By Erik Gudris | Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Andy Murray hopes his second round match goes a lot smoother than his first one at the US Open. A look at notableThursday matches.
Photo Credit: AP
A pair of players who scratched out tough wins will hope for an easier time of it in their second round meetings. Here's a look at five matches to keep an eye on for Thursday at the US Open.
(8) Andy Murray vs. Matthias Bachinger, Ashe Stadium
Murray, who won it all in 2012, almost left this year's tournament in round one after a rough, and sometimes bizarre match versus Robin Haase. Murray suffered from unexpected cramping, so the question for him now is did he have enough time to recover and how is he physically overall.
Bachinger, just by reaching the second round, has posted his best ever result at a major. Murray should win this match easily, but as we've seen this week, be prepared for anything in this night match.
(16) Victoria Azarenka vs. Christina McHale, Ashe Stadium
Last year's finalist Azarenka barely got past Misaki Doi in her opening round. With Azarenka's movement struggles and lack of match play continue to impede her, does that make her an upset target? That all depends a lot on the American McHale. Known for her defense and ability to hang tough on the baseline, McHale certainly could drive Azarenka nuts by getting back tons of balls.
Still, if Azarenka can just improve enough from her last match and get in more winners, this should be her match.
(28) Guillermo Garcia-Lopez vs. Sam Querrey, Court 17
With only three American men left in the draw, the focus will be on Querrey to try and extend his country's hopes into the Labor Day weekend. Querrey won a five set first round battle over Maximo Gonzalez, so how the American was able to recover physically will be a factor.
Though Garcia-Lopez is higher ranked, he just lost to Querrey a week ago in Winston-Salem. Querrey also leads the overall head to head 3-0 versus the Spaniard. This would all favor Querrey who will also get the local crowd support. But can Querrey take advantage of the opportunity, especially if it turns into another long match?
(15) Carla Suarez Navarro vs. Coco Vandeweghe, Court 11
Vandeweghe, after struggling a few years to get her big game together, is having a breakthrough season. The American recently won her first WTA title in Den Bosch and is also at a career high ranking of No. 38. With a huge lefty serve and booming groundstrokes, she could make things really tough for Suarez Navarro.
However, the Spaniard with the very stylish one handed backhand keeps proving her game is well suited to any surface. If she returns serve well, and takes care of her own, she just might have a little too much game for Vandeweghe.
Pick: Suarez Navarro
(8) Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock vs. Henri Kontinen and Jarkko Nieminen, Court 6
They may keep telling everyone their focus is on singles, but recent Wimbledon champions Pospisil and Sock find themselves true contenders for the US Open doubles title. With both now out of the singles, this guess them a perfect opportunity to continue their winning summer.
Sock did retire in his singles match due to injury so that will be a concern heading into this match. If he's ok, and "PopiSock" plays with the same abandon as they have been, watch out for them this tournament.
Pick: Pospisil and Sock
Complete order of play can be found here.