Welcome to Tennis Elbow, the column that looks ahead to the latest in tennis. Today, Charles Blouin-Gascon previews day 12 of the 2020 US Open.

Tennis, it turns out, will keep on keeping on.


Yesterday, the ATP announced that four new events would be held in what’s left of our 2020 season in Germany, Italy and Kazakhstan.

The four events have received single-year licenses and will contribute to put a little bit more meat on the proverbial bone that is this season of men’s tennis. As of this writing, the ATP will have 15 remaining events between this week and the big party in mid-November for the Nitto ATP Finals in London, an event that will double as the sending-off for this season.

Whatever, it’s fine I guess. We’re writing this on the same day that, against all odds, logic and concern for humanity, the NFL has decided to come back and launch its 2020 season on time so we can’t exactly frown at the ATP here. This decision makes it clear that tennis came back not with the intent to cut its return short; it did so with the intent to go all the way. If there is a little bit of this season to salvage, then by god it will salvage every last ounce of it.

Still, it would be fun just one time to see folks in supposed position of power to decide that maybe sports isn’t what the sports needs right now. Not when California is burning down. Not when a pandemic has killed over 900,000 people in about six months, including more than 9,411 and 1,634 in Germany and Kazakhstan where the four new events of men’s tennis will be played this year.

But whatever, I guess at least we have tennis to watch in the meantime.

Here are our predictions for the men’s semifinals.



Arthur Ashe Stadium: Alexander Zverev [5] vs Pablo Carreno Busta [20]

Alexander Zverev and Pablo Carreno Busta are both in the semifinal of this men’s singles draw despite very few people expecting them to be. For the Spaniard, the big obstacle was a looming Novak Djokovic in the fourth round but we all know how this turned out.

Meanwhile, consistency and meeting expectations haven’t always been the German’s best friend but he’s made the most of this tennis bubble to equal the best Grand Slam result of his young career. Don’t look now, but Zverev has now made both the Australian Open and US Open semifinal this year.

Let’s be bold here and say that this semifinal in Flushing Meadows will have a different outcome than the one in Melbourne in January: Zverev makes the singles final in four tight sets.

Arthur Ashe Stadium: Dominic Thiem [2] vs Daniil Medvedev [3]

Welcome to the real final of the 2020 US Open, some would say. This is probably overplayed but there is a kernel of truth behind the thought: this is a semifinal between two men who actually have played in a major final before and that has to count for something. Because whoever wins this match will deservedly enter the final as a heavy, heavy favourite.

All year long, we’ve wanted to see how Daniil Medvedev would react if he had the chance to compete again in the US Open final after suffering such a heartbreaking loss a year ago. He’s almost there. Let’s give the Russian the win in five gruelling sets.


Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG


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