US Open Tennis 2020: TV Schedule, Picks for Monday Afternoon DrawAugust 31, 2020
Alexander Zverev does not have an ideal first-round matchup at the 2020 U.S. Open.
The No. 5 seed in the men's singles draw opens his tournament against 2017 U.S. Open finalist Kevin Anderson in Monday's second match at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Zverev will follow women's singles No. 1 seed Karolina Pliskova on the marquee court at the USTA National Tennis Center. The Czech player is not expected to face as many difficulties as the top-five seed from the men's draw.
Pliskova is not expected to face much trouble, but other seeds in the women's draw may find it difficult to make it out of the first round.
U.S. Open Monday Afternoon Schedule
Start Time: 11 a.m. ET
Live Stream: ESPN app or ESPN.com.
Full schedule of play can be found on USOpen.org.
No. 5 Alexander Zverev over Kevin Anderson
The last two draws have not been kind to Zverev, who lost to Andy Murray in the first round of the Western & Southern Open.
Unlike his last first-round matchup, the German should be able to cruise against one of the most experienced unseeded players in the draw.
Zverev owns a 5-0 career record against Anderson, with four of those victories occurring on hard courts.
The only concern facing Zverev Monday is the long layoff he has faced without consistent time on court.
The only match the seventh-ranked player in the world played since February was the loss to Murray, in which he committed 11 double faults and had a first-serve percentage of 53.
The 34-year-old Anderson, who is down to No. 117 in the world rankings, could stay close if he serves well and Zverev makes more unforced errors.
Anderson has four victories on hard courts in 2020, but even if he plays a perfect match, he may not have enough to overpower Zverev over five sets.
In his Western & Southern Open loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas, Anderson won 60 percent of his first-serve points and lost four of six break points.
If Zverev picks up an early break in the first set, it could provide an extra boost of confidence that helps him move into the second round with ease.
Ajla Tomljanovic over No. 17 Angelique Kerber
Angelique Kerber is one of the most decorated players in the women's draw, but she has struggled of late at the U.S. Open.
The 2016 U.S. Open champion has been eliminated in the first round in New York in two of the last three years.
In fact, she has four first-round exits between the U.S. Open and French Open since the start of 2017.
Kerber did make three consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinals in 2018 and won Wimbledon that year, but her recent major results have not been consistent enough to put all of your trust in her.
Ajla Tomljanovic does not have a pristine Grand Slam record, but she has shown an ability to knock out seeded players in the first round this season.
At the Australian Open, the 27-year-old eliminated No. 31 seed Anastasija Sevastova and upset Marketa Vondrousova a few weeks later in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Tomljanvoic has won three straight first-round matchups in New York, and she could gain an advantage through her first serves.
Tomljanovic ranks in the top 30 on the WTA Tour in aces and first-serve points percentage. If she does not give up much on serve, she could find a way to spring one of Monday's biggest upsets.
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Statistics obtained from ATPTour.com and WTATennis.com