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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday August 26, 2019


The bottom half of the men’s singles draw and the top half of the women’s singles draw get into the action on Day 2 of the US Open. Here’s what we’ll be watching on Tuesday in New York.

2017 and 2018 women’s singles champions in action

All eyes will be on 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens and 2018 US Open champion Naomi Osaka on Day 2 as each looks to step off on the right foot in New York. Osaka, who comes into her title defense with worries about the left knee injury that forced her to withdraw from Cincinnati a few weeks ago, will face Russia’s Anna Blinkova first up on Ashe.

Stephens, who made headlines a few days before the tournament when she brought former coach Kamau Murray into the fold, will face another Russian in Anna Kalinskaya.

Will either talent emerge as a threat to make a deep run in New York. We’ll know a lot more after seeing their form on Tuesday.

Here’s Rafa!

Rafael Nadal did not want to make a big deal about the fact that he’s been drawn into the bottom half on the men’s draw and therefore will not need to defeat a fellow Big Three member to reach the final.

“I have plenty of work before that to know if I have an advantage or not. So let's see if I am able to do my work for my side,” Nadal said. “That's not an advantage or disadvantage. That's part of the draw. That's part of the things that happen when you are No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3. For example, in Wimbledon was the other way. They changed. Now here is the opposite. Let's see what's going on.”

The three-time champion could have a tough one in store for him when he faces Australia’s John Millman in the night session. Millman is 1-14 against the Top 10 overall but that lone victory came last year when he knocked off Roger Federer en route to the quarter-finals.

Oh, Canada

Canadian tennis has been making headlines at a pretty rapid clip this season and that will not change on Day 2 as the nation’s two greatest prospects on the men’s side will go head-to-head for the second consecutive year at the US Open.

Denis Shapovalov defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime last year when “FAA” was forced to retire due to an alarming elevated heartbeat. But Auger-Aliassime has since solved the issue and in 2019 he has been one of the biggest stories in the tennis. Today he is Canada’s No.1 male and he will look to defend his honor against his good friend, who is ranked No.33 and eager to improve on his career-best round of 16 performance from 2017.

Bring on Coco-Mania

15-year-old Coco Gauff will make her US Open debut against 18-year-old Russian Anastasia Potapova in what promises to be an electric tilt on Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Gauff, who reached the Wimbledon round of 16 and become the youngest player to do so since 1991 in July, will look to knock off a talented Russian in the tournament’s youngest first-round matchup.

Potapova won’t receive the fan support but the Russian has developed a strong international following over the last 52 weeks by reaching two WTA finals as a 17-year-old last season.

This season Potapova picked up her first Top 10 win by knocking off Angelique Kerber at Roland Garros.

 

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