Eugenie Bouchard vs. Harmony Tan, US Open R1 Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: R1 Preview
🇨🇦 (Q) Eugenie Bouchard vs. 🇫🇷 (wc) Harmony Tan

Eugenie Bouchard is one of the form qualifiers to reach the main draw at Flushing Meadows. The Canadian steamrolled her way through the qualifying draw and will be a heavy favourite when she opens her main draw campaign on Tuesday against French wild card Harmony Tan. On paper this is a huge mismatch, a former Grand Slam finalist up against a Grand Slam main draw debutant.

Eugenie Bouchard of Canada in action during the first qualification round at the 2018 US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Eugenie Bouchard cruised through the qualifying draw in New York. All eyes were on Bouchard, waiting for another potential slip up, but the Canadian made no such mistake. Bouchard easily defeated Zhao, Gorgodze and Loeb, losing a combined 7 games throughout the 3 victories. Bouchard has a complicated relationship with the US Open given her former lengthy legal battle against the USTA dating back to an incident in 2016. Bouchard has lost at the opening round stage in New York in the last couple of years but she now has a great chance to break that trend against a very inexperienced opponent.

Harmony Tan will be competing in the main draw of the Grand Slam, the Frenchwoman won the right to compete in the draw at a French regional playoff in July where she won a wild card entry into the main draw in New York. Not only is this Tan’s first main draw appearance at a Grand Slam, it is her first appearance in the main draw at the WTA tour level. This is a huge opportunity for the Frenchwoman.

This will be the first career meeting between the pair.

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Jelena Ostapenko vs. Andrea Petkovic, US Open R1 Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: R1 Preview
🇱🇻 (10) Jelena Ostapenko vs. 🇩🇪 Andrea Petkovic

Jelena Ostapenko will begin her 2018 Flushing Meadows campaign on Tuesday with a potentially tricky first round clash against Germany’s Andrea Petkovic. Ostapenko has shown over the last few seasons that she is always dangerous at Grand Slam events, the 2017 Roland Garros champion will be particularly keen for a good run in New York given it has historically been her least successful Grand Slam event.

Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia in action during her first-round match at the 2018 Western & Southern Open WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Ostapenko was unable to win a match in her 2 lead-up events to the final Grand Slam of the year. The Latvian suffered first-up losses to Johanna Konta in Montreal and Alize Cornet in Cincinnati, both losses were in similar fashion, winning the opening set before crumbling as the match wore on. Prior to those losses Ostapenko did reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon, her best result of the season thus far. Ostapenko has generally performed well at the biggest events over the last few years so she will bring confidence into this event despite her recent losses.

Unlike Ostapenko, Petkovic has really struggled at the Grand Slam level over the last few years, Petkovic has won 5 matches in her last 7 Grand Slam main draw appearances. Petkovic’s U.S Open series campaign got off to a good start when she reached the semi-finals in Washington D.C but the last couple of weeks have not been so impressive. Petkovic failed to get through the qualifying draw in Cincinnati and New Haven, retiring injured in the later.

It was Ostapenko who won the only previous match between the pair, a 7-5 1-0 victory via retirement at the semi-final stage in Doha back in 2016. The pair have gone in completely different direction over the past few years, Ostapenko has solidified her spot in the top 10 whilst Petkovic has consistently slipped outside the top 50.

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Aryna Sabalenka vs. Danielle Collins, US Open R1 Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: R1 Preview
🇧🇾 (26) Aryna Sabalenka vs. 🇺🇸 Danielle Collins

Aryna Sabalenka enters the final Grand Slam of the year as one of the form players on tour. Sabalenka comes up against America’s Danielle Collins in the opening round at Flushing Meadows. Sabalenka brings a heap of momentum to New York after a great couple of weeks where she reached the semi-finals in Cincinnati and claimed her first career title last week in New Haven.

Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in action during her quarter-final match at the 2018 Western & Southern Open WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Sabalenka has won 11 of her last 13 matches and is on a high after winning the New Haven title just a few days ago. Sabalenka is playing outstanding tennis of late, beating several quality opponents on route to the title in New Haven and in other deep runs of late. Sabalenka has beaten 4 top 10 players in the last few weeks and several other former top 10 opponents. When Sabalenka’s game is firing she has proven that she can beat anyone. This will be Sabalenka’s first appearance in the main draw in New York.

Daniella Collins has been unable to push on after her great results in Indian Wells and Miami earlier this year. Collins arrives in New York fresh from back-to-back losses in Cincinnati and New Haven. Collins did however have a good result a few weeks ago in San Jose where she managed to reach the semi-finals. Collins has never won a grand slam main draw match.

This will be the first career meeting between the pair.

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CoCo Vandeweghe vs. Kirsten Flipkens, US Open R1 Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: R1 Preview
🇺🇸 (24) CoCo Vandeweghe vs. 🇧🇪 Kirsten Flipkens

The 24th seeded CoCo Vandeweghe begins her 2018 US Open campaign on Tuesday with a tricky opening round clash against Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens. Vandeweghe has won both of the previous matches between the pair but enters this match in poor form and under a huge amount of pressure. Can Flipkens claim her first victory over the feisty American?

Coco Vandeweghe of the United States in action during her first-round match at the 2018 Western & Southern Open WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Vandeweghe enters the final Grand Slam of the year having not won a match in almost 3 months. Vandeweghe is on a 5-match losing streak, her most recent win was in 's-Hertogenbosch. Vandeweghe is defending semi-finalist points at this year’s US Open, an early round exit would see her ranking plummet. Vandeweghe was forced to retire in the third set of her opening round match against Magdalena Rybarikova last week in New Haven. Injury has been an ongoing issue for Vandeweghe over the last few months.

Kirsten Flipkens arrives in New York having also not had the greatest results of late. Flipkens competed in the qualifying draws in Montreal, Cincinnati and New Haven, successfully qualifying in just 1 of the 3. Most recently Flipkens was easily beating in the second round of qualifying in New Haven against Tamara Zidansek.

Vandeweghe holds a 2-0 head-to-head record over Flipkens. The most recent match between the pair was in Doha in 2016, Vandeweghe claimed a 7-5 6-2 victory.

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Caroline Wozniacki vs. Samantha Stosur, US Open R1 Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: R1 Preview
🇩🇰 (2) Caroline Wozniacki vs. 🇦🇺 Samantha Stosur

A tough opening round clash at Flushing Meadows sees two former Grand Slam champions go head-to-head as the second seeded Caroline Wozniacki takes on former champion Sam Stosur. Wozniacki and Stosur have both struggled to gain any momentum over the last couple of weeks but both have greater memories in New York. There is a big gap between the two in the rankings but Stosur has a winning record against Wozniacki on hard courts and will fancy her chances of an upset here.

Caroline Wozniacki of Demark during practice at the 2018 US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Wozniacki’s season hasn’t been great ever since she finally claimed a maiden Grand Slam title in Melbourne to start the year. Wozniacki hasn’t won a match in over 2 months. The Dane suffered an early loss at Wimbledon at the hands of Ekaterina Makarova and suffered first-up losses in Montreal and Cincinnati. Wozniacki lost to Sabalenka from match-up point up in Montreal and lost to Bertens in Cincinnati. Wozniacki has been struggling with niggling injuries of late and was forced to retire after just 1 set in Cincinnati due to a knee injury.

Sam Stosur fell at the first hurdle in qualifying in both Montreal and Cincinnati, very disappointing results for the Aussie. Stosur had a better week in New Haven, getting through the first couple of matches in the qualifying draw where she was beaten by Camila Giorgi in straight sets. Stosur received a lucky-loser spot in the main draw where she was beaten by Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets.

Wozniacki holds a 7-5 head-to-head record over Stosur. Wozniacki has won the last 3 completed matches between the two, most recently Wozniacki won 6-3 6-2 in Wuhan in 2016. Interestingly, Stosur holds a 4-2 record over Wozniacki on hard courts.

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Angelique Kerber vs. Margarita Gasparyan, US Open R1 Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: R1 Preview
🇩🇪 (4) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇷🇺 Margarita Gasparyan

2016 US Open champion Angelique Kerber begins her 2018 Flushing Meadows campaign against Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan. Kerber enters this year’s US Open as one of the favourites, the reigning Wimbledon champion now has 3 Grand Slam titles to her name and has proven that she has what it takes to peak at these events. Whilst on paper this looks like a big mismatch, Gasparyan is very talented and heads into this match with nothing to lose. Can the flashy Russian cause a big upset?

Angelique Kerber of Germany in action during her third-round match at the 2018 Western & Southern Open WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Whilst Kerber is the most recent Grand Slam champion, she doesn’t necessarily arrive in New York in the greatest of form. Kerber played 2 events between Wimbledon and the US Open, winning just 1 match. Kerber was beaten in her first match in Montreal, a straight set loss to Alize Cornet. Kerber had a better week in Cincinnati, winning an important match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova from a set down but then went on to lose to Madison Keys from a set and a break up in a match that showed she is still a bit rusty at the moment.

Margarita Gasparyan arrives in New York in good shape. Gasparyan played her only U.S Open series event last week in New Haven where she won a couple of matches in the qualifying draw but fell at the final hurdle in her quest to reach the main draw. The Russian beat Hercog and Hsieh before falling to Puig in 3 sets. Not a bad result considering the week Puig went on to have in New Haven.

This will be the first career meeting between the pair. Gasparyan has a big game, if everything clicks for Gasparyan she will be no pushover.

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Madison Keys vs. Pauline Parmentier, US Open R1 Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: R1 Preview
🇺🇸 (14) Madison Keys vs. 🇫🇷 Pauline Parmentier

Madison Keys begins her 2018 US Open campaign with what looks like a favourable match-up against Pauline Parmentier. Keys was a runner-up in New York last year, it was an outstanding few weeks for Keys but it all ended in disappointment when she was thrashed in the final, overwhelmed in her first Grand Slam final against Sloane Stephens. It will be interesting to see how Keys responds in her return to New York.

Madison Keys of the United States in action during her quarter-final match at the 2018 Western & Southern Open WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Keys played just 1 event in the lead-up to this year’s U.S Open, much less than her usual schedule. Keys reached the quarter-finals in Cincinnati where she claimed a notable victory against Angelique Kerber from a set and a break down before losing to Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets. Keys has reached the later stages of a Grand Slam on several occasions now, most recently a semi-final showing at Roland Garros earlier this year, the task for Keys is to push on and win a major.

Parmentier also played just 1 event in the lead-up to the final Grand Slam of the year. Parmentier fell at the last hurdle in qualifying in New Haven last week, she received a lucky loser spot in the main draw where she was beaten by Anett Kontaveit in the first round in 3 sets.

The only previous match between the pair took place on clay in Fed Cup tie earlier this year, Keys won in 2 tight sets. This is a match-up that features a real contrast in styles, can the experienced Frenchwoman cause problems for Keys?

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Caroline Garcia vs. Johanna Konta, US Open R1 Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: R1 Preview
🇫🇷 (6) Caroline Garcia vs. 🇬🇧 Johanna Konta

A blockbuster first round clash in New York sees the 6th seeded Caroline Garcia take on British number 1: Johanna Konta. This is a brutal opening round draw for both, Konta is certainly one of the most dangerous unseeded players in this year’s US Open draw. Konta has had the edge in this match-up of late, winning 3 of the last 4 matches between the pair, but Garcia has generally been the more impressive of the two of late.

Caroline Garcia of France in action during her third-round match at the 2018 Western & Southern Open WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Caroline Garcia brings decent form into the final Grand Slam of the year. Garcia had a couple of good wins in Montreal and New Haven where she reached the quarter-finals. Garcia is undoubtedly capable of causing a lot of damage at the highest level but she still struggles with inconsistency. Garcia has made it to the third round in the last couple of years in New York and will be aiming to go a couple of steps further in 2018 as the 6th seed.

Johanna Konta will be competing at a Grand Slam event without being seeded for the first time in a while. Perhaps this will be a favourable position for Konta as there is certainly far less pressure on her at the moment. Konta played 4 events in the lead-up to the US Open, her best result was a quarter-final showing in San Jose where she thrashed Serena Williams. Konta arrives in New York fresh from a second round withdrawal in New Haven last week due to a viral illness.

Konta holds a 3-2 head-to-head record over Garcia. The pair met on two occasions in 2017, both went the distance. Garcia defeated Konta in a final set tiebreak in Indian Wells whilst most recently Konta won 7-6 4-6 6-4 at Wimbledon.

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Petra Kvitova vs. Agnieszka Radwanska, New Haven R1 Preview

🇺🇸 Connecticut Open, New Haven R1 Preview
🇨🇿 (3) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇵🇱 Agnieszka Radwanska

Petra Kvitova and Agnieszka Radwanska will renew hostilities when they meet at the opening round stage of the Connecticut Open in New Haven on Monday evening. Kvitova and Radwanska are both former champions in New Haven, both are well suited to the relatively quick hard courts. This is always an interesting match-up because of the extreme contrast in styles, power vs. finesse, which prevails?

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in action during the semi-final at the 2018 Western & Southern Open WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Petra Kvitova has made a fairly good start to her North American hard court swing. Kvitova arrives in New Haven fresh off a semi-final showing in Cincinnati. Kvitova claimed some big victories in Cincinnati, most notably a significant opening round triumph over Serena Williams. The week did however end in disappointment as Petra lost her semi-final from a set up against Kiki Bertens. Kvitova had not previously lost in a semi-final or final in 2018.

Agnieszka Radwanska’s ranking continues to tumble as she plays less and less matches. Radwanska uncharacteristically started her North American hard court swing late, Radwanska skipped San Jose and Montreal before suffering a first round exit in Cincinnati last week at the hands of Karolina Pliskova. Radwanska has been dealt another tough draw in New Haven and will be desperate for a win or she will heads to New York deprived of confidence.

These two have a long history. It is Kvitova who holds a 7-5 H2H record over Radwanska. Radwanska has won 4 of the last 6 meetings between the pair, However Kvitova did claim a 6-7 6-3 6-4 victory in their most recent match in Doha earlier this year. This is a tough match-up for both as both have strengths to challenge the strengths of their opponent.

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Simona Halep vs. Kiki Bertens, Cincinnati Final Preview

🇺🇸 Western & Southern Open, Cincinnati Final Preview
🇷🇴 (1) Simona Halep vs. 🇳🇱 Kiki Bertens

Simona Halep will be looking to extend her winning streak and strengthen her hold at the top of the rankings when she takes on Kiki Bertens in Sunday’s final at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Halep and Bertens are arguably the two form players over the last month, expect a high quality final between two extremely confident competitors. Halep has had the better of this match-up in the past but this will be their first match on a hard court in almost a decade. Can Bertens take down the world number 1 to win the biggest title of her career?

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands in action during her second-round match at the 2018 Western & Southern Open WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Simona Halep is on a roll, full of confidence and at the top of her game. Halep arrived in Cincinnati straight from a gruelling final win over Sloane Stephens at the Rogers Cup. It would have been understandable if Halep took this tournament lightly, to the contrary she has been extremely strong on route to her 6th final of the year. The world number 1 made a slow start to the event with a 3 set win over Ajla Tomljanovic before beating Ashleigh Barty, Lesia Tsurenko and Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets. Halep’s ability to take down a red-hot Sabalenka was certainly a confidence boosting win.

It has been an outstanding month for Kiki Bertens. Bertens arrived in Cincinnati fresh from back-to-back quarter-final appearances at Wimbledon and the Rogers Cup. Bertens rolled through her first couple of matches, beating CoCo Vandeweghe and Caroline Wozniacki, dropping a combined 6 games. Bertens then required 3 sets to get by Anett Kontaveit in an injury interrupted match before producing her best performance in a straight set demolition of Elina Svitolina. Bertens booked her spot in the final with a gutsy 3-6 6-4 6-2 win over Petra Kvitova to give herself a chance to win a maiden hard court title.

Halep holds a 3-1 H2H record over Bertens. Halep won the two recent meetings between the pair, both in straight sets: 7-5 6-1 in Rome last year and 6-4 6-3 at Wimbledon in 2016. This will be the first meeting between the two on a hard court in almost 8 years.

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