Men’s singles, first round (prefix denotes seeding):
Jason Kubler v 19-Roberto Bautista-Agut (ESP)
Kubler has recently cracked the top-100 for the first time and has good form on the hard courts in North America ahead of the US Open although that comes at the Challenger level. Kubler is ranked at 98 and goes up against the world no. 22 and former no. 13. Bautista-Agut has two ATP titles in the bag already in 2018 after winning in Auckland and Dubai on hard courts. The Spaniard’s most recent matches were on clay in Gstaad where he reached the final. If Kubler can play at his best the Australian could have a chance to ambush Bautista-Agut as he plays on the hard courts for the first time since he lost first up at the Miami Masters in March.
James Duckworth v Andy Murray GBR
In a battle of comeback players, we see the former world no. 1 and the 2012 US Open champion Andy Murray take on Australia’s James Duckworth. This is their first meeting. Murray is currently ranked at 382 with Duckworth at 448. Duckworth was able to sneak into the tournament on a PR after Jo-Wilfried Tsonga withdrew through injury. Murray who continues his comeback from hip surgery has hard court four matches under his belt since arriving in the US for his US Open build up. All of his four matches went to three sets, so he has had a good workout. Murray did withdraw from a quarterfinal match in Washington to ensure he did not push his body to hard as he works his way back to top form.
Duckworth is 2-5 on the ATP tour in 2018 after using his protected ranking to gain entry to several tournaments. He now needs to step up to get his ranking back to near the top 100 where he was before being injured. It is hard to go past a Murray win in this first round match.
Jordan Thompson v Cameron Norrie GBR
In another Australia v Great Britain matchup we see Thompson v Norrie. The Australian has seen his ranking slip just outside the top-100 while at the same time Norrie has shot up to no. 67. Thompson has been mostly playing on the Challenger tour and has reached a few finals. His record on the ATP tour is not stellar as he has won just one match from ten. Norrie, on the other hand, has recently reached back-to-back ATP 250 semifinals at Atlanta and Los Cabos. Based on recent form you would have to go for Norrie.
Alex de Minaur v Taro Daniel JPN
de Minaur is Australia’s youngest participant at the US Open. He has surged up the rankings in 2018 after starting the year at 208 to now sit at 45, just two off his career-high. Daniel is also on the rise, moving from 99 at the start of the year to his current career-high ranking of 64. de Minaur first put the tour on notice with two great tournaments on home soil. In Brisbane he reached the semifinals, then in Sydney, he reached the final. At the start of the month, de Minaur went all the way to the ATP 500 tournament final in Washington. Daniel has just reached the semifinals in Winston-Salem losing to the eventual champion Daniil Medvedev.
This match could go either way, but I am tipping de Minaur in four sets.
Matt Ebden v Filip Krajikovic  SRB
Edben ranked 54 takes on Serbia’s world no. 33. This is their first meeting. Ebden has reached the semifinals at the Libema Open in the Netherlands and Atlanta, so has some decent form going into this match. The Serb was out of action from the Miami Masters tournament until Wimbledon and suffered three first-round losses until finally getting a win last week in the Winston-Salem Open. Based on recent form I am tipping Ebden to win this match.
John Millman v Jenson Brooksby USA
Brooksby at just 17 should be no match for Millman. Brooksby recently won the USTA Boys’ 18 National Championship to earn a wild card for the US Open. He is ranked at 1229 compared to Millman at 55. The American has won just $4,044 in his career so this will be considerably boosted even with a round one exit. Brooksby has not even played in the main draw at a Challenger event. Millman’s recent form has been a bit patchy, but he did reach the final of the Hungarian Open ATP 250 event in April. Millman should be too experienced for Brooksby.
Nick Kyrgios  v Radu Albot MDA
Kyrgios dropped from 18 to 30 in the rankings after he failed to defend his Cincinnati Masters points from 2017 when he reached the final. This year he lost to Juan Martin del Potro in the third round. Albot is ranked at 95 and has a career-high ranking of 81. Albot has reached the second round at Roland Garros and the third round at Wimbledon in 2018 so could prove difficult for Kyrgios if he is not at the top of his game. Providing his body has no issues, Kyrgios should win this match.
Women’s singles, first round:
Lizette Cabrera [WC] v Ajla Tomljanovic
In an all-Australian first round matchup Tomljanovic should advance at the expense of Cabrera who made the main draw at the US Open after winning an Australian eight-player playoff series for a wild card. Tomljanovic recently pushed Simona Halep to three sets at the Cincinnati Premier 5 event. Tomljanovic played two qualifying matches before losing to Halep in the second round. Cabrera is yet to win a WTA singles match in 2018 and should find it hard to defeat Tomljanovic.
Samantha Stosur v Caroline Wozniacki  DEN
Stosur is a past champion at the US Open. Wozniacki goes into their round one match after withdrawing mid-match with a knee injury in her last tournament. Provided Wozniacki has recovered fully from the injury she should prove too good for Stosur.
Ashleigh Barty  v Ons Jabeur [Q] TUN
Barty has been in good form although she was recently struck down by a viral infection. If she is back to full fitness, Barty should prove too good for the Tunisian qualifier.
Daria Gavrilova  v Sara Sorribes Tormo ESP
Gavrilova will be looking to go further than her round two effort last year at the US Open. Sara Sorribes Tormo is ranked at 88 compared to Gavrilova at 32. Gavrilova’s serve has been a concern recently. She has served too many double faults in recent matches to be competitive. If she has overcome that problem she should get past Sorribes Tormo.