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Cameron Norrie v Benoit Paire
Benoit Paire is loved in New York because he always gives the crowd exactly what they went. Known as one of the more passionate crowds in tennis the New Yorkers and Paire are a perfect mix for a show. He’ll try his best against the very solid Cameron Norrie who has big aspirations in this one.
Norrie has been playing strong tennis in the past couple of weeks reaching the semi-final in Cincinnati but losing to Borna Coric. The Brit is one of the best athletes on the Tour capable of playing for hours and his game slowly evolved into one without any glaring weakness. The backhand can be a bit suspect but it works for now.
Paire has been playing lacklustre tennis all year long. His battle with a lack of motivation is well documented and he admitted to being treated for depression this year as well. He’s still a superb talent who can rise up to the occasion whenever he truly wants.
It’s an interesting one, probably a fun one but Norrie should be able to grind Paire into oblivion. A 3-set win for the Brit.
Emma Raducanu v Alize Cornet
Alize Cornet, the giant killer already had some amazing wins at grand slams this year and she’s looking to add another one to her resume. Beating the defending champion in round one would certainly do it and the French player is more than capable.
She’s coming off of a strong week in Cleveland where she played in the semi-final and showed a pretty high level. She might retire this year so she won’t get too many chances to play a match like this. Stylistically she’ll be a nightmare for Raducanu who could get baited into many mistakes in this one.
Raducanu herself found some form in Cincinnati with a couple of impressive wins but it’s unclear how she will deal with a return to New York. She was excited before the event but grew tired of the repetitive questions. It’s going to be interesting either way.
Raducanu is favoured, not by much but she is. A win over Cornet could unleash her again, and I think it might happen. I expect a comfortable Raducanu win.
Naomi Osaka v Danielle Collins
It doesn’t get much crazier when you have a four-time grand slam champion and grand slam finalist playing in round one of a grand slam. That’s what will happen later today when Osaka takes on Collins. It’s been a wonderful start to the year for Collins with a final in the Australian Open but since then it’s been disappointment after disappointment.
Injuries, struggling form, bad tennis and everything saw Collins play only 20 matches this year. Half of them were in the first month of the year for reference. Osaka on the other hand has similar struggles both win injuries and poor play.
Naomi is enjoying being on the court so at least mentally she’s doing very well. Leading up to the US Open, Osaka played fairly bad tennis losing in the opening rounds of both Toronto and Cincinnati but US Open has been her event in the past.
I expect a cracking affair that could go to either side because both are playing in bad form. I do think we’ll see a competitive one so take the over.