2020 US OPEN – R1 preview + prediction: ??
?? (7) Madison Keys vs. ?? Timea Babos
Madison Keys begins her 2020 US Open campaign with a first round showdown against Hungary’s Timea Babos. Keys, the runner-up at the event in 2017 can look to this year’s decimated draw as an opportunity to go on another deep run a major event. Keys has reached the semi-finals of better at a Grand Slam on 4 previous occasions but is still yet to achieve her ultimate goal in winning a major.
Keys hasn’t had the ideal preparation for this year’s US Open. Keys has competed in just 1 event since the tour restart, an opening round loss to Ons Jabeur at the Western & Southern Open last week. The good news for Keys is that she has a fantastic record at Flushing Meadows. The American has reached the second week at the US Open in each of the last 5 years, including a runner-up appearance in 2017 and a semi-final showing in 2018, her best record at any tournament.
Timea Babos enters this first round clash having not played a match since the start of march. Babos hasn’t been involved in any tournament since the tour resumption, not for singles or doubles. In fact, the 27-year-old hasn’t won a main draw singles match at the tour level in almost 11 months.
Keys holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Babos. The most recent match between the pair took place on clay in Rome back in 2016, Keys won that match 7-6 6-4.
On paper this looks like an easy match for Keys, the 7th seed coming up against a player ranked outside the top 100. However, both have limited form to read heading into this match, both are sure to be rusty, both have powerful games that can be very hit-or-miss. I’ll give Keys the benefit of the doubt given her fantastic record at Flushing Meadows and overall a much better base level over the last 12 months. Don’t expect to see many long rallies in this one.