Friday’s action in Flushing Meadows, New York, will have tennis fans ready for the battles at the 2014 U.S. Open, and the matchups will be highlighted by appearances from top stars Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova.
Day 5 will have high expectations after a wild start to the final Grand Slam tournament of the season, but with big names adorning the schedule and making the on-court action must-watch television, even casual tennis fans will be tuning in Friday.
Here is all the vital viewing information, top matchups, predictions and a focus on the most intriguing match of the day.
|2014 U.S. Open Day 5 TV Schedule|
|Aug. 29||11 a.m. - 7 p.m.||Tennis Channel|
|1 - 6 p.m.||ESPN|
|6 - 11 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Notable Day 5 Matchups|
|Men (Round 2)||Predicted Winner||Women (Round 3)||Predicted Winner|
|No. 2 Roger Federer vs. Sam Groth||Federer||No. 2 Simona Halep vs. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni||Halep|
|No. 4 David Ferrer vs. Bernard Tomic||Ferrer||No. 5 Maria Sharapova vs. No. 26 Sabine Lisicki||Sharapova|
|No. 6 Tomas Berdych vs. Martin Klizan||Berdych||No. 6 Angelique Kerber vs. Belinda Bencic||Kerber|
|No. 7 Grigor Dimitrov vs. Dudi Sela||Dimitrov||No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki vs. No. 18 Andrea Petkovic||Petkovic|
|No. 11 Ernests Gulbis vs. Dominic Thiem||Gulbis||No. 13 Sara Errani vs. No. 19 Venus Williams||Williams|
|No. 12 Richard Gasquet vs. Paolo Lorenzi||Gasquet||No. 14 Lucie Safarova vs. No. 20 Alize Cornet||Cornet|
Match of the Day: No. 5 Maria Sharapova vs. No. 26 Sabine Lisicki
The most interesting matchup of Day 5 is the battle between No. 5 seed Maria Sharapova and No. 26 seed Sabine Lisicki. As two of the most popular stars on the women’s tour, there will be plenty of attention on this match.
Sharapova is coming off a hard-fought victory over Alexandra Dulgheru in the second round (4-6, 6-3, 6-2), but she did manage to dominate Maria Kirilenko in the first round. After losing in the semifinals in 2012 and missing last year’s U.S. Open, Sharapova will be looking to send a message to the field via a decisive victory over a ranked challenger like Lisicki.
Using her strong serve, Sharapova has been able to force her challengers onto their heels with her power. Add in her length and speed along the baseline, and the Russian star has the ability to effectively return with the forehand or the backhand.
As powerful as Sharapova is, she will go up against the hardest server in the women’s bracket. The Twitter account of Live Tennis even talked about how big hitting will be the key factor in this matchup:
While most fans think of Sharapova when it comes to power on the serves, Lisicki set the record for the fastest serve in women’s history:
With the nickname Boom Boom, there is no question that Lisicki will match Sharapova’s power in their matchup, but it will be the accuracy of her shots and the consistency in which she makes them that will be the ultimate difference maker.
Lisicki is only 24 years old and has trouble at times controlling her explosive power. She has an aggressive style that can border on out of control, but she has done a much better job in 2014 controlling the pace of her games and sacrificing some speed on her serve for accuracy.
Through the first two rounds, the German player has yet to drop a set.
Both women are playing tough tennis right now and will not go down without a fight. Tennis fans will be able to witness one of the most intense battles of the tournament thus far when Sharapova and Lisicki go head-to-head under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Predicted Winner: Sharapova defeats Lisicki, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
*Stats via USOpen.org.