Stan Wawrinka, of Switzerland, returns a shot to Paolo Lorenzi, of Italy, during round three of the US Open tennis championships Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Michael Owens)
Stan Wawrinka, of Switzerland, returns a shot to Paolo Lorenzi, of Italy, during round three of the US Open tennis championships Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Michael Owens)|Associated Press

U.S. Open men's Round of 16: Abrams picks Federer vs Goffin, Djokovic vs Wawrinka, Medvedev vs Koepfer, de Minaur vs Dimitrov

Matches start Sunday at noon EDT.

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

U.S. Open

Flushing Meadows, NY, USA

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Men’s Round of 16

Roger Federer over David Goffin

David Goffin has had an absolutely terrific U.S. Open losing a set in only the first round to up-and-coming French wunderkind Courentin Moutet. Last round Federer was FEDERER dominating Brit Dan Evans losing only five games in three sets. Federer is 8-1 lifetime against Goffin, so I doubt this match will go the other way. It reminds me of what our old friend Vitas Gerulaitus said, after going 0-16 with Jimmy Connors. He finally pulled out a match over Connors in 1980 and in his after-match press conference exclaimed, “NOBODY beats Vitas Gerulaitus 17 times in a row!” in what might be the most famous tennis quote in history. Looks like Goffin has that kind of thing going with The Fed.

Novak Djokovic over Stan Wawrinka

I give Stan Wawrinka a puncher’s chance to beat world #1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic. The Joker holds a 19-5 lifetime record over Stan The Man, but he’s injured and has appeared very testy. Wawrinka has played a very nice tournament, fighting through Italian teenager Jannik Sinner, Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, and lucky loser 37-year-old Italian Paolo Lorenzi in his assault on the players from the Continent. But Djokovic is a different animal entirely. Even with his left shoulder injury, Djokovic is still hitting the ball a ton, moving brilliantly (as always), and has managed to win matches with seemingly no problem at all. All I can say to Wawrinka, even at 5-19 against his opponent, is, “may the odds be ever in your favor”.

Daniil Medvedev over Dominik Koepfer

German born Tulane grad Dominik Koepfer will get a giant boost from the enraged New York City fans who will come out to watch this match simply to boo the new villain on Tour, Daniil Medvedev. The Russian probably won’t have too much trouble with Koepfer, as he’s ranked #5 in the world, serving boomers, and has been dominating play, but that won’t stop the New York crowd from giving Medvedev the proverbial finger. Wanna watch a circus? Check this one out.

Alex de Minaur over Grigor Dimitrov

It’s so great to see Grigor Dimitrov back in the second week of a Slam. Admitedly, he hasn’t needed his best game to get here, because he got by clay court specialist Andreas Seppi, got a walkover past the tough 12th seed, Borna Coric, and then topped qualifier Kamil Majchrzak (who?) in three, but here he is nonetheless. Dimitrov is going to have a Dickens of a time with an “on” Alex de Minaur, as the Demon has run through Pierre-Hugues Herbert, solid Cristian Garin, and then dominated the 7th seed, Kei Nishikori. The Demon appears so solid that, although Dimitrov is a terrific ball-striker, I can’t see the Aussie losing this match


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