2023 US Open Picks, Odds, Predictions | Keys vs Wickmayer, Tauson vs Stearns

2023 US Open Picks, Odds, Predictions | Keys vs Wickmayer, Tauson vs Stearns article feature image

Via Mike Stobe/Getty Images. Pictured: Clara Tauson of Denmark looks on against Anastasia Potapova during their Women’s Singles First Round match on Day Two of the 2023 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2023 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.

The second round of the US Open rolls on, and Thursday's order of play is incredible!

I’ve found value on two of Thursday's matchups — Clara Tauson vs Peyton Stearns and Madison Keys vs Yanina Wickmayer.

Read on for my 2023 US Open picks.

Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing US Open matches.

US Open Odds, Picks

Clara Tauson (-126) vs Peyton Stearns (+102)

11 a.m. ET

Clara Tauson survived a tough test against Anastasia Potapova in the first round, beating the Russian 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3. The Dane won just 51% of her service points, getting broken on eight occasions, but she did win 50% of her return points by generating 19 break points and breaking eight times.

Tauson is now 12-10 on hard courts this season, although she has an incredible 130-46 career record on the surface. The Dane is hot-and-cold on serve, although she can bring the power at times. Tauson has easy power from both wings and can take the racquet out of her opponents' hands, particularly with her forehand. However, she is inconsistent from the baseline, and her slices are lacking.

Peyton Stearns hit through Viktoriya Tomova 6-3, 6-4 to kick off her US Open campaign. Stearns won only 54% of her service points, getting broken four times. On return, the American won 57% of her return points, breaking on six occasions.

Stearns has an impressive 20-8 record on hard in 2023, but she is just 6-5 during the summer hard-court swing. As a professional, Stearns has a strong 90-51 hard-court record. The American can generate power on her serve and has a powerful, heavy forehand to dictate baseline play. With that said, her backhand is erratic, and she has a one-dimensional game that lacks variety, such as slices and touch shots.

This is a favorable matchup for Tauson. Stearns will likely try to go toe-to-toe with her from the baseline, matching power for power, and this plays into the Dane's hands.

Tauson has more firepower than Stearns and doesn't mind her opponents hitting with pace.

She also has the tennis IQ and controlled aggression to effectively target what should be the weakest shot on the court: Stearns' backhand. The American's backhand should break down under pressure.

Furthermore, Stearns doesn't have the court craft, physicality nor speed to extend rallies and keep balls out of Tauson's strike zone, which is important to do to draw out those unforced errors.

Madison Keys (-550) vs Yanina Wickmayer (+400)

2 p.m. ET

Madison Keys defeated Arantxa Rus 6-2, 6-4 in the opening round as Keys won 69% of her service points and wasn't broken all match. On return, the American won 55% of her second-serve returns and generated 13 break points, breaking on three occasions.

Keys, a former US Open finalist, has a 10-7 record this year on hard, with a solid 232-140 professional-record on the surface. Keys is in the top 15 this season for service points won for a reason; she has a massive first serve. The American pairs that serve with powerful groundstrokes that allow her to take over rallies, especially with her forehand.

However, Keys' rally tolerance is not stable, she doesn't defend well, and she lacks variety.

Yanina Wickmayer, a lucky loser, comfortably beat Vera Zvonareva 6-4, 6-4 to advance in New York. Wickmayer won 76% of her first serves and was only broken once. The Belgian also won 50% of her second-serve returns, breaking on three occasions.

Wickmayer is an impressive 24-10 in 2023 on hard courts, and the Belgian's career-record on hard improved to 335-228 with her first-round victory.

While Wickmayer lacks variety and plays fairly one-dimensional tennis, she is very good at what she does. The Belgian has a huge first serve and positions herself in offensive positions on the court. Wickmayer plays aggressive tennis from the ground, with better control from her forehand wing.

This should be a hard-hitting battle between two players with lots of power. Both players should generate free points on their serves and force their opponents to scramble during return games.

I don't trust Keys' defensive skills, ability to absorb pace and counterpunching enough to cover a line this big. Keys also doesn't anticipate well and is not an explosive mover. She's also not comfortable in defensive areas of the court.

The American's return is also not a strength, and she should struggle to get into too many of Wickmayer's service games.

While the Belgian isn't the best returner and doesn't want to play much defense either, 5.5 games is a big number for someone with her serve and power groundstrokes, especially facing an opponent with Keys' skill set.

Pick: Yanina Wickmayer +5.5 Games (-122)

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