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US Open Tennis 2016: TV Schedule and Wednesday's Afternoon Draw Predictions

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistSeptember 7, 2016

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 05:  Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria during his fourth round Men's Singles match on Day Eight of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 5, 2016 in the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for USTA)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

World No. 2 Andy Murray could take one step closer to the 2016 U.S. Open final when he faces sixth seed Kei Nishikori in the last eight at Flushing Meadows on Wednesday afternoon.

The Scot's clash will be the second match of the day at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, following the third of the women's quarter-finals between unseeded Ana Konjuh of Croatia and world No. 11 Karolina Pliskova.

The evening's action will see Serena Williams take on Simona Halep for a spot in the last four, while Juan Martin del Potro and Stan Wawrinka will face off to see who faces Murray or Nishikori in the semis.

In the United States, ESPN will be broadcasting live coverage of the action starting at 12 p.m. ET. Coverage in the UK will begin at 5 p.m. BST on Eurosport.

      

Kei Nishikori (6) vs. Andy Murray (2)

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 05:  Kei Nishikori of Japan returns a shot to Ivo Karlovic of Croatia during his fourth round Men's Singles match on Day Eight of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 5, 2016 in the Flu
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Murray was imperious as he saw off Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round, dropping just five games in a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 drubbing of the 22nd seed.

Nishikori was similarly clinical as he made it to the last eight with a straight-sets victory over Ivo Karlovic, though it was a slightly tougher match for the Japanese, who was forced into a tiebreak in the third set.

The Scotsman has enjoyed a quite remarkable summer, winning Wimbledon, an Olympic gold medal and losing just one of his last 27 singles matches.

He once again appears to be on a collision course to meet Novak Djokovic in the final in New York, and the world No. 1 looks to be in excellent shape, per the Press Association's Tom Allnut:

Tom Allnutt @TomAllnuttAFP

Djokovic just said he's now nearing his peak - in terms of form, not necessarily fitness (but maybe fitness). Either way ominous for Murray.

However, Murray has the better recent form, as Djokovic crashed out earlier than expected at both the Olympics and Wimbledon.

Murray has been the best player in the world over the last three months, and a convincing defeat of Nishikori would be another signal that he is capable of overcoming Djokovic should they meet—something he has only achieved twice in their last 15 matches.

Nishikori has immense talent and will be a tough opponent for Murray as he looks to make the last four.

The 26-year-old has yet to drop a set at the 2016 U.S. Open and is a previous finalist at Flushing Meadows. 

But the form book favours Murray, 29, heavily. He has only lost to Nishikori once in eight meetings and is playing arguably the best tennis of his career. His sights are set on a second Grand Slam victory of the year, his fourth overall. 

Prediction: Murray wins in four sets.

      

Ana Konjuh vs. Karolina Pliskova (10)

Ana Konjuh of Croatia celebrates victory over Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland  during their 2016 US Open women's singles match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 5, 2016 in New York. / AFP / DON EMMERT        (Photo credit shou
DON EMMERT/Getty Images

Konjuh produced one of the upsets of the tournament to make the quarter-finals, as she beat fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska in straight sets on Monday with some impressive power hitting.

The 18-year-old had previously never made it beyond the third round at a Grand Slam but is now on the verge of earning a spot in the last four at Flushing Meadows.

Standing in her way is the formidable Pliskova, who claimed her own fourth-round triumph by beating sixth seed and two-time former U.S. Open winner Venus Williams 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(3) in a tight and tense encounter, per WTA Insider:

WTA Insider @WTA_insider

What a match. Total Points Won: Pliskova: 107 Venus: 106 #USOpen https://t.co/aczSdLht1g

The 24-year-old Czech has six WTA titles to her name.

She will be the favourite on Wednesday, and her relative wealth of experience compared to Konjuh should give her the edge.

The Croatian will have a great chance of advancing if she can produce the same level of performance as she did against Radwanska, but that may be too much to ask of the teenager.

The reward for victory on Arthur Ashe for Pliskova or Konjuh will be an unenviable semi-final clash with either 22-time Grand Slam winner Williams or world No. 5 Halep.

Prediction: Pliskova to win in three sets.

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