By Jake Davies
- Roger Federer  vs Mikhail Youzhny
- Jelena Ostapenko  vs Sorana Cirstea
- Tomas Berdych  vs Alexandr Dolgopolov
NEW YORK, USA – After being taken to five sets in his opener, Roger Federer looks to steady the ship while all around him the seeds are falling.
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Roger Federer  vs Mikhail Youzhny H2H: Federer leads 16-0
Roger Federer raised some concern in his opening round match as he shook off some rust in beating Frances Tiafoe. Federer was not at his imperious best and produced many unforced errors that were uncharacteristic of the great man, but the fact he won a match, without playing his best tennis, will give him some confidence for the rounds to come.
Federer’s second round opponent is someone he knows very well, someone he has played a number of times and holds a very good head-to-head lead over – Mikhail Youzhny. The Russian is a former Grand Slam semi-finalist that possesses a gorgeous-looking one-handed backhand and is also a fiery competitor. He is reaching the end of a very good career, but after fading for quite some time, he has done extremely well to get himself back in the World’s Top 100.
It will be good to see if Federer improves from his last match and whether he grows into the tournament match by match like all great champions tend to do.
Prediction: Federer in straight sets.
Jelena Ostapenko  vs Sorana Cirstea H2H: First meeting
Jelena Ostapenko’s great Grand Slam triumph was an unexpected one, but during that fortnight, Ostapenko showed the lofty heights that her game can take her in the women’s game. The Roland Garros trophy is proof of just that. She did very well to make the quarter-finals of Wimbledon for the first time, but has not find her range and form in the tournaments in the lead-up to the US Open. Lucky for her she has a game suited perfectly for the hard court. She is a risk-taker that plays her shots first without worrying about the consequence and that is exactly what took her to the a maiden slam title.
In this second round match-up we will see hard-hitting, line-finding and jaw-dropping winners from both Ostapenko and Sorana Cirstea. The Romanian is also someone that likes to play close to the lines, who will make winners, but unforced errors can creep into her game from time to time.
The path to the second week looks tough for Ostapenko with Naomi Osaka, Daria Kasatkina and the returning Kaia Kanepi in her section, but I think she will have too much for Cirstea in this second round encounter.
Prediction: Ostapenko in three sets.
Tomas Berdych  vs Alexandr Dolgopolov H2H: Berdych leads 4-1
Tomas Berdych was a regular in the Top 10 of the ATP rankings following his breakthrough Grand Slam where he made the finals of Wimbledon in 2010. He stayed within the elite top 10 in the world for seven years, before a loss in form resulted in him clinging on to stay in the Top 20. The Czech has carved out a fantastic career, but finals have been hard to come by, which makes him a considerable outsider for the title this fortnight, especially considering he falls in Rafael Nadal and Federer’s half of the draw.
With that being said, Berdych should surge past Alexandr Dolgopolov in the second round. He has won four of the five meetings against Dolgopolov, but the intriguing aspect to this match is the fact that Dolgopolov can turn it on against the world’s best players. His serve can kick up in pace and is sneaky good, while he also offers a lot of variety that can break up the rhythm that all the top players search for.
Prediction: Berdych in four sets.
Play begins on US Open Day Four at 11am (4pm BST)
Main Image: Mike Frey/BPI/REX/Shutterstock
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