Local hope Jack Sock will try to put on a show for the US Open crowd in Day 2’s night session against odds-on favorite Diego Schwartzman.
Sock has been struggling to find his ryhthm post-injury for a long while now, and it’s doubtful that the former world no. 8 will ever be the same again. Currently ranked 107th, Sock showed some top form on grass this year, but has not managed to find the same level during the US hard court swing, amassing a 1-3 record with losses to Paul, Cressy and Ivashka, his sole win coming in Washington against Goffin.
Schwartzman has done well on clay this season, but was pretty much a non factor on all the other surfaces. His best non-clay result of the year actually came a couple of weeks ago in Cincinnati, where he reached the third round with wins over Molcan and Karatsev (both three setters) before losing in two against Tsitsipas. A week earlier in Montreal he lost in the second round.
Sock leads the H2H 1-0, but the only meeting was way back in 2017 on clay, so it’s hard to put any emphasys on that. Sock should have an advantage though, due to the surface and the home crowd – which we know can get wild during the night sessions in New York.
Schwartzman should probably win this match against a past his best Jack Sock, but truth is Diego is looking vulnerable himself outside of clay, and has looked like this for a good two years now.
I don’t think we can expect a consistent performance from Schwartzman on these New York hard courts and I believe Sock, with the help of 10.000+ fans in the Louis Armstrong Stadium, should be able to take at least one set.
Even at this point in his career, Jack Sock does have moments in which he raises the bar, as we saw in his Washington win against Goffin, or during his June run on grass. He is also a guy who can always draw energy from the crowd for that extra boost. In an electric atmosphere under the New York lights, I can see him putting together an hour of very strong play in which he will bully the vulnerable Schwartzman with his power. Even if he gets in the zone for a few minutes, he can turn a set in his favor on the weak Schwartzman serve.
It would be surprising to see either of these two guys keep a consistent level to win in straight sets, so I expect at least four, and the current under / over line looks like it should be covered in 4. My tip will be over 37,5 games to be played. Prediction: Diego Schwartzman – Jack Sock 6-3 6-7 7-5 6-2.