Fifth seed Alexander Zverev faces a tough opener against former finalist Kevin Anderson at the US Open. Zverev vs Anderson…
Fifth seed Alexander Zverev faces a tough opener against former finalist Kevin Anderson at the US Open.
US Open 2020 | 31 August-13 September | Men's singles
Alexander Zverev vs Kevin Anderson | US Open R1 | 31/8/2020 18.30 BSTZverev to win + both to win a set 2.50 Bet Now! New Customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
Zverev vs Anderson is live from New York on Monday 31 August, 1.30pm local/6.30pm BST
Alexander Zverev lost his only match at the ‘Cincinnati’ Masters to one play who is trying to make their way back from a lengthy injury break – will he suffer the same fate at the US Open?
The 2017 runner-up Kevin Anderson, who also reached the Wimbledon final in 2018, struggled with elbow and knee injuries in 2019 and is trying to rebuild his ranking after it dropped out of the top 100. Can he cause the first big upset of the US Open 2020 by knocking out the fifth seed?
Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.
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Zverev vs Anderson: Head-to-head
This will be the fifth meeting between Zverev and Anderson. All four previous encounters have been won by Zverev: Anderson took a set in their first two encounters, but their two most recent matches – which took place within weeks of each other at the Citi Open and Rogers Cup in the summer of 2017 – were straight-sets victories for the German.
Zverev vs Anderson: Preview
In addition to taking some (justifiable) PR heat for his failure to follow self-isolation guidelines, Zverev recruited a new coach during the shutdown in the form of former pro David Ferrer, but the 23-year-old’s return to ATP Tour action did not go well: Zverev lost 3-6, 6-3, 5-7 to Andy Murray at the ‘Cincinnati’ Masters (played this year in New York).
Murray is, of course, an incredible player but he had played only one match since the previous November and it was not the statement Zverev wanted to make ahead of the US Open. The world no. 7’s serve was a particular cause for concern; although he served well in the second set, when the crucial moments arrived in the decider, Zverev’s serve proved fragile. When serving for the match at 5-4, he double-faulted twice at deuce; then when serving to stay in the match at 5-6, he double-faulted twice to 0-30.
Zverev’s serve has ebbed and flowed already this season: It was plagued by double faults at the ATP Cup in January, for example, and then proved formidable at the Australian Open just over a week later, playing a significant role in Zverev’s run to the semifinals – his best Grand Slam result so far.
So just because Zverev didn’t serve well at the Western & Southern Open doesn’t mean he won’t at the US Open. But there shouldn’t be much room for error on that front in his first-round match against Anderson, because the one sacrosanct rule of playing these six-foot-plus big servers is to hold one’s own serve.
When Anderson last played the US Open he was ranked world no. 5 and defending runner-up points from the previous year, when he stayed tough as the draw disintegrated and was rewarded by a first Grand Slam final appearance, finishing runner-up to Rafael Nadal. His run to the Wimbledon final in 2018 was more memorable for his defeats of Roger Federer 13-11 in the fifth and then John Isner 26-24 in the fifth, but he only played 15 matches in 2019 – none after Wimbledon – as he struggled with knee and elbow injuries.
Anderson was 3-3 before the shutdown, but when he returned to competition in ‘Cincinnati’ looked much better than he had in January/early February, delivering a 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3 victory over world no. 44 Kyle Edmund.
Stefanos Tsitsipas ended Anderson’s tournament in the next round with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over the South African, but Anderson does have that Edmund win to draw on, which is more than Zverev has. The head-to-head is, obviously, overwhelmingly in Zverev’s favour, but they haven’t played since 2017, and the German’s game has changed a bit since then – his serve getting more fragile being the clearest example. Zverev should be able to make it 5-0, but not before Anderson grabs a set or even two.