US Open 2019 Day 3 Preview: Venus, Dimitrov, Svitolina and Coric on Deck

published: Aug, 28, 2019

by: Ben Stevens

When it comes to the grand slams, there are days, and then there are days – Tuesday in New York was certainly one of the latter.

Coco Gauff back doing Coco Gauff things, Sloane Stephens ousted, Sascha Zverev, Simona Halep and Naomi Osaka all looking shaky, a veritable bloodbath of seeds on the men’s side, and Nick Kyrgios winning a match in the easy way. It was nothing if not eventful.

Particularly with that men’s bracket, it’s already looking like we might have a surprise on our hands. Could Andrey Rublev ride his red-hot form to a maiden slam semi-final? El Shapo? Maybe even Mr. Kyrgios? Wouldn’t that be a trip…

Here’s your three to see on day 3 at the US Open:

Cristian Garin (CHI) [31] v Alex De Minaur (AUS) – First on Court 5

One of those matches where you’re likely to get exhausted just watching it, Cristian Garin versus Alex De Minaur is as much a test of what they can do with their legs as their racquets. Bursting onto the scene this year with a string of impressive results in the clay season, Garin is still yet to really find his feet on other surfaces, but moves well and has shown a preternatural knack for passing shots that makes him an interesting foil for the all-court, all-hustle play of De Minaur. Expect this one to provide some serious side-to-side exchanges, with enough added “how did he do that?” shotmaking to make it a real popcorn affair.

Elina Svitolina (UKR) [5] v Venus Williams (USA) – Second on Louis Armstrong

As far as early round challenges can go for Elina Svitolina, they don’t get much tougher than Venus Williams. At the point in her career where every tournament could be her last appearance there, combined with a sure-to-be American raucous crowd behind her, Venus will be an incredibly tough out for anyone, let alone someone like Svitolina who, let’s face it, doesn’t have the best record in high-profile situations. Still, the Ukrainian does hold a 2-1 advantage in the head-to-head, and as much as Venus has the capacity to out-hit her, she’s also the type of player Svitolina can frustrate into submission – either way, it should be a good contest.

Borna Coric (CRO) [12] v Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) – Second Match, Night Session on Louis Armstrong

A match we should be getting in the quarterfinals at the earliest, such is Grigor Dimitrov’s Grigor-Dimitroviness that we get it in round two instead. That said, we saw him play some pretty decent tennis in his two recent losses to Stan Wawrinka (who he is apparently cosmically fated to only meet in first-round encounters), so there’s definitely a chance he can take the fight to Borna Coric here. A first career meeting between the two, Coric’s defense and Dimitrov’s offense should make for a fascinating contrast, with the Bulgarian likely to be given the time to go for his shots – the question is, can he keep them in the court? In any case, it should be a fun encounter.

Ben Stevens

Contributor to TennisConnected. Long time player, coach and fan. Still waiting on Mark Philippoussis to break through at a major.

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