But it just hasn’t been right for the German this year.  Most spectators would have thought that his victory in last year’s ATP World Tour Finals would have been a springboard. He also battled in his opening match, needing five sets to overcome Albot.

This one just screams surprise, especially looking at Zverev’s struggles in round one. Zverev leads the head-to-head 3-1, though that statistic stands at 1-1 on outdoor hard-courts. In fact, Tiafoe won their last match on outdoor hard-courts, winning a screamer in Cincinnati in 2017. Zverev has shown the capacity to wilt on the big stage and this may be Tiafoe’s chance for a major upset.

Written by Damien Kayat for Hollywoodbets

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