US Open Tennis 2014: Day 8 Schedule, Matchups Predictions for New York Bracket

Sean ODonnellContributor IIISeptember 1, 2014

Serena Williams, of the United States, reacts after a shot against Varvara Lepchenko, of the United States, during the third round of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

This is where things really start to get interesting.

On Monday, both the men's and women's brackets will be fully immersed in the 2014 U.S. Open's round of 16. While the field continues to dwindle, we'll begin to see some very high-profile matches. That will be apparent on Day 8, as only two unranked players are set to take the court in New York.

Both No. 1 seeds—Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams—will be in action on Monday, and each can be expected to play with caution, as upsets continue to mount as this prestigious tournament moves along.

Will these top-ranked players continue on their journeys toward a coveted major title, or will they be derailed? While we wait for an answer to this question, let's take a look at the day's complete schedule and predict the outcomes of a few notable matches.

2014 U.S. Open Day 8 Schedule of Play and Predictions
Arthur Ashe Stadium - 11 a.m. ETPredictions
No. 11 Flavia Pennetta vs. No. 29 Casey DellacquaPennetta
No. 1 Serena Williams vs. Kaia KanepiWilliams
No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. No. 8 Andy MurrayMurray
Louis Armstrong Stadium - 11 a.m. ETPredictions
No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 22 Philipp KohlschreiberDjokovic
No. 17 Ekaterina Makarova vs. No. 7 Eugenie BouchardMakarova
No. 3 Stan Wawrinka vs. No. 16 Tommy RobredoWawrinka
Arthur Ashe Stadium - 7 p.m. ETPredictions
Aleksandra Krunic vs. No. 16 Victoria AzarenkaAzarenka
No. 10 Kei Nishikori vs. No. 5 Milos RaonicNishikori
USOpen.org / Sean O'Donnell's Predictions

The TV schedule for Day 8 can be found at USOpen.org.

(1) Novak Djokovic vs. (22) Philipp Kohlschreiber

Matt Rourke/Associated Press

This could be one of Monday's most intriguing matchups.

While Djokovic has looked to be in brilliant form so far in New York, Kohlschreiber has put together a few fine performances, including defeating top-seeded American John Isner on Saturday.

ESPN Tennis noted the German's history of dominance over Isner:

The No. 1 seed was impressive in his last match against Sam Querrey. He dominated in all phases of the game, including winning 75 percent of his first-serve points and 14 of 20 net points while limiting his unforced errors to 18.

After the match, Djokovic spoke of how his game is progressing during a press conference, via USOpen.org:

Just more solid in every shot, I believe. Using serve efficiently, not going for power and speed as much as for accuracy and precision, allowing myself to have an easier first shot. Just moving better, returning more balls in the court. Overall very, you know, very solid game.

That's not a good sign for Kohlschreiber, who was put to the test by Isner in Round 3. Expect the No. 1 seed to win in consecutive sets here.

Prediction: Djokovic wins; 6-3, 7-5, 6-4

(1) Serena Williams vs. Kaia Kanepi

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Kanepi will be one of the two unranked players who will be in action on Day 8 thanks to her upset victory over No. 15 Carla Suarez Navarro in Round 3. While she looked good in that performance, winning in two sets, her round-of-16 opponents happens to be the world No. 1.

Williams has been erratic in majors this year, winning in brilliant fashion at times, while looking completely befuddled on the court at others. In her last match against Varvara Lepchenko, Williams was in good form, winning 73 percent of her first-serve points and 94 percent of short rallies.

The U.S. Open's Twitter account relayed the final score:

Despite a solid showing, Williams admittedly struggled to find her groove, according to a press conference, via USOpen.org:

Yeah, I definitely had to fight to find my rhythm. At the same time she was playing really well. She was going for shots, getting so many balls back. It wasn't like my shots, she just got them back and hit a better shot at times. For me, it was just about hanging in there.

If she was able to win in two sets while out of rhythm, Kanepi could be in some serious trouble on Monday.

Prediction: Williams wins; 6-3, 6-4

(9) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. (8) Andy Murray

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

This may be the most highly contested match on Monday. While Murray has the higher ranking, and has a career 9-2 record against Tsonga, he needed four sets to defeat Andrey Kuznetsov on Saturday. Meanwhile, Tsonga looked good against Pablo Carreno Busta, winning quickly in three sets.

Tsonga's serve was on point in Round 3, as he tallied 14 aces and won 81 percent of his first-serve points. Although if he had a slight hindrance, it was his 29 unforced errors over the course of the match.

As for Murray, his serving accuracy was a problem with 57 percent of his first attempts remaining in bounds. He made up for those woes with his aggression, winning 29 of a possible 33 net points against his opponent.

Here's a look at Murray's aggressive match point, courtesy of CBS Sports' Instagram:

Murray spoke of his attack during a press conference, via USOpen.org:

Well, you try to pick the right moments to come in. I won most of my points up at the net the other night with Bachinger. Today I thought I came in at the right times and won most of the points up there, especially the first couple of sets. I didn't come in as much in the third and fourth sets. But in the beginning I came in well.

If he can remain that efficient coming in against Tsonga, his serving accuracy may not matter once more. Regardless, expect a very close contest.

Prediction: Murray wins; 6-4, 5-7, 7-5, 6-4


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