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Thomas Fabbiano, of Italy, reacts after defeating Dominic Thiem, of Austria, during the first round of the US Open tennis tournament Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Michael Owens)
Thomas Fabbiano, of Italy, reacts after defeating Dominic Thiem, of Austria, during the first round of the US Open tennis tournament Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Michael Owens)|Associated Press
Tennis

U.S. Open Thursday men's 2nd Round Part 2: Abrams picks Kyrgios v Hoang, Rublev v Simon, Isner v Struff, Monfils v Copil, Fabbiano v Bublik

The first Thursday match in this grouping is set for 1:30 pm EDT

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

Nick Kyrgios over Antoine Hoang

As always, everything depends on Nick. Nick is playing awfully good tennis, and as long as he keeps his wits about him, he’ll win this match. But with the Nick at Night Show, you just never know when he’ll become his own worst enemy. It’ll happen. But against Hoang? I don’t know…

Andrey Rublev over Gilles Simon

Andrey Rublev is starting to become a feared player, and rightfully so. He serves a ton, he crushes his groundstrokes, and he appears to be in frightfully good shape. If he could work on his positioning on his crushing groundies, he’d be a Top 20 player, and he can start right here, right now over aging Frenchman Gilles Simon.

John Isner over Jan-Lennard Struff

As long as Yank John Isner is not playing compatriot Reilly Opelka, I feel very comfortable knowing that he should be able to at least win three tie-breaker sets over pretty much anyone outside of the Big Three. He’s 3-0 lifetime against Struff, and Struff will struggle and fight, but the German won’t win. It’s interesting to note that the German is 6’5”, and he’s giving away over five inches to Isner.

Gael Monfils over Marius Copil

“I am agog! I am aghast! Is Marius in love at last? I've never heard him `ooh' and `aah'”

Well, I don’t know if Marius is in love, but Monfils certainly is. He and #5 ranked WTA pro Elina Svitolina have been an item for at least nine months, and it certainly becomes both of them. Svitolina took out Venus Williams in a terrific match on Wednesday, and I expect her beau to duplicate her feat. Happiness is bliss. Besides, there’s a lotta love in tennis!

Thomas Fabbiano over Andrey Bublik

Can Fabbiano follow up his huge upset of Dominc Thiem by going another round? I think so. Bublik is solid, but he certainly isn’t any more solid than Thiem, and I gotta believe that Fabbiano is riding a bubble right now. As long as that high continues, I like the Italian very much.

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