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Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Vekic’s title tilt could gather pace against Sevastova

Croatian youngster has swept aside first two foes with ease

Donna Vekic has learned a lot from her Wimbledon defeat to Johanna Konta
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Day five
Eurosport 1 & 2, from 4pm Friday

Sevastova v Vekic
If there is to be a big surprise at the US Open this year, it's just possible that Donna Vekic could provide it.

The Croat, who turned 21 in June, displayed terrific strength of character and nerve in a marathon second-round defeat to Johanna Konta at Wimbledon and she is showing in New York just how much she learned from her London experience.

Vekic has dropped only five games in blitzing Beatriz Haddad Maia and Shuai Peng and there could be plenty more to come from a player who has serious weapons and a fine temperament.

Next up for Vekic is a date with Anastasija Sevastova – the Latvian without the Grand Slam title – and while the 27-year-old did well to collect her second WTA main-tour title in Majorca on grass in June, it could be a different story trying to stem the charge of Stan Wawrinka's girlfriend.

One wag on Twitter on Wednesday night said that with last year's US Open champion Wawrinka unable to defend his title due to being crocked, it was finally sinking in that Vekic would have to support her partner financially for the remainder of the year.

Whatever the case, Vekic has pretty much the whole package on court and she could take a good deal of stopping in the bottom half of the draw.

She's outsider against Sevastova due to ranking – Vekic is 52nd in the world while the favourite is seeded 16th – but punters considering backing the outsider should not worry too much about those stats.

D Vekic
3pts 6-5 bet365, Betfair

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US Open men's preview

US Open women's preview

M Zverev v Isner
The draw is opening up nicely for John Isner and the American beanpole was just 25-1 for the title before Thursday night's action in New York.

The march of the big man, seeded tenth at Flushing Meadows, is showing little sign of stopping too and Isner looks well placed to restore his lead in his personal series with Mischa Zverev on day five.

It's 2-2 between the pair after Zverev won their last two meetings. However, one of those was in Geneva this year in the week before the French Open, so Isner may not have been giving his absolute all, while the other was a five-set thriller at the Australian Open in January.

Back on American soil, expect the Greensboro ace to do the business.

Isner is on the short side to take the plaudits, though, so in the same way he was advised for his 6-3 6-4 7-5 second-round victory over Hyeon Chung, back him to successfully concede a start of 1.5 sets.

J Isner -1.5 sets
1pt 8-13 Betfred, BoyleSports

Other matches
Sam Querrey ought to defeat Radu Albot in straight sets, which is a 4-5 shot, but this is probably the best the Moldovan qualifier has played in his career so fans of the laid-back Californian should take care.

Sofia Kenin could see support at evens with a start of 6.5 games against Simona Halep's conqueror Maria Sharapova, while some punters reckon this could be the Slam in which Ekaterina Makarova finally cracks it after she ousted Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 6-7 6-1. 

The Russian has been well backed to see off Carla Suarez Navarro, who enjoys a 6-3 lead in their personal series.

Vekic has pretty much the whole package on court and she could take a good deal of stopping in the bottom half of the draw
E.W. Terms
Sky bet