U.S. Open R1 previews and predictions: Wawrinka vs. Verdasco, Ferrer vs. Dolgopolov

Stan Wawrinka may not have an easy U.S. Open first-rounder on Tuesday, as Fernando Verdasco will be on the other side of the net. Another Spaniard, David Ferrer, could have his hands full with Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Fernando Verdasco vs. (3) Stan Wawrinka

Wawrinka and Verdasco will be squaring off for the sixth time in their careers when they clash in round one of the U.S. Open on Tuesday. Verdasco leads the head-to-head series 3-2, after breaking a recent 2-2 tie by prevailing 6-2, 7-6(3) earlier this summer at Queen’s Club. They have only faced each other only once on a hard court, when the Spaniard got the job done 6-3, 6-3 at the 2012 Acapulco event. This post-Wimbledon summer has been a decent one for Verdasco, who finished runner-up in Bastad and turned in quarterfinal showings in Atlanta and Winston-Salem.

Meanwhile, Wawrinka is only 5-5 in his last 10 matches dating back to the French Open semifinals. Despite skipping the Rio Olympics, the well-rested Swiss suffered a disappointing 6-4, 6-4 third-round Cincinnati loss to Grigor Dimitrov. If there is some good news for the third seed, it’s that he is 13-3 in his last 16 U.S. Open matches and he has not exited prior to the quarterfinals since 2012; he also has not lost in New York to anyone outside the current top seven in the world since 2011. But based on current form and his past history against Wawrinka, Verdasco will be confident in his chances to score another upset.

Pick: Verdasco in 5

Alexandr Dolgopolov vs. (11) David Ferrer

Ferrer and Dolgopolov are no stranger to seeing each other on opposite sides of the net as they prepare for another battle on Tuesday. In fact, they have already squared off on 11 occasions–with Ferrer leading the head-to-head series 8-3. Dolgopolov, however, has won two of their last three contests; 6-4, 6-4 two years ago on the red clay of Rio de Janeiro and again 6-4, 6-4 earlier this season on the hard courts of Acapulco. Ferrer’s most recent victory over the Ukrainian came via a 6-2, 6-2 decision last fall at the Paris Masters.
Ferrer wins 2
As those alternating results suggest, just about anything could happen in this matchup–especially given the current state of the two competitors. Ferrer is clearly declining at 34 years old, and it appears that the downhill slope is becoming steeper and steeper. The Spaniard is just 26-17 for his 2016 campaign, and a horrendous 5-7 in his last 12 matches. But Dolgopolov is a mere 17-16 overall and a hopeless 0-5 in his last five efforts dating back to the Washington, D.C. third round. The Ukrainian is coming off a Cincinnati retirement against Kevin Anderson (back injury). Even though Ferrer is slumping, the 11th seed should have enough in his tank to get pass a less-than-100 percent opponent.

Pick: Ferrer in 4

 

5 Comments on U.S. Open R1 previews and predictions: Wawrinka vs. Verdasco, Ferrer vs. Dolgopolov

  1. Tough matches and certainly cant wait till this evening. I do think somehow Wawrinka will come through this match, very seldom he gets knocked out twice early in the majors, even when he is not playing well. So ill back him to come through this match up, gain some much needed confidence

    With Ferrer, i just dont know, watch him against Benneteau and he had the match on his racket, but with all those unusual errors, it was tough to watch the gritty spaniard… Somehow, again being a grand slam, i will back Ferrer to win in 4 sets

  2. Voted Ferrer in 4 – but I’ll be cheering for the Dog, as usual. Go Dog!

    Anything is possible with Stan and Verdasco. In general I’m disappointed with Stan, so I voted Verdasco in 5. In my bracket I switched to Stan at the last minute. lol…

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