US Open Preview: Medvedev, Felix On Guard On Day 3
After seeing fellow Top-10 seeds Stefanos Tsitsipas and Taylor Fritz crash out of the top half on Day 1, top seed Daniil Medvedev and sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime won’t take anything for granted when they suit up for battle in the US Open second round Wednesday.
ATPTour.com looks at five things to watch on Day Three at Flushing Meadows, where Medvedev continues his title defense and Felix faces dangerous young Brit Jack Draper.
1) Felix Meets Draper For First Encounter:
Felix Auger-Aliassime, semi-finalist at the US Open last season, is at a career-high No. 8 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. The Canadian should expect a fierce challenge in his first meeting with fast-rising 20-year-old Jack Draper.
Felix, who boasts 37 wins this season including his maiden ATP Tour title in Rotterdam, has had success in New York dating back to his junior days. The Montreal native claimed the boys’ singles title at Flushing Meadows in 2016 and the boys’ doubles title with countryman Denis Shapovalov in 2015. Last year, the 22-year-old became the first Canadian men’s singles semi-finalist in tournament history.
#NextGenATP lefty Draper, who is making his US Open debut, is hungry for his second Top 10 win. After earning his first win over a Top 10 player earlier this month when he ousted Tsitsipas in Montreal, the Brit looks to strengthen his hold on a spot at the eight-player Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals with an upset over Auger-Aliassime Wednesday. The 2018 Wimbledon boys’ singles finalist has won four ATP Challenger Tour titles this year, a season record he shares with Argentine Pedro Cachin.
2) Defending Champ Medvedev Continues Quest For Second Slam:
After winning in convincing fashion on Monday, Medvedev, who boasts a 19-2 record in his last 21 matches at the Open, looks to carry his momentum into the second round against Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech.
Rinderknech, a former Texas A&M University standout, reached his maiden Tour-level final earlier this season in Adelaide (l. Kokkinakis). The 27-year-old now looks to earn the biggest win of his career on Arthur Ashe Stadium Wednesday night.
3) Paul-Korda Clash Leads Home Favourites:
World No. 34 Tommy Paul is the highest-ranked American in action Wednesday. The 25-year-old seeks his first victory over countryman Sebastian Korda, who leads their ATP Head2Head 3-0.
Other home hopes in action Wednesday include J.J. Wolf, who cruised past 16th seed Roberto Bautista Agut on day one and now looks to return to the third round, which he reached in 2020. First, he has to get through Chilean Alejandro Tabilo. Brandon Holt and Emilio Nava also aim to advance in New York Wednesday.
4) #NextGenATP Star Nava Battles Former Champion Murray:
Wild card Nava, 20, aims to back up his maiden Grand Slam victory from Monday when he meets the 2012 champion Andy Murray, 15 years his senior, to open play on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Murray looks to claim back-to-back hard-court wins for the first time since January in Sydney. Should Nava advance, he would rise to 12th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Milan.
The four qualifiers still alive in the top half of the draw also look to build upon their success. Daniel Elahi Galan, who stunned Tsitsipas Monday, faces Australian Jordan Thompson. Holt, who upset Taylor Fritz, faces Argentine Pedro Cachin. In a matchup of two qualifiers, Portugal’s Nuno Borges and China’s Wu Yibing look to reach the third round of a major for the first time. On Monday, Wu became the first Chinese man to win a singles main-draw match at a Grand Slam in the Open Era.
5) 2022 Slam Finalists Ruud, Kyrgios In Action:
Roland Garros finalist Casper Ruud and Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios look to continue their success this season. Ruud, seeded fifth, meets Dutchman Tim van Rijthoven, who narrowly escaped Monday’s first-round contest against Zhang Zhizhen, against whom he saved seven match points.
Kyrgios, 12-2 in his past 14 matches, faces Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi, who survived in five sets in his opening match against countryman Ugo Humbert. Bonzi was a dominant force on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2021, when he collected a season-leading 50 wins. Kyrgios is seeded to meet Medvedev in the fourth round.