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The legends of tennis are doing it again at the 2022 US Open. Serena Williams has made known that she still has some high-quality tennis left, and Rafael Nadal is showing for the umpteenth time that he remains one of the sport’s greatest problem solvers.
But can Nadal (UTR Rating 16.06) and other title contenders, including Carlos Alcaraz (15.90) and Petra Kvitova (12.77), keep producing good work during Labor Day Weekend? Let’s take a closer look at Saturday’s action with an assist from Universal Tennis INSIGHTS.
Brooksby ‘Very Confident’ of Befuddling Alcaraz
Cincinnati champion Borna Coric (15.41) was riding a seven-match win streak. Then he faced 21-year-old American Jenson Brooksby (15.48), who knocked out the Croatian in straight sets to reach the third round. Spain’s Alcaraz, though, surely will not go away in such a straightforward matter.
The 19-year- old Alcaraz is a 70% favorite, according to INSIGHTS, to reach the US Open fourth round for the second consecutive year. Last year, the teenager became the youngest men’s singles quarterfinalist at the US Open since the Open Era began in 1968.
It will be his first meeting against Brooksby, who advanced to the fourth round in New York last year, his best Grand Slam result to date. Despite his long odds, Brooksby believes.
“In a Slam like this, it’s your home crowd, for sure, for sure it will only give me the advantage…” the 21-year-old said. “I just want to be able to use that advantage as much as I can. I’m feeling very confident heading into this one.”
Collins Going For 2-0 Against Cornet
Danielle Collins (12.68) and Alize Cornet (12.57) are no strangers to shaking up a US Open draw: Both beat former US Open champions in their first-round matches. Collins ousted 2018 and 2020 champion Naomi Osaka (12.79), and Cornet routed 2021 champion Emma Raducanu (12.48).
But only one of them will continue to create chaos after Saturday. INSIGHTS has Collins by a 56% to 44% margin. However, don’t count out Cornet. In addition to spoiling Raducanu’s return to Queens, the Frenchwoman snapped Iga Swiatek’s (13.27) 37-match win streak earlier this year at Wimbledon.
Collins won their lone prior matchup at this year’s Australian Open in straight sets, and her Hard UTR Rating (12.77), compared to Cornet’s (12.52), helps show why she’s favored to beat Cornet again.
Battle of Grand Slam Champions Muguruza and Kvitova
Between Garbine Muguruza (12.44) and Petra Kvitova (12.77), they’ve won four Grand Slam titles and 39 singles titles overall. But none of those titles have come at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows.
Both Muguruza and Kvitova will try to change that in the coming days. On Saturday, they’ll meet for the seventh time, with the winner earning the right to work on the day that honors all workers in the U.S., Labor Day. Kvitova is 5-1 against Muguruza, and INSIGHTS has her favored by 65% to reach the US Open fourth round for the second time in three years.
Can Tiafoe Make It Three in a Row?
American Frances Tiafoe (15.44) will look to reach the fourth round at the US Open for the third consecutive year when he faces Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman (15.40). Last year, Tiafoe became the first American men’s singles player to make the fourth round in New York in back-to-back years since Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick in 2011-12.
INSIGHTS is essentially calling it a toss-up: the 22nd-seeded Tiafoe is favored at 52% against the 14th-seeded Schwartzman. The two have met three times, with Schwartzman leading their head-to-head 2-1. Tiafoe’s three-month UTR Rating (15.45) shows his strong form of late, compared to Schwartzman’s (15.20).
Players to Watch
If avenging his 2015 US Open loss against Italian Fabio Fognini (15.10) was a motivating factor for Nadal on Thursday night, he’ll have to find a different source of motivation to continue his quest for a fifth US Open title.
Against Frenchman Richard Gasquet (15.29), Nadal’s longtime peer and third-round opponent, the Spaniard is 17-0. INSIGHTS has the four-time US Open champion an 84% favorite to push that streak to 18-0 on Saturday.
“I think at the end of the match [Thursday], I played better than in the first round without a doubt, too,” Nadal said. “It’s an improvement. Two matches already. Two victories. That helps. Now another opportunity against Richard.”
INSIGHTS has Swiatek’s chances of winning her first US Open title at 34%. Her chances of making the third round against Lauren Davis of the U.S.? A whopping 92%.
Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic has favorable odds as well, at 61%, according to INSIGHTS, to beat 2016 US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova.
Canada’s Denis Shapovalov (15.13), the 19th seed, will look to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for only the second time this year against ninth seed Andrey Rublev (15.48). Shapovalov reached the quarterfinals at the 2022 Australian Open but has struggled for much of this year, going 21-18 overall and seeing his UTR Rating drop 00.51 in the past 11 months.
Rublev’s UTR Rating also has dropped (00.19), but he’s gone 38-14 this season and is a 70% favorite to advance, according to INSIGHTS. In the past 12 months, Rublev is 30-17 against their common foes, whereas Shapovalov is 18-21.
•UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities as of 1:00 p.m. EST, September 2, 2022.