US Open Picks and Predictions: Three Picks Across Wednesday's Quarterfinal Matches
Sam Stosur and Zhang Shuai once again started the day nicely for us, and this time, we were able to get this going throughout the day. Leylah Fernandez even beat Elina Svitolina in the end as she scored her third massive upset in a row. I don’t think anyone saw her making the semifinal here, so she already is one of the stories of this tournament. Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey maintained their perfect serving streak as the (bookmakers’) underdogs came through in straight sets. While Aryna Sabalenka did her part as well, the French doubles of Herbert/Mahut had already ruined a perfect day earlier. Today, Emma Raducanu will be in action again, and no, I’m not willing to oppose her again even though the line on Bencic has been a little too high overnight.
Alexander Zverev vs. Lloyd Harris Prediction
Having won the Olympics and Cincinnati and riding on a 15-match winning streak, it is hard to argue for any player to be in better form than Alexander Zverev. However, his quarterfinal opponent Lloyd Harris is playing the best tennis of his life this fortnight. Many players the South African already beat this year read like a recent top 10 ranking list: Wawrinka, Thiem, Nishikori, Shapovalov, Dimitrov, Monfils, Nadal, Khachanov. Most of these wins came on quick hard courts like Doha, Dubai, or Washington. Safe to say he excels on these types of courts, so it shouldn’t be super surprising that he beat Khachanov and Shapovalov (again) here in New York.
Now Zverev will be even harder to beat, but as good as his form still is, the German doesn’t play at the same level of his Olympic dream run anymore. Jack Sock took a set off him and so should have Jannik Sinner as he had five set points in the third and missed a forehand sitter on one of them. I’m not predicting the South African to go through here, but he can win a set. The 24-year-old already did that against Zverev in Cologne last year, and with his current form, I can see him standing up to Zverev for at least a set or two. Considering their brilliant serving, I decided to go for the over in games rather than the over in sets as tiebreaks don’t look too unlikely in what should be an exciting matchup.
Hsieh/Mertens vs. Gauff/McNally Prediction
“McCoco” has been the talk of the town in 2019 when they beat competent doubles in Goerges/Siniakova and Peschke/Melichar before getting destroyed by Barty/Azarenka at the US Open. Since then, the talented tandem has won two more titles at WTA Internationals. While this is an outstanding achievement, and they will be a top-tier doubles pairing very soon, today’s opposition will be a huge step up in quality.
Elise Mertens and Hsieh Su-Wei are on top of the doubles rankings after winning their first Grand Slam together at Wimbledon. Hsieh’s tricky play and touch come to fruition even more at doubles, and I’m curious how the young Americans can handle it. McNally’s serve has to be on point for them to keep up, and while I would be happy for the two teens, I doubt they’ll have the consistency of hitting through one of the best doubles in the world.
Karolina Pliskova vs. Maria Sakkari Prediction
Maria Sakkari’s win over Bianca Andreescu still hurts, but it’s time to appreciate the Greek’s fitness that will always keep her in matches, even when she’s struggling mentally. Today, Sakkari will face Karolina Pliskova for the first time on hard courts after the two traded wins in Rome in 2018 and 2019.
Pliskova is the tournament leader in aces far and away as she already hit 58, equivalent to 14.5 per match. Her shootout with Amanda Anisimova will be remembered as one of the more exciting matches this year’s US Open had to offer, and I don’t expect too many long rallies today either. Sakkari has established some first-strike tennis herself over the last few years, so I’m expecting an open battle tonight. You can still get decent odds on the over 21.5 games, and I think this is the look here. With the possibility of rain in the evening, this match could also be played under the closed roof of Arthur Ashe, which would increase the chance of service holds even more.