U.S. Open R1 previews and predictions: Del Potro vs. Schwartzman, Lopez vs. Coric

Juan Martin Del Potro will play his first match at the U.S. Open since a 2013 second-round loss to Lleyton Hewitt when he faces fellow Argentine Diego Schwartzman on Tuesday. Feliciano Lopez and Borna Coric are also in action.

(WC) Juan Martin Del Potro vs. Diego Schwartzman

Because of recurring wrist problems that led to a disappearing ATP ranking, Del Potro needed a wild card to get into the U.S. Open–and that is exactly what he got. And why not? The 27-year-old Argentine is a past champion (2009), a former world No. 4, and the recent silver medalist at the Rio Olympics. Although Del Potro earned no ranking points for it, his 2016 comeback reached new heights in Rio de Janeiro with an opening-round upset of Novak Djokovic and a semifinal win over Rafael Nadal prior to a four-set loss at the hands of Andy Murray.

Up first for Del Potro on Tuesday is an all-Argentine showdown with Schwartzman, who has won only two matches dating back to the start of the French Open. Both of those came last week in Winston-Salem, where the world No. 69 defeated Mikhail Kukushkin and Gilles Simon before getting blown out by Yen-Hsun Lu. Schwartzman’s hard-court summer includes nothing else aside from a Cincinnati qualifying setback against Brian Becker. In this first-ever meeting between these two countrymen, a well-rested Del Potro should cruise with no trouble whatsoever.

Pick: Del Potro in 3

(16) Feliciano Lopez vs. Borna Coric

Lopez and Coric will also be going head-to-head for the first time on Tuesday. Although he is just 19 years old (and 15 years younger than Lopez), Coric may be ready to take the next step in his career sooner rather than later. The 44th-ranked Croat has plateaued since reaching a career high of No. 33 in the world last July, but he has displayed some promising signs of late. In addition to a decisive fifth-rubber Davis Cup victory over Jack Sock that sent Croatia into the semifinals, Coric made a quarterfinal run two weeks ago at the Cincinnati Masters.
Presumably in the latter stages of his career, Lopez is still going strong at 18th in the world. So far this summer the Spaniard boasts a clay-court title in Gstaad and a runner-up finish to Ivo Karlovic Los Cabos. He advanced one round in Cincinnati (d. Mischa Zverev) before falling to Grigor Dimitrov in a third-set tiebreaker. Lopez can dictate play in this one if he serves extremely well, but Coric is a counter-puncher who can turn opponents’ pace against them and youth may be served in what will likely be an extended struggle.

Pick: Coric in 5

9 Comments on U.S. Open R1 previews and predictions: Del Potro vs. Schwartzman, Lopez vs. Coric

  1. Del Potro in 3

    Lopez in 4. Coric has improved but in a 5 set match in this New York humidity, I’m going with the resilient Spaniard who has yet to lose in the 1st Round of the US Open since 2009 against Taylor Dent

  2. Lopez in 4, think his play at the net and superior serve will be enough to get past Coric over here

    Juan Martin Del Potro in 3 sets… Schwartzman on anything but a clay court isnt good for him

  3. Rooting for Delpo. I always love watching him play. Sometimes when he unleashes his thunderbolts I can almost imagine I am watching a God! A Rafa-Delpo final please! Would be thrilling to watch.

  4. Golly the matches come at us fast and furious the first two days. Love it.
    Halep, Nishikori, A.Zev… At home this morning and who to watch?

Comments are closed.

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