Stefanos Tsitsipas - Australian Open 2023 and Milos Raonic - Miami Open 2021

US Open 2023: Popcorn matches from the men’s singles draw

The US Open is on the horizon and the men’s singles draw has produced some very eye-catching first round matches.

Here are five of those matches that we at Tennishead are most excited about:

Stefanos Tsitsipas (7) vs Milos Raonic

Stefanos Tsitsipas has not fared well at the US Open in previous years, and would likely have been hoping for a more favourable draw than against former No.3 Milos Raonic.

The Greek has never surpassed the third round in New York and faced an emphatic first round defeat to Daniel Galan last year.

Former Wimbledon finalist Raonic has returned in recent months following a two year hiatus, after struggling with calf and leg injuries, for what appears to be a farewell tour in the US Open hard court swing.

The Canadian hasn’t dropped a set in his two previous meetings with Tsitsipas, and although they have not played in three years, Raonic has shown signs of good form with a victory over 2022 US Open semi-finalist Frances Tiafoe in Toronto.

Alexander Bublik (25) vs Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem is a former US Open champion, however he finds himself as the underdog in the opening round three years later.

Alexander Bublik is always a tricky prospect to predict due to his unorthodox style, but has not won a match since reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon.

However, Thiem has won a number of matches since Wimbledon and in-fact reached his first ATP Final since 2020, but all of them have been on clay courts.

It is difficult to read too much into their only previous meeting, which was held at Roland Garros four years ago prior to Thiem’s wrist injuries.

Andrey Rublev (8) vs Emil Ruusuvuori 

Eighth seed Andrey Rublev is currently on a three-match losing streak, and his most recent defeat came to that of his first round opponent at the US Open, Emil Ruusuvuori.

Ruusuvuori beat Rublev, 7-6(10) 5-7 7-6(3), at the Cincinnati Masters last week in his first victory over the Russian in three attempts.

The Finn does not have much pedigree at the US Open, having not surpassed the second round, whereas Rublev is a three-time quarter-finalist.

Borna Coric (27) vs Sebastian Baez

Borna Coric and Sebastian Baez have never previously played against each other, however they are guaranteed to go head-to-head twice in the next week.

Both have reached the semi-finals at the ATP 250 event in Winston-Salem, where they will play before their scheduled first round meeting at the US Open.

It is the first ATP hard court semi-final of Baez’s career, who has never won a match at the US Open before, whereas Coric is a former quarter-finalist at the final major of the year.

Coric is yet to reach the heights of his shock Masters 1000 triumph in Cincinnati last year, and will face a tough test against the man currently on an eight-match winning streak.

Ugo Humbert (29) vs Matteo Berrettini

Heading into the US Open last year, Matteo Berrettini was No.14 in the world and Ugo Humbert was all the way down at No.138.

However, this year it is the Frenchman that is the seeded player going into the New York major, where he has only won two out of his seven previous matches.

Berrettini has been struggling with an abdomen injury over the past few months, but the former US Open semi-finalist will be encouraged by his unbeaten record against Humbert that includes a win in New York.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.