A two-team panel makes its picks for four men’s singles matches on the fourth day of action at the U.S. Open.(13) John Isner vs. Gael Monfils
Steen Kirby (Tennis East Coast) – This is a highly-anticipated match between players who were able to sleepwalk during their opening matches against very weak competition. With a tied head-to-head series (3-3) and five of their six showdowns going to the maximum number of sets (the other went four), one would expect this to be another long one. However, Monfils’ health is still very much in question and–despite the blowout–he said afterward that he had considerable pain. Isner not having such issues and being in good form may make this one sort of straightforward as long as his serve remains solid as a rock and he can move Monfils around the court. Isner 7-6, 3-6, 7-6, 6-1.
Ricky Dimon – Isner is on fire on the American hard courts. In news that may or may not be related, sky is blue. Isner is 15-2 in the USA dating back to the Atlanta second round. Monfils is coming off a Winston-Salem final, but he retired in that match with an abdominal strain and it does not look particularly good even after a straight-set massacre of Adrian Ungur. To beat Isner right now, you have to be in absolute peak form…just ask Rafael Nadal. This will be entertaining, but it won’t live up to the hype. Isner 7-5, 7-6, 6-2.
Steen – The heralded but underachieving Aussie vs. the Brit who is just now playing up to his potential…. Evans was formerly known for Davis Cup heroics and not much else. Tomic has been dreadful this year after leaving his home nation, with personal issues lingering in the background. He played an up-and-down match against Albert Ramos, eventually prevailing over the cramping Spaniard in five sets, though his form at times was terrible and other times great. Evans, meanwhile, has torn up the Challenger circuit this summer and easily took care of a listless Kei Nishikori. There is no reason to pick against the qualifier now. Evans 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.