The US Open is finally set to get under way with the world’s best players returning to the court for a Grand Slam after the coronavirus crisis halted the schedule for several months.
Flushing Meadows in New York City has been made as COVID-secure as possible, but that was not enough to persuade top players such as Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and the world’s top two female players, Ash Barty and Simona Halep, to travel for the event.
Nevertheless, tennis fans will be thrilled to have their favourite sport back, with the action set to run from August 31 to September 13.
Here are some of our top tips for the first round of the 2020 US Open.
It's time to Be Open. pic.twitter.com/drEoSjFB2v— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 26, 2020
Big-serving Reilly Opelka has the ideal game for the US Open and he is in good form, having reached his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final in Cincinnati in the last few days.
Opelka was 6-5 up in the first set of his semi-final against Stefanos Tsitsipas before retiring with a knee injury.
Goffin is more of a clay-court specialist and the Belgian, the seventh seed at this year’s US Open, is vulnerable to suffering an early exit at the hands of the giant American.
Assuming he is fit to take his place in the US Open draw, Opelka has a great chance of beating Goffin at a big price of 19/10 with 888sport.
A lot has gone in to making this possible again 🙏 It’s great to have tennis back and personally for me, I’m happy to be competing again. Thanks to the @usta, @CincyTennis, @atptour and @WTA for working so hard for us to have a safe return! pic.twitter.com/rtmjgBaytR— Kevin Anderson (@KAndersonATP) August 22, 2020
Alexander Zverev is yet to produce his best tennis in a Grand Slam and the fifth seed has been given a tough start in New York against the powerful South African Kevin Anderson.
Anderson reached the final of the 2017 US Open and has the weapons to cause problems for any player on the tour, while Zverev was unsure about travelling to New York and may not be completely focused as a result.
Zverev’s return to the court saw the talented youngster beaten in three sets by Andy Murray and he could certainly go out in the first round again here – Anderson is too big at 14/5 with 888sport.
Sevastova showed little form in suffering a first-round exit at the Cincinnati Masters though Gauff also fell at the first hurdle in that tournament.
Handling expectations will be tough for the teenager this year, but she has the mentality to shine.
i tested negative!!— Coco Gauff (@CocoGauff) August 20, 2020
The last of our 2020 US Open first round tips is Jessica Pegula to beat Marie Bouzkova, with the American available to back at 19/20 with 888sport.
Pegula reached the quarter-finals in Cincinnati while the Czech went out a round earlier.
Coming through qualifying means Pegula is match-ready and she should book a second-round berth in this one.