US Open 3rd round: Djokovic, Nadal, Cilic and Williams all through
Just two seeds fell on Wednesday in the second round of the US Open, on in each of the Men and Women’s draw, as 24-year-old’s Grigor Dimitrov and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova were shocked. That is in contrast to Monday where a whole host of top names were sent packing.
World number ones and top seeds in their respective draws Novak Djokovic (even-money title favourite with Coral) and Serena Williams (8/11) have both survived, although the latter had to dig deep in her first set against qualifier Kiki Bertens.
Williams, aiming for the Grand Slam (winning all four major trophies in the same calendar year) for the first time in her career, will be hoping to make lighter work of her next opponent and fellow American veteran Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
Defending champion Serena is heavily odds-on at 1/25 to beat the doubles specialist.
Djokovic, a winner here in 2011, meanwhile, next faces Andreas Seppi and is even more fancied at 1/100 for victory. The Italian is 14/1 to cause an almighty shock.
Elsewhere in the Men’s section, another former Flushing Meadows champ Rafael Nadal (20/1 title chance) is continuing his claim to prove doubters wrong that he is past it.
The 14-time Grand Slam-winning Spaniard beat Diego Schwartzman in three close sets, and faces a seeded Italian in the third round too. Fellow clay court specialist Fabio Fognini awaits Nadal (1/5 odds-on favourite), and is 10/3 to inflict another early Grand Slam exit on him.
Other top names to look out for include Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, David Ferrer and defending champion Marin Cilic, who face Sergiy Stakhovsky, Jeremy Chardy and Dimitrov’s conqueror Mikhail Kukushkin respectively.
The tie of the round, meanwhile, is arguably the clash between Milos Raonic (8/15) and Feliciano Lopez (11/8). They are level at 3-3 in head-to-heads, and Canadian Raonic is 9/2 to win in five sets, as he did against him at the Australian Open this year.
In the Women’s draw, there are two tasty battles, as double champion Venus Williams (11/10) duels with teenage star Belinda Bencic (4/6), while young home hope Madison Keys (5/4) takes on Agnieszka Radwanska (4/7).
Eugenie Bouchard (11/10) is also in action, as she is up against Dominika Cibulkova (4/6), who knocked out Ana Ivanovic in the first round.
Coral’s top tip: Raonic and Lopez are two top competitors, and the former is a tempting 9/2 shout to win in five sets.