US Open Tennis 2016: TV Schedule, Picks for Tuesday Afternoon Draw

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2016

FILE - In this Aug. 2, 2016, file photo, the partially open new retractable roof allows a ribbon of light into Arthur Ashe Stadium at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, in the Queens borough of New York. The first round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 29. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
Richard Drew/Associated Press

Tuesday marks Day 2 of the 2016 U.S. Open, and more of the world's top players begin their campaigns at Flushing Meadows in New York.

A number of the top seeds will be in action throughout the day, with men's third and sixth seeds Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori and women's fifth seed Simona Halep among them.

In the evening, former champions Serena Williams and Andy Murray will kick off their tournaments as they look to regain their titles.

Play will begin at 11 a.m. ET (4 p.m. BST). In the U.S., the action can be found at ESPN starting at 1 p.m. ET. In the UK, Eurosport and Eurosport 2 will broadcast their live coverage from 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. BST, respectively.

Read on for a closer look at some of the top early matches on Tuesday.

Kirsten Flipkens vs. Simona Halep (5)

Kicking off the action in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Day 2 are Halep and Kirsten Flipkens.

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Halep reached the semi-final of the competition last year before losing to eventual champion Flavia Pennetta in straight sets following a hard-fought three-set quarter-final with Victoria Azarenka.

In July, Halep won the Rogers Cup—her third title of the season—and made it to the semi-final of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, so she's in excellent form.

MASON, OH - AUGUST 19:  Simona Halep of Romania celebrates after winning her quarterfinal match against Agnieszka Radwanska during day 7 of the Western & Southern Open at the Lindner Family Tennis Center  on August 19, 2016 in Mason, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The New York Times' Ben Rothenberg noted her use of power as she beat Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarter-finals of the latter:

Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg

Simona Halep was down 0-4 then took out her Louisville Slugger and went ham. Won 13 of 15 games for 7-5, 6-1 over Radwanska. #CincyTennis

Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg

This match feels competitive, but Halep has run away with 11 of the last 13 games. Using her power advantage to massive effect. #CincyTennis

Indeed, few can match the Romanian's counterpunching when she's in form, and Flipkens will have a tough time here.

The Belgian beat Venus Williams on her way to Round 3 at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the quarter-finals of the Connecticut Open.

Flipkens has yet to beat Halep in four attempts and has suffered a first-round exit in five of her last eight outings at Grand Slams, including her last two appearances at the U.S. Open. She'll have to produce a monumental effort to avoid doing so again.

Pick: Halep in straight sets

Fernando Verdasco vs. Stan Wawrinka (3)

Immediately following Halep and Flipkens on the same court is Australian Open and French Open winner Wawrinka, who will be looking to improve on two semi-final finishes at Flushing Meadows.

He faces a tricky early test in the form of Fernando Verdasco, though. Indeed, as noted by tennis writer Matt Cronin, the Swiss has received a difficult draw:

Matt Cronin @TennisReporters

Tough days: Stan Wawrinka has to go up v Fernando Verdasco, maybe play Alexander Zverev, & then face Nick Kyrgios. Possibility ...

The Spaniard has a 3-2 edge in their head-to-head record, taking the lead with a straight-sets win at the Queen's Club Championships in June.

He also won their only hard-court meeting ever back in 2012 and kicked off this year's Australian Open with a first-round upset of Rafael Nadal.

Wawrinka has lost five of his last 10 matches stretching back to the French Open semi-final, so he's not in particularly encouraging form, either.

John Minchillo/Associated Press

However, he has not suffered a first-round exit in New York since 2009, and in the last four years, the only players to beat him there are Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Nishikori, who are all in the top six seeds this year—his last real upset at the U.S. Open was at the hands of Donald Young in 2011.

The world No. 3 is more than capable of progressing and should still advance, but he'll be made to work for his victory here and perhaps endure an early scare.

Pick: Wawrinka in five sets


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