down cross

Time for Taylor Fritz to step it up against elder Zverev

Mischa not a patch on his younger brother Sascha

It's time Taylor Fritz moved up a gear in fast-court Grand Slams
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Day one matches
Amazon Prime, 4pm Monday

Quality tends to come to the fore in the US Open and it could pay punters to place their faith in a couple of ATP youngsters who have the world at their feet.

Taylor Fritz gives the appearance of being as laid-back as they come on court, but when the Californian breaks ­through at the top level he possesses the talent and power to win multiple Grand Slams.

As with so many Americans, clay courts may never be his forte, but Fritz has the credentials to star on hard and grass courts and it may not be long before he is wowing the crowds in New York, Melbourne and London.

He opens at Flushing Meadows against Mischa Zverev, who has done much of his best work in recent seasons. But talent-wise the German is not a patch on his younger brother Alexander and it will be disappointing if Fritz fails to find a way past the 31-year-old over five sets.

Zverev leads their personal series 2-1 after a close Challenger Tour win in Aptos in 2015 and a victory in Basel in 2016 in conditions that suited the Moscow-born player better. But Fritz denied the Eastbourne champion in the Australian Open qualifiers in early 2016 and that should give him hope that he can make it two wins out of two against his opponent in Slams.

Andrey Rublev, who looks sure to fight out many title deciders with Fritz in the coming years, reached the quarter-finals of the US Open last year and the Russian could have too much for Jeremy Chardy.

Rublev, 20, returned from a reported stress fracture in his lower back in decent fettle and while the fact that he has been back for only one month is enough to advise backers to keep stakes modest, the world number 37 is a golden talent.

Chardy, 31, is not a player to take lightly in Slams but Rublev has won eight of the nine sets the pair have contested in the last three seasons. The Muscovite may have to battle hard in his opener but should still progress.

In other matches, Denis Kudla can be considered against Italy's Matteo Berrettini while in the women's curtain-raisers, homeland trio Jennifer Brady, Caroline Dolehide and Sofia Kenin may all reward backers.

T Fritz to beat M Zverev
3pts Evs general
A Rublev to beat J Chardy
1pt 4-6 general

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It may not be long before Californian powerhouse Fritz is wowing the crowds in the New York, Melbourne and London Slams
E.W. Terms
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