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US Open Tennis 2020: TV Schedule, Picks for Saturday Afternoon Draw

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistSeptember 5, 2020

Serena Williams, of the United States, serves to Margarita Gasparyan, of Russia, during the third round of the U.S. Open tennis championships, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Saturday is biggest day yet at the 2020 U.S. Open for the American contingent. 

Six women and two men take the courts at the USTA National Tennis Center for third-round action, which begins at 11 a.m. ET. 

The most notable matchup featuring American players pits Serena Williams against Sloane Stephens in the second afternoon match at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The winner of that match could face another American in the fourth round. Amanda Anisimova faces Maria Sakkari in the other part of that section in the opener at Louis Armstrong Stadium. 

Sofia Kenin, Catherine McNally, Frances Tiafoe and J.J. Wolf are the other Americans scheduled to take the court during Saturday's afternoon session. Madison Keys will play Saturday night.

        

U.S. Open Saturday Afternoon Schedule

Start Time: 11 a.m. ET

TV: ESPN 

Live Stream: Watch ESPN and ESPN app. 

       

Picks

No. 3 Serena Williams over No. 26 Sloane Stephens

Williams and Stephens cruised through the first two rounds to set up their third-round showdown. 

The third-seeded Williams holds a 5-1 advantage in her career over Stephens, who has lost fewer games in New York this week. 

Stephens has outscored opponents 24-10, while Williams has an aggregate score of 25-14 at the start of her quest for a 24th Grand Slam title. 

The two American women could be involved in much longer sets inside Ashe Stadium since they have been so hard to break. 

Stephens was broken once on six break points against Olga Govortsova. Williams lost on three of six break points to Margarita Gasparyan.

Since both players perform so well on their respective serves and do not approach the net on many occasions, the match should be won from the baseline. 

There is also the potential for the match to go three sets. Williams and Stephens went the distance in the 2013 Australian Open quarterfinals and 2015 French Open round of 16.

The difference could be something as small as aces on specific service points to gain momentum. Williams owns 20 aces compared to Stephens' six.

If Williams is more dominant on her serve in the second set—and the third, if needed—she could have the advantage and move on to Sunday.

           

No. 22 Amanda Anisimova over No. 15 Maria Sakkari

Anisimova pulled off one of the most impressive comebacks in the women's singles draw Thursday when she rallied back from a set down to defeat Katrina Scott. 

The 22nd-seeded American finished off the victory with an emphatic 6-1 third-set win that should give her plenty of confidence going into her showdown with Sakkari. 

The Greek player has not been perfect in the first two rounds, as she lost a set to each of her opponents. 

Both of the set defeats have not been close. She fell 6-3 in the second set of her first-round match with Stefanie Vogele and dropped the opening set versus Bernarda Pera in the second round. 

As the tournament gets deeper, Sakkari can't afford slip ups for an entire set. If that continues, she could be headed for an exit soon. 

Anisimova has been 11-for-19 on break points so far in New York, and she has only allowed her opponents 13 break-point opportunities. 

The biggest issues for Sakkari could come on her first serve. She put 59 percent of her first serves in play in the second round. 

If Sakkari produces another low percentage, Anisimova could take advantage of that and land a fourth-round spot. 

In her win over Scott, Anisimova won 21 return points on second serve and she picked up 19 points off Viktoriya Tomova's second serve in the opener. 

          

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from USOpen.org

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