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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday August 11, 2021


Day 4 of the US Open puts the top half of the men’s and women’s singles draws back in action, which means Novak Djokovic’s quest for the Calendar Slam continues, while top-seeded Ash Barty takes on 18-year-old talent Clara Tauson. And that’s not all – here’s what we’ll be keeping our eyes on on Day 4 in New York.

Tennis Express

Novak’s Quest Continues

Novak Djokovic had an interesting round one tilt with 18-year-old Holger Rune of Denmark. The World No.1 dropped a set and also endured a strange atmosphere on Arthur Ashe Court. The crowd, getting behind Rune, stretched out the syllables of his last name, making their cheers sound like boos. Neither player was quite sure what was going on and both told reporters that they thought the crowd was booing for most of the match.


It was a strange reception for a three-time champion who is gunning for history in New York, but certainly not the first time that Novak Djokovic has been underappreciated by the public.

What to make of it? The most important thing was that Djokovic got the win and handled the adversity well. He’ll be more acclimated on Thursday when he faces Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor. It will be interesting to see if the crowd starts to embrace him more as he marches closer to becoming the first player to win the Calendar Slam since 1969.

Ashleigh Barty v Clara Tauson

Ashleigh Barty has already had a fantastic season, but the Aussie would love to cap it off with another great triumph in New York, where she has never reached by the round of 16. To take another step she’ll have to get past Danish teen Clara Tauson, a talented, forceful player who has had a great season, winning her first WTA title in Lyon, and climbing from outside the Top-150 to her current rank at 78.


But Tauson will have her hands full on Thursday. She’s never faced a Top-10 player, let alone a World No.1 on Arthur Ashe Stadium. It will be interesting what to see what type of tennis she can produce.

Jenson Brooksby v Taylor Fritz

There are two groups of Americans that are making big waves at the US Open. The 23-24 set, which includes Reilly Opelka, Frances Tiafoe and Taylor Fritz, and the 20-21 set, which includes Sebastian Korda, Brandon Nakashima and Jenson Brooksby.


On Thursday we get our first meeting between Brooksby and Fritz, and it should be a fantastic tilt. Brooksby has had a magnificent season, going 39-9 across all levels. The 20-year-old has reached four challenger finals, won three challenger titles, and played the final at ATP 250 Newport in July.

Fritz has all the experience, but Brooksby has the attitude and is starting to look like a future star.

Other Top-Notch Tilts on Day 4

There are a lot to choose from, here are some of our top picks…

Karolina Pliskova v Amanda Anisimova: This is an opportunity for Anisimova to grab an eye-catching win, and she could really use one. The 2019 Roland Garros semifinalist has not been beyond the third round of a Slam since, and it currently ranked at 75.
Lauren Davis v Bianca Andreescu: The 2019 champion still has never lost a match at the US Open. She improved to 8-0 lifetime at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday, but needed 2:49 and a lot of gumption to do it. She should have an easier time of it against Davis, but playing Americans is never an easy task at the Open.
Kei Nishikori v Mackenzie McDonald: McDonald scored a big win over 2014 runner-up Nishikori at this year’s Citi Open. Is it time for a bit of revenge for Nishikori?
Gael Monfils v Steve Johnson: It’s great to see Gael Monfils back to doing what he does best: Pleasing fans and playing with his own special brand of Joie de vivre. He’ll face resurgent American Steve Johnson in what promises to be a good battle on Armstrong.

 

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