Dominic Thiem, of Austria, reacts during a match against Jaume Munar, of Spain, during the first round of the US Open tennis championships, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, in New York.
Dominic Thiem, of Austria, reacts during a match against Jaume Munar, of Spain, during the first round of the US Open tennis championships, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, in New York. AP Photo/Seth Wenig

U.S. Open Tennis: Neal Abrams picks Thursday 2nd round men's matches featuring Medvedev, Dimitrov, Raonic, Murray and more

Matches will go on all day from Queens, New York.

2020 U.S. Open Thursday Men’s Picks

Raonic over Pospisil

Raonic got his serve back and Pospisil is busy trying to found a new Men’s Union. Raonic seems to be concentrating on tennis, and Pospisil is working on his politics. Raonic will win the match and Pospisil might get his Union.

Cilic over Gombos

Cilic is not anywhere near at the peak of his powers but what he does have should be enough to put an end to Gombos’ Open. Still, the Slovak will walk away with $100,000.

Rublev over Barrere

Rublev is one of three Russians who can make waves in this year’s Open. There are no Americans.

Dimitrov over Fucsovics

Dimitrov appears to be over his bout with Covid-19 from back in July, but Fucsovics is playing awfully well and will give him a battle. I’d expect Dimitrov to triumph unless he fades, which is still a possibility considering the lingering effects of the coronavirus.

Thiem over Nagal

Want to quantify just how weak American tennis is? Indian Sumit Nagal took out American Bradley Klahn in the first round. Nagal is ranked #124 and wouldn’t be in the tournament save for all the players who chose to stay home this year. Nagal had two career wins coming into this tournament and Thiem had 284. Need I say more?

Millman over Tiafoe

Another American will go down in this match. Tiafoe, who a few years ago was considered an up and comer of U.S. Tennis, has settled in at #82 and won’t see his ranking rise after falling to Millman. Millman has beaten Tiafoe both times they’ve played (except for a 2016 Qualifying match on grass at Queens Club) but the matches have been close. I think the difference will be that Tiafoe has some lingering issues from testing positive for coronavirus in July.

Wolf over Carballes Baena

Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena might have a better game than J.J. Wolf right now, but they’re playing on a fast surface, which is where Wolf excels. I think Wolf will win this match and carry the Stars and Stripes on his shoulders.

Evans over Moutet

Moutet is on a relentless climb up the ranking ladder, and at 21 years of age has a ways to go. Right now, Brit Dan Evans is a better player, is tougher, and wants this badly. I’d expect Evans to take this one and move into the Third Round.

Berrettini over Humbert

Italy’s Matteo Berrettini made it all the way to last year’s semis in New York, but he’s not playing as well as he did last year. He has the effects of Covid-19 in his system, and he’s struggling a bit. Still, he has enough game to take out Humbert. The only caveat is that if Humbert gets on a serving spree, he can win. It’s just that I doubt he will.

Medvedev over O’Connell

Australian Chris O’Connell is another one of those players who just shouldn’t be here. In a normal year he’d have been buried in the qualies and that would have been that. But with the number of top players not supporting this year’s Open, O’Connell slipped into the draw and then took advantage of his presence and knocked out Laslo Djere, who definitely should be here. O’Connell’s run is over, however, as the Russian will make mincemeat of the Aussie.

Auger Aliassime over Murray

Can Andy Murray make it two in a row? I’d rather doubt it. Murray showed terrific resolve in taking a tough five setter from Yoshihito Nishioka, but Felix Auger Aliassime presents an entirely different problem. His game is complete and getting better all the time, he’s a tough physical specimen, and he’s aggressive, where Nishioka was more or less a defensive player. Murray has made friends this year, but he’s done.

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