NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 30: Cori Gauff of the United States serves against Magda Linette of Poland during their women's singles first round match on Day One of the 2021 US Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 30, 2021 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Coco Gauff has once again showed the tour why she is the player to watch over the next five years. A clay-court title in Parma followed by a Roland Garros quarter-final is just a couple of highlights this season. Sitting on the verge of the season ending finale has shown how consistent she has been and despite struggling past Magda Linette in her opening match, she will not be easy to defeat over the next two weeks.
Coco’s opponent is one Sloane Stephens who just about edged past good friend Madison Keys in a last tiebreak on Monday. The former champion showed her counter-attacking abilities and her never say die attitude as she looks to cap off a fairly inconsistent season with another deep grand slam run.
Gauff will be favourite heading into this match but tactically the 2017 champion could have a lot of success turning defence into attack. The American teenager will look to dictate points early and take advantage of Stephens’ inconsistency. In the end Gauff’s serve and consistent groundstrokes should be enough for a passage into the last 32.
Prediction: Gauff in three sets.
Roberto Bautista Agut  v Emil Ruusuvuori H2H & Match Fundamentals
Roberto Bautista Agut is one of the most consistent players on tour and he once again proved his worth on Monday when he easily dispatched an erratic Nick Kyrgios. Having scored wins over Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray in the past, the Spaniard will be full of confidence to try and make another deep run at a grand slam.
The next round won’t be easy for Bautista Agut as he takes on the talented Emil Ruusuvuori in the second round. Ruusuvuori seems to finally be realising his potential having beaten Cameron Norrie in Atlanta and before the US Open, reaching the semi-finals in Winston-Salem. The Finnish player has an aggressive game with good athleticism and will test Bautista Agut’s all-court game.
This should be a gruelling and contest with lots of aggressive shots mixed with some effective points construction and serving. Ruusuvuori should test Bautista Agut’s patience in rallies but if the Spaniard plays like he did against Kyrgios then there will only be one winner.
Daria Kasatkina seems to be improving after a slow last couple of season. Two WTA finals in Birmingham and San Jose have rejuvenated her form and confidence as she looks for a strong ending to the season. The Russian’s variety mixed with her unique power from the baseline makes her one of the most exciting talents on the WTA tour today. Can she make a big run in New York to back up the talent?
Standing in Kasatkina’s way is former Roland Garros finalist and Olympic silver medallist Marketa Vondrousova. The Czech has found it hard to back up her grand slam final but recently has shown why she has excelled on the tour after a deep run in Tokyo. Now she looks to make an impact on other surfaces at the grand slams as she continues to rise up the rankings.
This match should have lost of variety and lots of entertaining rallies in a match that should be a real crowd-pleaser. Although Vondrousova has had the better of the head-to-head, Kasatkina’s game is made for matches like these on the big occasions and her return game at the moment is up there with the best. It will be close but the Russian is slight favourite.
Prediction: Kasatkina in three sets.
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