Matches to Watch on Wednesday
How to watch: You can stream matches here (streaming began at 11 a.m., Eastern time). TV coverage began on ESPN at 1 p.m., and switches to ESPN2 at 6 p.m.
After rain suspended or postponed all but nine matches on Tuesday, Wednesday’s schedule is bursting. There are 87 matches listed on the order of play. Here are some to keep an eye on.
Marcos Baghdatis vs. Taylor Fritz
Second match, Court 10
Baghdatis’s best days at the Open are behind him; his classic with Andre Agassi under the lights was in 2006. Fritz is one of the up-and-coming Americans; his best days should be ahead. If both are on form, the match promises to be entertaining, and the prize is likely a matchup with No. 6 Dominic Thiem on one of the tournament’s bigger courts.
No. 5 Caroline Wozniacki vs. Ekaterina Makarova
Not before 4 p.m., Court 17
Wozniacki is a two-time finalist at the Open. Makarova is better known for her doubles prowess, but she made the semifinals here in 2014 and won the Citi Open in Washington this month. Wozniacki has won all seven of their meetings, but they have not played in seven years. This should be an early challenge for the No. 5 seed.
No. 11 Dominika Cibulkova vs. Sloane Stephens
Fifth match, Court 10
Stephens started her Open with an impressive straight-sets victory over Roberta Vinci, a finalist two years ago. Up next is Cibulkova, a defensive specialist who makes a habit of frustrating more powerful opponents with her movement and variety of shot. Stephens has won two of their previous three meetings, and if she can stay consistent while continuing to deploy her usual pace, she should be the favorite.
Credit Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times
Maria Sharapova vs. Tímea Babos
Third match, Ashe Stadium
After an exhilarating three-set victory over second-seeded Simona Halep in the first round, Sharapova continues her comeback at the Open against the 59th-ranked Babos of Hungary. Babos has won only three matches since Wimbledon. What remains to be seen is if Sharapova can maintain her focus and level of play for at least another round.
No. 28 Kevin Anderson vs. Ernests Gulbis
Not before 4 p.m., Court 12
These two talented journeymen meet in the kind of matchup that often turns into a classic at the Open. Anderson, a big-serving South African, meets Gulbis, who, when he is on, has one of the cleanest backhands in the game. Gulbis is coming back from a long illness and does not have many matches under his belt, but if he can get in rhythm, this match will be worth checking out.
No. 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Denis Shapovalov
Second night match, Ashe Stadium
Shapovalov continued his strong summer run with three wins in the qualifying tournament here and an impressive straight-sets win in the first round. His next target is Tsonga, a quarterfinalist here the last two years. But Tsonga has played only two matches since Wimbledon, so if playing in Ashe Stadium doesn’t intimidate Shapovalov, he has a great chance to score an upset.
First Look at Monfils
Gaël Monfils, the No. 18 seed, opened his tournament with a 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-4 victory against his fellow Frenchman Jérémy Chardy. A semifinalist here last year, Monfils continues to confound and captivate his fans and tennis experts. Ben Austen recently profiled Monfils for The New York Times Magazine.
Monfils wants to be remembered as more than the “human highlight reel.” He has a dream, modulated to the unyielding epoch in which he has happened to play: He wants the fortnight’s run of perfection and luck needed to win at least a single Grand Slam. “I think one time in my life I can put myself in the position to be the best for two weeks,” Monfils said. “The best all time is Roger. My dream, my challenge, why I’m training is to have within a year the chance to be the best for two weeks.”
Credit Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
■ Only nine matches were completed on a rainy day, but the last one nearly produced one of the biggest upsets of the year. The American teenager Frances Tiafoe pushed third-seeded Roger Federer to the brink before losing, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4.
■ Angelique Kerber, the defending women’s champion, could not overcome the powerful Japanese teenager Naomi Osaka, who claimed a 6-3, 6-1 victory.
Source: New York Times