The courts at Flushing Meadows continue to play very slow with breaks of serve occurring at a record high rate for the tournament. Few players have been able to win in excess of 80% of first serve points which is unbelievable when you consider that many of the top ranked players are playing against qualifiers or men ranked outside the top 100. Berdych has won close to 80% of first serve points on hard courts over the last year but barely exceeded the 70% mark in his opening match. Despite this he still won in straight sets and that is a great sign. With Dolgopolov coming off a 5 set match and Berdych having won 4 of their 5 previous encounters The Wolf is predicting a routine win for the Birdman.
Best: Sets Berdych 3-0 ($2.25)
Roger Federer v Mikhail Youzhny
The opening match was a nervous watch for Federer fans but the 19 time Grand Slam winner managed to scrape through in a 5 set epic. Despite going the distance the match barely eclipsed 2.5 hours so fatigue will not be an issue for Federer. He will also be boosted by the fact that he is a peRFect 16-0 against Youzhny. The Russian has never been able to trouble the Swiss maestro and has won just 4 of the 38 sets they have contested. The match against Tiafoe could have been exactly what Federer needed to click into gear. Scheduled to play in the afternoon the faster conditions will also suit the 5 time US Open champ.
Best: Under 29.5 games ($1.91)
Taylor Fritz v Dominic Thiem
Fritz hurt us with his win over Baghdatis yesterday but The Wolf is not about to change his opinion of the 19 year old. He has game but backing straight up is not ideal for him. He won just 67% of 1st serve points and that is extremely low for a man whose serve is supposed to be a weapon. With Thiem breaking serve on 7 occasions in his last match The Wolf cannot see Fritz testing the Austrian. Thiem, Thiem, Thiem!
Best: Thiem -6.5 ($2.00)
Rafael Nadal v Taro Daniel
Roof or no roof one thing is for certain when Nadal takes the court – he will give 100% in every point of every match. He was rattled early by Lajovic but managed to break back when Lajovic served for the first set and went on to win it in a breaker. From that point on it was pedal to the medal. The Wolf is expecting him to continue exactly where he left off against Daniel, a player who lacks any serious weapons. Tommy Paul was able to generate 19 break point opportunities in their first match but converted only three. Nadal converts over 43% of break point opportunities and The Wolf says he will create just as many as Paul did. This one will be a massacre! Daniel will be lucky to win 5 games.
Best: Nadal -9.5 ($1.85)
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