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Sakkari and Tsitsipas handed tricky draws

Sakkari and Tsitsipas handed tricky draws

The men’s and women’s singles draws for the 2019 US Open were released on Thursday, with both Maria Sakkari and Stefanos Tsitsipas getting difficult first round opponents.

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Sakkari, the 30th seed in the tournament, will open play against Italy’s Camila Giorgi. Giorgi, currently ranked 58 in the world, is considered one of the most dangerous unseeded players in the draw. A quarter-finalist at Wimbledon last year, the Italian has slipped in the rankings after missing much of the 2019 season due to injury. However, Giorgi does appear to be regaining her form after making the final a few weeks ago in Washington, D.C., and is also currently in the semifinals of the Bronx Open. Nevertheless, Sakkari did win both of their previous meetings in straight sets, including one match just last week in Cincinnati.

The winner of the match between Sakkari and Giorgi will advance to play against either a qualifier or a lucky loser in the second round. World number two Ashleigh Barty of Australia is a potential third round opponent for Sakkari. Should Sakkari advance, she could also potentially face 2016 US Open champion Angelique Kerber of Germany in the round of 16. It must be noted that Sakkari reached the second round in New York last year, while her best result at the US Open was reaching the third round back in 2017.

On the men’s side, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas is seeded eighth in the event. He will face Russian Andrey Rublev (world number 47) in the opening round, arguably the most dangerous of the 96 unseeded players in the draw. The two had played against each other twice in juniors, with each winning one match. On the professional level, Rublev edged the Greek 7-6 in the third in a challenger tournament in France back in January 2017, while Tsitsipas got the better of the Russian in the semi-finals of last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. Rublev comes into the match in good form, after upsetting Roger Federer last week in Cincinnati. On the other hand, Tsitsipas is currently on a three-match losing streak.

The winner of this first round encounter will then face either former world number six Gilles Simon of France, or American wildcard Bjorn Fratangelo in the second round. 28th-seeded Nick Kyrgios of Australia is a potential third round opponent in this section of the draw. Tsitsipas made his US Open main draw debut last year, reaching the second round.

Hoping to join her compatriots in the main draw was Valentini Grammatikopoulou. However, the 22-year-old from Kilkis fell 6-3 6-4 in the first round of qualifying to Australia’s Maddison Inglis.

 

By Andrew Stamas

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