World number one Iga Swiatek has once again proved why she is the dominant force in tennis as she has breezed through the opening week. The defending champion has only dropped nine games so far this tournament as the Pole searches for a fifth Grand Slam title with most of the build-up to the US Open dominated by her fatigued play. However there has been no signs of that so far as Swiatek looks to continue to do what all great champions do and that’s elevate their level in the biggest events of the year.
However a big obstacle awaits Swiatek in the last 16 as she takes on Jelena Ostapenko, who she has lost to in all three meetings they have played. The former Roland Garros champion seems to have regained her form after an inconsistent last few months with Ostapenko producing underwhelming performances at Grand Slams. Now after battling to the second week of the US Open, Ostapenko will look to raise her level and continue to inflict damage on Swiatek’s game.
Swiatek will look to use the angles and depth to push Ostapenko behind the baseline, therefore neutralising the Latvian’s power. Meanwhile Ostapenko will look to use the forehand to put Swiatek on the back foot and extract unforced errors from the Pole, who may get frustrated at times if her game plan isn’t working as well as it should do. This will be one of the biggest tests of Swiatek’s US Open campaign but the Pole should have the tactical variety and aggression to overcome Ostapenko’s powerful yet erratic game.
Prediction: Swiatek in straight sets.
Tommy Paul  v Ben Shelton | H2H & Match Fundamentals
A bizarre yet effective win for Tommy Paul over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina sees the American into the last 16 at the US Open for the first time in his career. Paul has continued to make progress on a weekly basis with the 14th seed producing efficient power as well as variety to outlast his opponents. Now Paul is ready to make the next step in his career as he has a golden opportunity to achieve the best Grand Slam result of his career.
Standing in Paul’s way is a fellow American in the form of Ben Shelton who’s exciting tennis has seen him into the second week of the US Open. Before this season, Shelton had never travelled abroad but an Australian Open quarter-final appearance has boosted his ranking and confidence as he looks to become the future of American tennis. Having lost to Paul in Melbourne, Shelton will now look to get revenge as he looks to turn potential into reality.
Paul will look to be consistent and aggressive from the baseline as he looks to use variety to extract errors from Shelton’s game as he looks to extend the rallies to tire Shelton out. Meanwhile Shelton will look to use his explosive serve and forehand to blast winners past Paul as he looks to step into the court in an attempt to push Paul behind the baseline. This is a match between two effective yet different styles but Paul’s consistency and edge should see him into the quarter-finals.
Prediction: Paul in five sets.
Coco Gauff  v Caroline Wozniacki [WC] | H2H & Match Fundamentals
Another late night three set win for Coco Gauff on Arthur Ashe Stadium sees her into the second week as she looks to fulfil the expectation placed upon her by winning a maiden Grand Slam title. However Gauff knows that she will need to play better than she has done so far as the level of opposition will get harder as the tournament goes on. The question is can Gauff keep her cool in order to finally achieve her Grand Slam dream?
Gauff’s nerves will be put to the test against former Grand Slam champion Caroline Wozniacki who is back into the second week of the US Open in her first Grand Slam back from retirement. The Dane has remained consistent from the baseline and continued to problem solve efficiently as she will fancy her chances of going even further in New York. Now Wozniacki will look to achieve her best win in her comeback as she continues to show that age is just a number.
Gauff will look to continue to serve efficiently and will look to dictate the tempo of the rallies with her forehand as she looks to limit Wozniacki’s tactical options. Meanwhile Wozniacki will look to extend the rallies and use her backhand to counter-attack Gauff’s aggressive qualities. This will be an entertaining match as attack takes on defence in this tactical battle. Although the crowd will give Gauff an energetic boost, Wozniacki’s relentless defence should be too strong for the sixth seed.
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