Breadsticks And Bagels

New York Open Preview & Predictions

The 2nd annual New York Open is taking place this coming week at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. The New York Open made its debut on the tour last year, replacing the Memphis Open. Defending champion & World #5, Kevin Anderson (see below), and up-and-coming Australian, Alex De Minaur, were unfortunately forced to withdraw mid-week due to injury & illness.

Draw Analysis

What may look like a relatively weak draw to many outsiders, is seen as a huge opportunity to those participating. The top quarter of the draw belongs to #1 American, John Isner. A second round opponent of either Lukas Lacko or Bernard Tomic should pose no real problems for the big-serving American, neither should a third rounder encounter against any of the possible opponents there.

The second quarter features a few interesting names. John Millman receives a somewhat unlikely first-round bye here. The Aussie is coming off a career best year in 2018. Most notably defeating Roger Federer at the US Open, he also made his first ATP Final in April and subsequently ended the year ranked a career-best, 38. Young Americans, Mackenzie McDonald & Reilly Opelka are two names that could seize their opportunities here. McDonald, 23, also coming off a career year, is someone who could relish the chance for a deep run here & Opelka, 21, recorded his first ever Grand Slam win last month, defeating John Isner in a huge upset.

The bottom half of the draw starts with Tennys Sandgren. Sandgren won his first ATP Tour title at the beginning of the year & will take confidence from that, however struggles with consistency. 3rd-seeded Steve Johnson, will love his quarter and plays his best within his home country.

The final quarter here features American youngster, Frances Tiafoe. Tiafoe has been banging on the door of a breakout for a while & looks to have finally done it. Tiafoe, 21, reached the quarter finals of the Australian Open, defeating Anderson, Seppi & Dimitrov in the process. Receiving a wildcard here, he would love to take advantage of this opportunity by making a deep run. American veteran, Sam Querrey, made the final here last year & thus has a significant amount of points to defend. A projected third round matchup between these two would make for great viewing.

Upset Alert

On Upset Alert here we have Reilly Opelka. The 6’11” American faces Adrian Mannarino. Mannarino has lost 7 of his past 8 matches since making the final in Moscow late last year & has seen his ranking slowly drop. I fully expect Opelka to defeat Mannarino here and then go on to face our One To Watch.

One To Watch

Our One To Watch is the 23-year-old Californian, Mackenzie McDonald. Not shy of the big stage, McDonald has particularly enjoyed success at the Grand Slam level throughout the past 12 months. Losing in a tough 5-setter to #3 Dimitrov at the Australian Open last year, he went on to reach the 4th Round at Wimbledon, in which he fully took advantage of an opening in the draw. He has enjoyed much more consistent results at a Challenger level, thus gaining confidence to go on and claim some big scalps on the ATP Tour. Keep an eye out here as a deep run is not beyond him.

Prediction

Due to a couple of withdrawals, John Isner has benefited from this. His highest-ranked potential opponent before the final would be John Millman, of which he has a 2-0 H2H record against. In fact, Isner’s H2H record against his whole HALF of the draw is 23-6, a win percentage of 79.3%. Steve Johnson will pose some trouble on the other side of the draw if they are to meet in the final. However, Isner has a great opportunity to pick up some points after an early-round exit last here last year.

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