US Open preview for the Aussies

The US Open tennis is starting today at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

There will be 10 Australian men and three Australian women lining up in singles action.

The draw was cruel to two pairings. Good mates, Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis are drawn to play each other in the opening round.

Sydney, Australia – 6 January 2019: Australia’s Nick Kyrgios on a practice court at Sydney Olympic Park. Kyrgios is competing in the Fast4 event in Sydney on Monday 7 January. (Photo by Rob Keating/

James Duckwork and Christopher O’Connell are another all-Aussie pairing in round one.

The Special K’s are the headline match on the opening night.

“It’s just going to be an experience. For us to go out there and play on Arthur Ashe Stadium together, it’s something that’s pretty special,” Kyrgios said ahead of the match.

“It will be interesting,” Kokkinakis said. “Obviously he’s got an unbelievable serve and he’s playing some great tennis right now, but I know on my day I can match it with anyone.”

Rinky Hijikata after receiving a Wildcard has the uneviable task of trying to defeat Rafa Nadal in the opening round. It will make one hell of a story if he can.

John Millman perhaps has the easiest of the opening matches when he faces USA Wildcard Emilio Nava. The world no. 103 has struggled to find form in 2022. He will looking to use his experience to advance.

de Minaur, the top-ranked Australian, at least for now will be looking forward to advancing to the second round after losing first round in 2021. “I play well here, so I always look forward to coming back,” he said.

Alexei Popyin is another player struggling to find form in 2022 at ATP level. He did however win a Challenger title in Bordeaux to push back towards the top-100 after entering that week at no. 127.

Melbourne – 3 Febuary 2021: Alexei Popyrin serving against USA’s Tommy Paul.

Two more good results at Challenger level took Popyrin back inside the top-100 but he has just one win since playing on the Challenger tour. I would love Popyrin prove me wrong, but I am tipping Tseng to advance.

The Duckworth v O’Connell match will guarantee that two Australian men reach the second round. Duckworth probably has the edge on his less experienced opponent.

Christopher O’Connell warming up for his match against Gavin Van Peperzeel in the ATP Challenge Tour qualifying tournament.

Jordan Thompson again is not hitting top form. He most likely will bow out against Sonego from Italy.

Jason Kubler’s match is an interesting one. Kubler is one of the form Australians. de Minaur and Kyrgios have won titles recently, but Kubler has had a lot of wins recently including six wins at Wimbledon including three qualifying matches.

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 27, 2022:. ACT Clay Court International #1 Jason Kubler in the final. (Photo by Rob Keating/Robicia Tennis Photography)

He will have to be at the top of his game to advance past Ymer, but it is possible.

Women in top form

Ajla Tomljanovic and Daria Saville are in good form and could do well at the US Open.

Wildcard Jaimee Fourlis is not at the same level but could claim a first round victory.

Muchova is on the comeback from injury and could present a problem for Tomljanovic, but if the Australian plays like in recent tournaments she should advance.

Sydney, Australia – 6 January 2018: Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic on-board the super yacht ‘Cooroboree’ during a media opportunity for the Sydney International tennis. The Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge are in the background. (Photo by Rob Keating/

Saville, a few days ago lost the final in Granby against Daria Katsakina, it was a match in which she had her chances. The one concern was did she take it too far. She was hobbling at the end of the final.

If Saville recovers from the final run last week she should be too good for Ruse.

Below are all of the round one matches involving the Australians.

[18] Alex de Minaur 20 v Filip Krajinovic (SRB) 44
[23] Nick Kyrgios 25 v Thanasi Kokkinakis 70
Alexei Popyrin 84 v Tseng Chun-hsin (TPE) 89
James Duckworth 83 v Chris O’Connell (AUS) 118
Jordan Thompson 102 v Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 63
John Millman 103 v [WC] Emilio Nava (USA) 203
Jason Kubler 109 v Mikael Ymer (SWE) 99
[WC] Rinky Hijikata 198 v [2] Rafael Nadal (ESP) 3

Women’s Singles

(Ranking is after the player’s name)
Ajla Tomljanovic 46 v Karolina Muchova (CZE) 235
Daria Saville 58 v Elena-Gabriela Ruse (ROU) 101
[WC] Jaimee Fourlis 173 v (Q) Yuan Yue (CHN) 142

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