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As Serena Williams works hard to stay in New York as long as possible, the spotlight is firmly shining on her and her diamond-adorned outfit. On Thursday night, she's set to play doubles inside Arthur Ashe Stadium alongside Venus Williams, before returning for more singles on Friday night.
With some added intel from Universal Tennis INSIGHTS, let's preview her odds and more of Friday's third-round showdowns.
Gauff Maintains Poise Inside Ashe
The influence of Williams (UTR Rating 12.41) has reached every corner of the globe, but it has possibly impacted 18-year-old Coco Gauff (12.89) the most. The American, who reached the Roland Garros final, picked up her first-ever win inside Arthur Ashe Stadium on Monday and followed it with her second on Wednesday — both in straight sets.
"Before Serena came along, there was not really an icon of the sport that looked like me…" Gauff said. "So growing up, I never thought that I was different because the No. 1 player in the world was somebody who looked like me. I think that’s the biggest thing that I can take from what I’ve learned from Serena.”
Gauff is favored by INSIGHTS at 61% to move into the fourth round over compatriot Madison Keys (12.72). Keys has the upper hand in career meetings having won their only contest in Adelaide at the start of the year in three sets.
Murray Keeps on Rolling
With so many retirements making headlines this week (Williams, Sam Querrey, and Andrea Petkovic), it's hard not to connect the topic to Andy Murray (15.41). The 35-year-old Scot is doing his best to keep those headlines at bay as he cruised through his first two matches. On Wednesday, he dropped the opening set to young American Emilio Nava but dominated the rest of the bout.
He's set to take on No. 13 seed Matteo Berrettini (15.68) and INSIGHTS expects the Italian to win with 66% odds. Berrettini was a finalist in New York in 2019 (losing to Rafael Nadal) and a Wimbledon finalist last year. Murray and Berrettini have faced off three times with Berrettini winning their most recent match in the Stuttgart final (on grass).
Now let's get into the match that is all but guaranteed to sell out Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday night. Every match Williams has played so far has been a historic, lively affair in front of a packed crowd and her third-round against Ajla Tomljanovic (12.70) will be no different.
Williams raised her game to new heights in the third set during her win over No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit on Tuesday night.
"I’m just Serena," she said on court. "After I lost the second set, I thought, ‘Oh, my goodness, I better give my best effort because this could be it.''
She's never played Tomljanovic before, who has been having a great season. The Australian has reached five quarterfinals in 2022 including at Wimbledon and the Western & Southern Open. According to INSIGHTS, Tomljanovic is favored at 67% odds, which are only slightly lower odds than what Kontaveit had against Williams on Wednesday. It's tricky to predict Williams' results given that she's only played a few matches since last year's Wimbledon, and is currently ranked No. 413 on the WTA Tour (and No. 66 based on UTR Rating).
Players to Watch
UTR Pro Tennis Tour champion Pedro Cachin (15.08) continued his Grand Slam breakthrough on Wednesday with a fifth-set tiebreak comeback win over qualifier Brandon Holt. Cachin's good draw continues as he faces unseeded Frenchman Corentin Moutet (15.22) next, where he has a 46% chance (per INSIGHTS) of making it to the round of 16.
Bianca Andreescu (12.66), a former champion in New York, has thrilled her fans this week. The resurgent Canadian shutout a red-hot Beatriz Haddad Maia in straight sets to set up a third-round clash with Cincinnati champion Caroline Garcia (12.85). INSIGHTS favors the Frenchwoman at 61%, but Andreescu has done the impossible in New York before like when she stunned Williams in the 2019 final.
“I actually put my screen saver of me holding up that trophy so I can slowly embed that in my head again,” she said.
•UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities as of 9:00 a.m. EST, September 1, 2022.