Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: 2020 ATP Tour: US Open Tennis Championships

2020 ATP Tour: US Open Tennis Championships

ATP Tour 2020: Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships

We take a look at the selected Quarterfinals matches from the US Open Tennis Championships taking place at Flushing Meadows, New York, Outdoor Hardcourt.

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2020 ATP Tour | Flushing Meadows, New York (Outdoor Hardcourt)
US Open Tennis
Selected 3rd Round Matches- 5th September

Karen Khachanov (11) (5/4)
vs Alex De Minaur (21) (6/10)

Affectionately known as the ‘Speed Demon’, Alex De Minaur has been one of the steadiest risers on tour over the last two years. The Aussie rose to prominence in 2018 by becoming the youngest player since Rafa Nadal to reach consecutive ATP semi-finals. He won three titles last year and went on to lose the Swiss Indoors Final to Roger Federer. All of his finals thus far have come on his preferred hardcourts. He earns that ‘Speed Demon’ moniker, chasing down lost causes in similar vein to Rafa Nadal.  His biggest issue has been developing a real weapon that can hurt opponents.  But that should develop as he gets a bit older and stronger. This has proved his most fruitful Grand Slam venue (he reached the 4th round last year). He had to work hard to see off the dogged Gasquet last time out. He looks to have developed that forehand slightly and De Minaur will be a pugnacious opponent for anyone he encounters.  

Karen Khachanov is perhaps guilty of regressing somewhat over the last 18 months, as the likes of Medvedev and Rublev have displaced him in the Russian tennis hierarchy. Remember this was the man who beat Novak Djokovic so memorably in capturing the Masters 1000 title in Paris. 2019 was a bizarre season for the hard-hitting Russian. He reached his maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal at Roland Garros?? Clay is certainly not a surface which Khachanov generally thrives on. Other than that, he battled to gain traction until another Masters 1000 semi-final in Montreal. That served to underline his enormous potential. He started 2020 with a creditable showing at the ATP Cup, helping Russia advance to the semi-final stage. His first post-lockdown event also showed huge promise, as he lost narrowly to Roberto Bautista Agut in the 3rd round of the Western and Southern Open. He will be grateful for the routine victory over Kuznetsov (he needed five sets to overcome Sinner in an exhausting opening round).  

This will be the first time these two will have met. This is a real conundrum. Logic seems to dictate that this could be De Minaur’s time, with steady improvement over the past two years.  But something inside me tends to favour the Russian. That explosive forehand should be the difference between the two.

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Dominic Thiem (2) (2/9)
vs Marin Cilic (31) (10/3)

Dominic Thiem is almost daring people to hate him. The USTA had to give him and his entourage a code violation for not adhering to the strict mask-wearing protocols. This coming in the wake of his bone-headed behaviour alongside Novak Djokovic a few months back. It’s frustrating, especially as there’s so much to admire about the Austrian. Were it not for the so called ‘Big Three’, Thiem would probably own six or seven Grand Slam titles. The three-time Grand Slam finalist has made incredible strides on the harder surface over the last 18 months.  Perhaps the most significant result of his career came in a non-major: his victory at Indian Wells dispelled the perception that his talents were limited to clay-court surfaces. He only further enhanced that reputation when he reached the Aussie Open Final earlier this year.  He was awful in his first post-lockdown match proper (he was utterly trounced by Filip Krajinovic here last week). But he was obviously using that has a tune-up, as he has been immaculate in his opening two matches. Let’s see how he fares against a former Flushing Meadows Champion.  

2014 US Open Champion Marin Cilic has more Grand Slam baggage than most. He memorably hobbled his way through debilitating blisters in his 2017 Wimbledon Final defeat to Roger Federer. That same opponent would defeat him in an epic spectacle at Melbourne in the following year (in a match that many observers believe was tilted in Federer’s favour when the roof was closed).  But the rest of 2019 was largely inconsequential for the 31-year-old Croatian. But a 4th round, four-set defeat to eventual champion Rafa Nadal showed that he still has what it take to succeed at Flushing Meadows. He owns a 78% win record at the US Open (his best ratio at any Slam). He has reached the quarterfinal stage on at least five occasions.  2020 has once again proved fairly meagre for Cilic, so he will be hoping to call on that New York juju again. He has been on court significantly longer than Thiem, having played nine sets of tennis in his first two matches.  Will he have the energy to match his younger opponent?  

Thiem has won their only two encounters (including a fairly comfortable straight sets victory in Canada last week). Everything points to a routine Thiem victory. But I just have a feeling that Cilic could once again dip into that reservoir of Grand Slam know-how. The pressure in this match is squarely on Thiem, who knows that he will be unlikely to have a better chance of winning a Slam than in this Covid-compromised draw.  

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