Welcome to Tennis Elbow, the column that looks ahead to the latest in tennis. Today, Charles Blouin-Gascon previews day 10 of the 2020 US Open.

Never one to be outshone, the French Open unveiled its plan for its revamped 2020 edition at the end of the month.

And, well, remember what we’ve said in this space many times during the pandemic about them not being good at reading the room? Bernard Giudicelli, president of the French Tennis Federation, mentioned that, “Since the international circuit restarted, Roland Garros will be the first tournament with the privilege of hosting an audience.”

(You know, Bernard, maybe just maybe there is a reason for that and that shouldn’t be something you should tout loudly and proudly to everyone listening.)

Look, we’ll dissect in great detail what the 2020 Roland-Garros edition will look like at a later time but for now, let’s mention that the tournament will be held with a viewing (and paying) public in attendance, will have a qualifying draw and will ask everyone to wear masks. It will also forego the bubble concept and instead install something it calls three zones, where each zone will have a show court and surrounding courts and where movement between zones will be proscribed.

For now we’ll just say that we’re not exactly surprised with the timing of this announcement here: French Open organizers, since the pandemic first brought things to a halt, have always really moved to the beat of their own drums with little regard for other, outside forces. This is just another example.

Anyway, here are our predictions for the four singles quarterfinals on the schedule today.

Arthur Ashe Stadium: Serena Williams [3] vs Tsvetana Pironkova (12pm start)

Women’s tennis made history this week, with three mothers reaching the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the first time. This is both an undeniably great thing but also indicative that maybe there’s a problem if it’s only happened for the first time in 2020. In any case, Serena Williams wins in two tight sets.

Arthur Ashe Stadium: Daniil Medvedev [3] vs Andrey Rublev [10] (Second day match)

Look, Daniil Medvedev’s first Grand Slam title is right there for the taking. He just needs to win a few more matches, including what will likely be the toughest test in the semifinals. But your first major right there, young man. Go get it. Medvedev in four sets.

Arthur Ashe Stadium: Elise Mertens [16] vs Victoria Azarenka (7pm start)

Victoria Azarenka is one of the three aforementioned mothers in the quarterfinals and we couldn’t be happier for her. After grabbing the win at the Western & Southern Open, the 31-year-old is playing as well as she has in a long time. Let’s give her the edge here in three sets.

Arthur Ashe Stadium: Dominic Thiem [2] vs Alex de Minaur [21] (Second night match)

In the sense that a fourth round can be a career highlight, the US Open has clearly been the Grand Slam event where young Australian Alex de Minaur has performed best so far in his young career. But in this quarterfinal (i.e. his best result yet), he’s probably something like a 9-to-1 underdog—and with good reason. We’re giving Dominic Thiem a win in straight sets.

Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG


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