They say New York is the city that dreams are made of, and for two teenagers at the US Open on Tuesday, that was very much the case.

Two of the game’s most highly-regarded young stars, Naomi Osaka and Frances Tiafoe displayed all the impetuousness of youth in them taking-it-to tennis’ best. The outcome might have been different – triumph for Osaka and defeat for Tiafoe – but for both this was the realisation of a breakthrough years in the making, and will only serve them well from here on out. For Kerber as well as Federer, and us tennis fans, the time to reckon with the future is no longer coming, it’s already here.

Proceeding to a particularly busy Wednesday, here’s your three to see on day 3 of the US Open.

Borna Coric (CRO) vs Alexander Zverev (GER) [4] – 5th on Grandstand (Not before 4:00pm)

Before there was Alexander Zverev, there was Borna Coric. A year older than the German, Coric first burst onto the scene by upending Rafael Nadal as a 17-year-old in Basel 2014, but he’s never been able to break through quite like the German did, and currently sits world no. 62. Still, he presents an interesting opponent for Zverev, possessing both the win from their only previous match (a 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 affair in Cincinnati 2015) and a game that is built on absorbing pressure, such as the German likes to create. For Zverev’s part his first-round victory didn’t look particularly convincing, and against the Croatian, anything but his best is a recipe for a long afternoon.

Sloane Stephens (USA) vs Dominika Cilbulkova (SVK) [11] – 5th on Court 10 (Not before 4:00pm)

With a relatively uneventful draw ahead of them, whoever wins this match will be set to make some serious noise in Flushing. Having handled 2015 finalist Roberta Vinci in impressive fashion, Stephens presents a legitimate threat to Cilbulkova, a notion buoyed by her 2-1 head-to-head advantage, and if those three matches are anything to go by, this will be a highly entertaining encounter. Their most recent, a win for Stephens in Acapulco 2016 was a three hour barnburner where Cilbulkova’s aggression was perfectly matched by Stephens’ counter-punching, with someone always on the stretch and more sideline stunners than you can poke a racquet at – expect more of the same here.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) [8] vs Denis Shapovalov (CAN) – 2nd on Arthur Ashe, Night Session

A fellow young-gun in his pocket, Denis Shapovalov is now up against a much bigger fish: the ever-dangerous, ever-mercurial Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. No, Tsonga isn’t quite the same force he was at the majors a few years ago, but he can still drop bombs with the best of them, and that makes him a threat, especially for someone as inexperienced as Shapovalov. Having never played before, perhaps the best comparison for the young Canadian is his second-round victory in Montreal over Juan Martin Del Potro (at least in terms of pure pace), but he’ll have far less time against Tsonga off the backhand wing, and should be forced to play much more first strike tennis. Given the talents of both men, the range of outcomes here is massive, but whoever wins, it’s certainly worth your time.



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