2020 US OPEN – R1 preview + prediction: ??
?? (20) Karolina Muchova vs. ?? Venus Williams
A blockbuster opening round clash from the 2020 US Open sees 2-time former champion Venus Williams take on the 20th seeded Karolina Muchova. This will be the first career meeting between the pair in what is arguably the pick of the first round match-ups at this year’s championships.
Karolina Muchova made a decent start to her Flushing Meadows journey during the Western & Southern Open. Muchova defeated Ann Li in straight sets in the opening round before succumbing to Naomi Osaka in a competitive 3 set match. Whilst the Czech wasn’t able to get the job done against Osaka, it was a match that proved she can compete with the very best on this surface. The 24-year-old has a decent record at the US Open having reached the third round over the last couple of years in her only two appearances in the main draw.
At 40 years of age, Venus Williams is unsurprisingly the oldest players in the women’s singles draw at this year’s US Open. Williams brings decent form into the event. Williams returned to the tour at the Top Seed Open in Lexington where she defeated Victoria Azarenka in straight sets before succumbing to Serena Williams in 3 tights sets. Williams suffered another tight loss in her opening round match at the Western & Southern Open last week where she was beaten 7-5 in the deciding set by Dayana Yastremska. The draws certainly haven’t been kind to Williams, but that’s what can happen given her current ranking outside the top 50.
I’m going to give the edge to Muchova here. Muchova showed in her match against Naomi Osaka last week that her game matches up well against a big baseline hitter on this surface. Williams won’t be as challenging as Osaka was. Muchova has a great mix of power and versatility to her game, a style that is very well suited to the quick hard courts at Flushing Meadows. At this stage of their respective careers it is Muchova who should be getting the job done here. Two key factors could be Muchova’s greater stamina and greater reliability behind her serve.