Day 4 USO: A Look at the ATP Parity . . . I Mean Future

Wake-up. You all heard me say that I would be especially interested in watching Djokovic, but you know my eyes and tennis sense cover far more ground than such a comment might imply. Listen-up.

This kid Davidovich Fokina is a potential natural disaster for his draw. I am pleased to see him get a solid win yesterday and that draw has opened up nicely for a guy like Davidovich.

We wrote about his play back in May 2019.

Watch the highlights above. He toyed a bit with Hurkacz who is a dangerous player. This Spaniard now gets Norrie, with the winner to play whomever survives Zverev vs Mannarino. With Sascha hitting a high FS %, he will be tough to beat, but we know he can be as vulnerable as he can be unplayable (the Zverev 130+ FS is legit, to be clear, and his numerous accolades on tour make throwing too much shade at the German now a bit ill-advised).

But Davidovich Fokina, as I said back in 2019, looks brash and bold with all sorts of drop-shot, fore-court confidence (me likey the volley) and even some under-handed serves. He’s a nightmare and we love that.

Tsitsipas gets Coric next. I know the Greek has been playing a lot this spring/summer, even during the shut-down and what I’ve seen shows he’s continuing to improve. He has the make-up to be a real force in this sport for years. He can put his foot on the gas and squash his opponent, a bit of that old school cachet, smiling while he’s destroying.

Watching Shapovalov yesterday reminded me of one incredible fact about today’s sport: three of the top players in the game (now and certainly in the next 10 years) are one-handers. Thiem and Tsitsipas are legit top-5 or better and Shapo looks to maybe join that hit squad. Seeing the trainer on the court a bit with the southpaw Canadian isn’t great, but he’s been very good of late. Shapo, Domi and the Greek all play a vicious one-handed brand of tennis. Huge fan here.

That top of the draw has a nice set of 3R matches tomorrow:

Djokovic vs Struff. Novak just routined him “in Cincy” so this shouldn’t be close. Having said that, Novak has looked off at times, last week and even here at the Open. Unfortunately for his competition whatever problems he has still appear to be in a language they can’t code or crack. And, again, the Bo5 plays so much into the top seed’s wheelhouse. To be fair, Edmund did show some class yesterday, but to sustain that kind of form in this format against a guy who needs no crowd support, good luck to the field.

Djokovic follows that with a R16 match against the winner of Carreno Busta v Berankis. Not a bad draw for the undefeated Serb.

Shapovalov vs Fritz. People (B Gilbert) have had their eyes on this match for a few days. Fritz has had the talent and overall package for awhile. He’s been working with Nainkin and Annacone, won Eastbourne last year, etc.

I suppose I’ll to watch this, an American vs a one-hander (where’s my allegiance?).

Winner here gets a R16 with the winner of . . .

Krajinovic vs Goffin.

We can see how this quarter, despite the shadow of Djokovic, is pretty wide-open.

QF: Djokovic vs Shapovalov (unless the latter’s back holds him back –we have to like the Canadian’s power tennis a lot).

Tomorrow’s other set of matches, in that 2nd quarter:

Tsitsipas vs Coric. Could be fantastic if Coric has some form. A couple of years ago Coric was wearing Stefano’s equanimity. Could be a good four setter.

Thompson vs Kukushkin . . .

Norrie vs Davidovich Fokina. My darkhorse.

Zverev vs Mannarino. The potential Chancellor vs the crafty Frenchman.

QF: Zverev vs Tsitsipas (say the oddsmakers). I like an upset in here, but the oddsmakers are often right.

Enjoy today’s matches. Keep an eye on the Russian take-over of that bottom half. Talk to you tomorrow.

2 thoughts on “Day 4 USO: A Look at the ATP Parity . . . I Mean Future

  1. Anurag

    Can Dominic Thiem take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity that has presented itself in a bizzare way at this US Open? He has been knocking on the doors of a major for some time, but has just fallen short to either DJokovic or Nadal. Your first major can be a big mental block, but when you win one, you can carry the momentum and confidence with you to the next major (which, incidentally, is just one month away at the French Open) and who knows – confidence and momentum can sometimes do wonders. Granted, this is not the best way to win a mjor, and Thiem would have much rather preferred to win a major by beating Djokovic outright (like he was very close to doing at the Australian Open this year), but sometimes,when you have such a dominant World # 1 like Djokovic, and on top of that, such a dominant trio (including Fed, and Nadal), you sometimes need bizzare circumstances to get your very crucial first break. Can Thiem rise to the occasion? Also, I realize that Djokovic is mentally the strongest tennis player the world has ever seen, but what happended today is bound to sting. I don’t care who you are, this is bound to sting a lot!!! How Djokovic responds to this, and whether Thiem can take advantage of this opportunity can be history altering in many ways. Also, in hindsight, the choke act pulled by Tsitsipas against Coric might turn out to be the biggest mistake of his career. Such an opportunity may not come again. At the time it happened, it didn’t seem like a big deal, as it was a tall order for anybody to beat Djokovic at this US Open, but given what happened today, it turned out to be the worst poosible moment for Tsitsipas to pull this choke act. Lastly, watch out for Borna Coric! He has suddenly started playing like was was doing a couple of years back when he got his win over Roger on grass, no less.The guy is like a generic version of Djokovic, and the brand name is already out! Moreover the Arthur Ashe court is playing slow. Watch out for Coric! Will Sascha be able to overcome Coric? I personally don’t like Coric’s game, and will not be pleased, if he is the one holding the trophy in the end. Who among the next / current gen can take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity?

    Like

    1. Anurag,
      Good comment. Good questions.
      Let’s see how this R16 finishes today and get cracking on that final 8.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Like

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