US Open Tennis 2014: Schedule and Bracket Predictions for Day 3 in New York

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2014

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25:  Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts against Maria Kirilenko of Russia during their women's singles match on Day One of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 25, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for USTA)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Through the first two days, the 2014 U.S. Open has largely been by the numbers, with only a few surprises.

The biggest shock so far is 15-year-old CiCi Bellis upsetting 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova in the first round. It was one of the more memorable results you'll see all tournament and proof positive that just about anything can happen in Flushing, New York.

Day 3 has plenty of intriguing matches in store, with second-round play getting underway in some parts of the draws.

You can view the full order of play on the U.S. Open's official website.

Arthur Ashe Stadium
MatchupTime Note
11 a.m. ET
Sloane Stephens (21) vs. Johanna Larsson-
Tomas Berdych (6) vs. Lleyton HewittNot Before 1 p.m. ET
Maria Sharapova (5) vs. Alexandra Dulgheru-
7 p.m. ET
Timea Bacsinszky vs. Venus Williams (19)-
Stan Wawrinka (3) vs. Thomaz Bellucci-
USOpen.org
Louis Armstrong Stadium
MatchupTime Note
11 a.m. ET
Shuai Peng vs. Agnieszka Radwanska (4)-
Marin Cilic (14) vs. Marcos Baghdatis-
Jana Cepelova vs. Simona Halep (2)-
Grigor Dimitrov (7) vs. Ryan HarrisonNot Before 5 p.m. ET
USOpen.org
Grandstand
MatchupTime Note
11 a.m. ET
Feliciano Lopez (19) vs. Ivan Dodig-
Tsvetana Pironkova vs. Jelena Jankovic (9)-
Aliaksandra Sasnovich vs. Caroline Wozniacki (10)-
Kenny De Schepper vs. Ernests Gulbis (11)-
USOpen.org

 

Predictions

Sloane Stephens Will Struggle Against Johanna Larsson

Aug 25, 2014; New York, NY, USA;  Sloane Stephens (USA) returns a shot to Annika Beck (GER) on Armstrong Stadium on day one of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TOD
USA TODAY Sports

With her win over Serena Williams in the 2013 Australian Open quarterfinals, Sloane Stephens inserted herself into the consciousness of American tennis fans. Aside from a quarterfinal run at Wimbledon in 2013, the 21-year-old hasn't been able to get over the hump and make herself a serious Grand Slam threat.

This could be the year that Stephens breaks through at the U.S. Open, where she's never advanced past the fourth round. She looked great against Annika Beck in the first round, winning 6-0, 6-3.

"It got a little shaky at the end, but I was happy that I pulled through, and I feel good," she said after the win, per Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News. "I’ve got a new coach and things are going really well, so I’m easygoing playing and happy to be back here and competing again."

Johanna Larsson isn't the kind of opponent who will strike fear in the heart of Stephens, but she could give the young American some trouble. She went to a first-set tiebreak against the second-seeded Victoria Azarenka at the Australian Open. At the French Open, she beat Flavia Pennetta before succumbing to Eugenie Bouchard.

Stephens won't breeze by Larsson in the second round. She should dig her heels in for a fight.

 

Maria Sharapova Will Establish Herself as the Top Competition for Serena Williams

Aug 25, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Maria Sharapova (RUS) in action in her match against Maria Kirilenko (RUS) on day one of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sport
USA TODAY Sports

Although Maria Sharapova has struggled at Grand Slams outside of the French Open this year, don't count her out in Flushing. She was helped out massively by the draw. The only time Sharapova could meet Williams is in the final.

In the first round, the 27-year-old labored in the first set against Maria Kirilenko before dominating in the second set. In that second set, Sharapova illustrated how good she can be when she's playing at the peak of her powers.

The match was really only notable for the amount of time Kirilenko spent on the side getting looked at by trainers. Patrick Hruby made the parallel to the end of a basketball game:

Reeling off 10 games against her former doubles partner, Sharapova looks to be finding her groove. Even the delays at the end of the second set couldn't throw her off her game, which seemed to happen to Sharapova against Ana Ivanovic in Cincinnati, Ohio, two weeks ago.

Sharapova's played Alexandra Dulgheru, her opponent in the second round, twice before. Neither match came easily. Running through the 25-year-old Romanian would be a nice statement to make to the rest of the competition.

 

Upset Alert: Lleyton Hewitt over No. 6 Tomas Berdych

Aug 4, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) plays a backhand against Julien Benneteau (FRA) in the 1st round of The Rogers Cup at Rexall Centre. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

Which of the tennis gods did Tomas Berdych upset to draw Lleyton Hewitt in the first round?

Hewitt and Berdych have met three times, with the Australian winning the most recent match, at the 2013 AAMI Classic.

At 33 years old, Hewitt is obviously way past his best. He's still very capable of putting together a great match and knocking off a player like Berdych, or at the very least push his opponent to five sets. In the last two years, he's made it to the third round and fourth round, respectively, at the U.S. Open.

On the other side, Berdych has failed to make it past the third round in any of his last four ATP Tour events. The 28-year-old Czech is stuck in the middle of a slump, which could be the kind of opening that allows Hewitt to pull off the upset.

Tennis broadcaster Ravi Ubha thinks that this match could have a massive impact on how the draw unfolds:

Roger Federer will be paying attention to the result of this matchup.