Alexander Zverev vs Frances Tiafoe - US Open Preview and Prediction
World Number 6, Alexander Zverev, meets World Number 45, Frances Tiafoe, in an interesting second-round clash tonight. A great match can be assured as both are one of the most talented players in the Next-Gen.
Zverev and Tiafoe will go toe to toe against each other with their attacking mindset and risky game. Both have shot onto the big stage troubling the big names at a young age of 22 and 21 respectively.
Alexander Zverev will keep in mind his shock loss against Philipp Kohlschreiber in four sets in the third round of US Open 2018. He was the fourth seed during the tournament, was expected to go deep in the tournament but was outplayed by the German veteran.
He came into the season after clinching his biggest title in the year-end ATP Finals defeating top players such as Isner and Cilic. Zverev showed the whole world why he was considered as a leader of the Next Gen as he took out the legends, Federer and Djokovic, in straight sets back to back in the semis and finals.
He reached the fourth round in the Australian Open before losing to Raonic in straight sets. Zverev hit peak form by reaching the Acapulco Open finals in both the men's singles and doubles. He won the doubles title with his brother- Mischa Zverev but lost the singles titular match to Kyrgios in straight sets.
He crashed out early in the two big hard-court tournaments- Indian Wells and Miami. The clay-court season was a disaster for Zverev as he managed to reach the quarterfinals only in the Bavarian Open and the Madrid Open. Zverev suffered early exits in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Rome.
Just before the French Open, Zverev bounced back winning his first title of the season clinching the Geneva Open- ATP 250 defeating Jarry in a thrilling three-setter in the finals. Zverev played some great tennis in the French Open until fatigue up with him as he lost to the World Number 1, Novak Djokovic, in straight sets in the quarterfinals.
Zverev loves playing on grass but again performed below par, losing early in Stuttgart Open. Jiri Vesely stunned him in four sets in the first round of Wimbledon. He put those dismal performances aside reaching the semifinals in the Hamburg Open and quarterfinals in the Rogers Cup.
Coming to this match, Zverev was cruising after getting a two-set lead against Albot before inconsistency stuck him as he lost the next two sets before prevailing in the fifth set. He should be concerned about the wastage of time and energy by taking five sets to win against lower-ranked opponents.
In 11 matches played in three grand slams this year, Zverev has been taken to the fifth set in four matches and to the fourth set in two matches. He will be aiming to finish off his matches fast so that he gets adequate time to recharge his batteries.
On the other hand, Frances Tiafoe has had an impressive year. He started the season punching above his weight reaching the quarterfinals in the Australian Open defeating some big names such as Anderson and Dimitrov before getting thrashed by Nadal in the quarterfinals.
Tiafoe managed to reach the pre-quarterfinals in the Acapulco Open and the quarterfinals in the Miami Open. He had a mixed clay-court season reaching the quarters in the Estoril Open and pre-quarters in the Madrid Open. Tiafoe suffered a heartbreaking five-set losses to Krajinovic and Fognini in the first round of the French Open and Wimbledon respectively.
He played a couple of hard-court tournaments in North America reaching the pre-quarters in the Washington Open and quarters in the Winston Salem Open. Tiafoe had an easy outing in the first round against the 40-year-old veteran, Karlovic, who retired hurt in the third set.
Tiafoe also experimented playing men's doubles with different partners like Lindstedt and Monroe and also reached the second round playing mixed doubles with Serena Williams in the Wimbledon.
Zverev will be looking to set things straight and ensure that his campaign is no longer shaky while Tiafoe will look to upset his plans by starting brightly. Zverev will be keeping history in mind as he has never crossed the third round in the US Open in his career despite possessing potential.
The head to head record between the two players is comfortably led by Zverev with three wins and one loss. Tiafoe will be looking for some motivation from his win against Zverev two years ago in the Cincinnati Open and must be looking to implement his strategy in the right manner.
With four of the top 10 seeds in the men's draw crashing out, Zverev has his task cut out tonight to not suffer an upset. He will also be looking to get rid of the tag of a Grand Slam under-performer.
Zverev will be looking to reduce his number of double-faults while Tiafoe will look to improve the placement of his returns. He has beaten some big names on the tour such as Ferrer, Felix Auger, Hurkacz, Jarry, Millman, Lajovic, Fognini and Basilashvili this year and will look to get into top gear against Tiafoe.
The partisan American crowd will be fully behind home hope, Frances Tiafoe, in this match. Zverev can get some support from German fans watching the match but Tiafoe will be looking to get the crowd on their feet and would want to celebrate in his trademark style if he happens to win this match.
Alexander Zverev to win in four sets
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