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Benoit Paire, of France, hits a return to Steve Johnson, of the United States, during the Winston-Salem Open tennis tournament in Winston-Salem, N.C., Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Benoit Paire, of France, hits a return to Steve Johnson, of the United States, during the Winston-Salem Open tennis tournament in Winston-Salem, N.C., Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)|Associated Press
Tennis

U.S. Open Thursday men's 2nd Round Part 1: Abrams picks Medvedev vs Dellien, Paire vs Bedene, Thompson vs Berrettini, Verdasco vs Chung

The first Thursday match for this group is scheduled for 12:15 pm EDT.

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

2019 U.S. Open

Flushing Meadows, Queens, NY

Men’s Second Round picks

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Daniil Medvedev over Hugo Dellien

Daniil Medvedev, ranked #5 in the world, is a legitimate contender for the title. Bolivian Hugo Dellien is not.

Benoit Paire over Aljaz Bedene

You know when Benoit Paire is playing. He’s hard to miss. He’s tall, he’s got a full beard, he’s got a goofy service motion, his shirt collar is up, and he’s peculiarly French to boot. But he’s winning this year, with two titles under his belt. He should have plenty of game and enough resolve to take out Slovenian Bedene, who has a losing record for 2019 and has lost to Paire the last three times they’ve played.

Jordan Thompson over Matteo Berrettini

Aussie Jordan Thompson would have fit in nicely in the ‘70’s, with his mustache making him look like all the porn stars of that era. He’s got a very challenging match with Italian Matteo Berrettini, ranked #25, and a terrific player, but who is most at home on the sloppy stuff. I think Thompson should have a distinct advantage at on hard courts but two problems lie in wait for the Aussie: Berrettini is 6’5” and if he gets his serve going he’ll be tough, and Berrettini is confident with a 30-15 record for 2019. But I like guys who are aggressive on these courts, and Thompson is.

Fernando Verdasco over Hyeon Chung

Fernando Verdasco has the game to win on the hard courts here. Hyeon Chung is still making his way back from a myriad of injuries over the past 20 months, but is looking better and better. I can’t figure out for the life of me how Chung plays with goggles, as I’d think they’d fog up and/or get wet, but it doesn’t seem to bother him. I think Verdasco’s game will overcome Chung’s desire….at least right now.

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