Wednesday US Open Analysis & Predictions: Samsonova Will Overpower Fernandez (August 31)

Wednesday US Open Analysis & Predictions: Samsonova Will Overpower Fernandez (August 31) article feature image

Patrick Smith/Getty. Pictured: Liudmilla Samsonova.

  • Liudmilla Samsonova is a favorite to get past former finalist Leylah Fernandez at the US Open.
  • David Gertler previews that match and Shelby Rogers vs. Viktoria Kuzmova.
  • Read on for his best bets and previews.

The US Open is off to an awesome start and we have cut the field in half as the second round begins!

I’ve found more betting value on Wednesday's order of play.

Read on for my US Open best bets and previews.

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

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Liudmilla Samsonova (-185) vs. Leylah Fernandez (+144)

Time TBD

Liudmilla Samsonova's hot streak continued in New York, as she defeated qualifier Sara Bejlek 6-3, 6-1. Samsonova won 50% of her return points, 82% of her first-serve points and wasn't broken all match. This is now the eighth match in a row where Samsonova has won over 75% of her first serves.

Samsonova is on an 11-match winning streak, having won Washington and Cleveland (on hard) coming into this event. She's also now won 14 sets in a row.

The Russian has a massive serve that gets her free points and she's done a great job limiting breaks, having been broken three times in the last eight matches. Samsonova also puts so much pressure on her opponents with her powerful groundstrokes, particularly with her forehand.

Leylah Fernandez has only played four matches since the French Open, but she beat Oceane Dodin 6-3, 6-4 in her opening match in New York. Fernandez won 74% of her first serves and hit ten aces during the match. On return, she won 64% of her second-serve return points and 50% of her returns overall.

Fernandez had foot issues that kept her out of the game for months and hasn't looked herself since returning, going 2-2 since coming back to tour. Last year's US Open finalist is not as precise with her game right now.

Hitting bombs on her serve, playing with controlled aggression from the baseline and moving her opponents around the court at will, Samsonova will be tough for anyone to get by.

Fernandez did well to beat the big-serving Frenchwoman, but she still has played just four matches since coming back to tour and she still seems a bit unsure of her game. She's not getting the depth and weight-of-shot right now to seriously challenge Samsonova.

Pick: Samsonova -2.5 Games (-120 via PointsBet)

Shelby Rogers (-530) vs. Viktoria Kuzmova (+390)

Time TBD

Shelby Rogers survived a scare in the first round, beating Arantxa Rus 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Rogers won 78% of her first-serve points and was only broken once all match.

However, the American only won 31% of her return points and hit 23 winners compared to 45 unforced errors, struggling with both her return and her consistency from the baseline.

Rogers made the final of San Jose and is 6-2 during the summer hard-court season. Rogers' best surface, historically, is hard, going 184-135 as a professional on the surface.

Viktoria Kuzmova pulled off a stunner, defeating Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-3, 6-4. Kuzmova served very well, winning 74% of her first-serve points and hitting 37 winners compared to 33 unforced errors against a fierce competitor in Sorribes Tormo.

She was also very good on return, winning 49% of her return points and breaking Sorribes Tormo five times.

Kuzmova qualified for the US Open without dropping a set, having now won eight sets in a row. Overall, Kuzmova is a strong hard-court player, with a 189-98 career-record on hard. The Slovak has a big first serve and, while she can become erratic from the baseline, has played with excellent controlled aggression this week.

Rogers has the better pedigree, but in terms of level, Kuzmova played a better first-round match. She's hitting the ball huge, not spraying unforced errors and doing an excellent job of rushing her opponents. Kuzmova is also hitting precisely into small targets.

While Rogers has had a good hard-court season, she was mediocre against Rus and would have lost against better opposition. The American has struggled to control her groundstrokes and her return struggles are concerning, especially given the Kuzmova big first serve.

Pick: Kuzmova +5.5 Games (-140 via FanDuel)

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