US Open Popcorn Matches: Rafael Nadal and Emma Raducanu headline day two
The US Open heads into its second day on Tuesday, and with Rafael Nadal, Emma Raducanu, and Carlos Alcaraz all in action, there are some real popcorn matches to watch out for.
Sebastian Baez v Carlos Alcaraz
There is little doubt that 2022 is the year when Carlos Alcaraz has truly arrived on the ATP Tour. The fact he is coming into a major as the third seed is evidence enough of that.
That said, in terms of Grand Slams, we are definitely still waiting for Alcaraz to make a significant impact. He has threatened it at times, this year, but that is as close as he has got.
He has a tough opener here, too. Argentinian Sebastian Baez has made a serious move in the rankings himself in recent months and he is capable of causing an upset if Alcaraz is not at his best.
Alison Van Uytvanck v Venus Williams
With all the attention firmly on Serena Williams, Venus’ appearance at the US Open is falling a little to the side.
She has suggested that she does fancy one more crack at the WTA Tour, so no one will be expecting the same fanfare that has surrounded Serena this week.
However, whenever Venus Williams plays at the US Open it is an occasion. She has a tough one here against Van Uytvanck, but the Arthur Ashe crowd will be right behind her so it could be a bit of an occasion.
Rinky Hijikata v Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal will kick off the night session on Arthur Ashe, and on paper it looks like it should be a routine win for the second seed.
There is, of course, every chance that it will be. However, Nadal is coming into the US Open with plenty of question marks. We don’t know how his abdominal injury has healed and we don’t know if his foot will stand up to the punishment of hardcourts
History suggests that, even if Nadal is not 100%, he will still win the match. It will be interesting to see what kind of a level he is able to produce, though.
Emma Raducanu v Alize Cornet
Emma Raducanu was the story of the whole tournament last year, and has looked in good form again recently.
She has been given no help by the draw, though. Her path back to the final looks like it could be incredibly tough, and that starts in the first round against Alize Cornet, who is capable of beating anyone on her day.
One way or another, it’s going to be fascinating to watch how Raducanu handles her return to New York a year on from that amazing achievement.
Cameron Norrie v Benoit Paire
You’ll have to head to Court 11 for this one, but it has to be worth a watch at the start of the day’s play.
Cameron Norrie is the seventh seed here, so he can perhaps feel a little unfortunate to be on one of the outer courts. He is in good form too and will be fancying his chances of a really good run.
Benoit Paire, meanwhile… well anything could happen, right? Literally anything.
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