US Open Matches to Watch: Serena vs. Kontaveit; Auger-Aliassime vs. Draper; and More

US Open Matches to Watch: Serena vs. Kontaveit; Auger-Aliassime vs. Draper; and More

4 min read

Serena Williams enlivened the record crowd in Arthur Ashe Stadium, and Stefanos Tsitsipas’ struggles in New York continued. What more do the early days of the 2022 US Open have in store?

With help from Universal Tennis INSIGHTS, let's preview Wednesday’s round two action in New York.

Can Serena Extend Her Stay Two More Days?

In what’s expected to be her last tournament, Williams (UTR Rating 12.35) opened on Monday night with a straight-sets win against Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic (12.03) to improve to 21-0 in US Open first-round contests.

But Williams’ second-round matchup will present an entirely different challenge. The 23-time Grand Slam champion faces second seed Anett Kontaveit (12.72) of Estonia. It will be their first meeting, and INSIGHTS has Kontaveit a 67% favorite of making it their last encounter, as well as Williams’ final match of her legendary career.

Kontaveit is 6-0 against the opponents Williams and she have both faced during the past 15 months.

“At this point, honestly, everything is a bonus for me I feel," Williams said. "I mean, I think every opponent is very difficult. I've seen that over the summer. The next one is even more difficult. It's good that I was able to get this under my belt. I don't know, I'm just not even thinking about . I'm just thinking about just this moment. I think it's good for me just to live in the moment now.”

Future of American Tennis on Display?

The future, make that the present, of American men’s tennis will be on display when 22-year-old Sebastian Korda (15.76) and 25-year-old Tommy Paul (15.48) meet for a place in the third round. Both players lost their opening set of the tournament before rallying to make the second round.

INSIGHTS gives Korda a 61% chance of moving to 4-0 against Paul, the No. 29 seed, and improving upon his best US Open showing. Two of their three prior matchups have taken place on hard courts. Keep an eye on Korda: INSIGHTS pegs his chances of winning the 2022 US Open at 4%, making him a dark horse in the men’s singles draw.

Read More: Previewing the US Open with the Men’s Favorites and Dark Horses to Watch

Is It Bianca’s Time Once More?

Three years ago, Canada's Bianca Andreescu (12.66) denied Williams’ her seventh US Open title and claimed her first major championship. But Andreescu, now 22 years old, has made only one second week of a Grand Slam since then.

“I actually put my screen saver of me holding up that trophy so I can slowly embed that in my head again," Andreescu said after her first-round win against France’s Harmony Tan (11.95). "Yeah, I do think about it a lot, especially when I'm here."

Andreescu will try to keep moving in the right direction when she faces 15th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia (12.72) of Brazil in the second round. Haddad Maia beat Croatia’s Ana Konjuh (12.07) 6-0, 6-0 for her first US Open victory.

INSIGHTS favors Haddad Maia at 52%. The Brazilian is surging at the right time: She reached the Toronto final earlier this month and her three-month UTR Rating 12.72, 0.05 higher than her current UTR Rating.

Draper Goes For Upset Against Auger-Aliassime

Felix Auger-Aliassime looks to return to the US Open semifinals this fortnight.
Felix Auger-Aliassime looks to return to the US Open semifinals this fortnight. (AP Photo: John Minchillo)

Two more up-and-coming ATP players will face off when Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime (15.50) plays Jack Draper (15.30). Auger-Aliassime, 22 years old, reached his first Grand Slam semifinal last year at the US Open before losing to eventual champion Daniil Medvedev (15.89).

INSIGHTS gives Auger-Aliassime a 61% chance of beating Draper. The 20-year-old from England will look to reach his first third round at a major.

Players to Watch

American J.J. Wolf (14.90) made dismissing a seeded veteran look easy when he ousted No. 16-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut (15.61) in straight sets on Monday. The difference between their UTR Ratings was 00.71, much larger than the gap between Wolf’s UTR Rating and that of his next opponent, Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo (14.98).

INSIGHTS favors Tabilo at 56%, and the Chilean won their only prior matchup in straight sets, but that came on clay. Wolf has fond Flushing Meadows memories, having reached the third round last year. His win against Bautista Agut was also his best win by UTR Rating in the past 15 months.

Late on Monday, 24-year-old American Brandon Holt (14.48) upset 10th seed Taylor Fritz in four sets for his first Grand Slam victory. Holt is a former USC standout and the son of Hall of Famer Tracy Austin, who was in the stands for the milestone win.

Holt came through the qualifying draw and will play Pedro Cachin (15.10) next. Cachin, a UTR Pro Tennis Tour champion in Barcelona last year, is favored by INSIGHTS at 84% to reach his first Grand Slam third round.

Fourteenth seed ​​Leylah Fernandez (12.67) surprised nearly everyone last year when she reached the US Open final. Now she’s back in New York aiming to show that the fairytale run wasn’t a fluke. The 19-year-old faces Liudmila Samsonova (12.64) for a place in the round of 32. INSIGHTS tips Fernandez at 55%.

Stay tuned for more from INSIGHTS, and to learn more about Universal Tennis, click here.

•UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities as of 12:00 p.m. EST, August 30, 2022.

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