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Matt Cronin’s Day 3 Picks

Lleyton Hewitt
By Matt Cronin
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

7-Grigor Dimitrov vs. Ryan Harrison

American Harrison has faced a lot of tough draws in the Slams. It seems like every time he sees his bracket, he’s going up against one of the top players. He has thus far faced off against Rafa Nadal, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro and David Ferrer, and now he draws Grigor Dimitrov, who is ranked No. 7 and just beat him in Wimbledon’s first round in June.
The 22-year-old Harrison has had a difficult year, but he keeps trying, as he loves to compete. He is not as dominant as the game’s big guns, but he is a keen student of the game and is working hard to develop an effective attack. That’s what he’ll need to do against Dimitrov; he cannot hope that the Bulgarian will play sloppy and go away. The American will need to rip his shots and hope they go in because Dimitrov has a lot of variety, and during the past two years, he has come to understand the intricacies of shot-making better. He also has settled down and rarely gets angry and can compete hour after hour–not unlike his girlfriend Maria Sharapova.
Harrison does have a chance, but he has to serve huge and use his forehand because his backhand isn’t strong enough to out-stroke Dimitrov. The Bulgarian has to be disturbed before he will take more risks, and that’s the only thing that would give Harrison a real chance.

Grigor is fast, smart and plays with a lot of confidence. Harrison will push his opponent, but his game isn’t big enough yet to pull off a shocker. Dimitrov will win in four sets.

Other Picks:

In 2009, Caroline Wozniacki looked like a real deal and reached the final here. But while she ended the year as No. 1 in 2010 and 2011, she has been unable to reach a final at a Slam. However, she has played well during the past six weeks and should be able to take the unknown Aliaksandra Sasnovich easily.

Aga Radwanska played very well in the first round and looks sharp. Shuai Peng can move quickly and go for her shots, but she is up and down. Radwanska will win in straight sets.

No. 6 Tomas Berdych has not been playing great, but when he decides to push hard, he has a legitimate chance to reach the final. But Lleyton Hewitt loves the US Open and will go all out. The Aussie Hewitt is clearly not the player who won the US Open in 2001, but he loves to take chances and knows that his body will be OK in the first round. Lleyton will win in five sets.