One of the more intriguing first-time meetings in the opening round of the United States Open on Monday is the one featuring Australia’s Bernard Tomic and ‘Dready’ Dustin Brown of Germany. This marks the first time that the two athletes will step across the net opposite each other and could make for an entertaining encounter in Flushing Meadows. While it is unlikely to be featured on one of the main courts, it will be a match that fans will gravitate towards on the outside courts.
The former Australian No. 1 Bernard Tomic has shown some positive signs over the summer as he picked up his second title last month in Bogota. Tomic rekindled his inner confidence to topple defending champion Ivo Karlovic to win the Claro Open Colombia title, which he needed over two hours and three sets to win 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(4). The win marked the first time he had managed to string together consecutive wins on the tour this season. It was also his second ever title on the ATP World Tour, following his maiden title at the Apia Sydney Open in 2013.
Since then, Tomic has tumbled down to mediocrity again, as he lost his second round match in Washington to Denis Istomin before losing his main draw opening round matches in Toronto and Cincinnati. His loss in Toronto was the more disappointing one, as he exited the tournament to Ivo Karlovic, whom he had defeated two weeks prior to that in the final.
Although he has not done much since, Dustin Brown picked up his biggest win on the ATP World Tour during the Halle event ahead of Wimbledon, where he defeated the top seed Rafael Nadal in straight sets. Following that win, Brown has gone 3-7 on the tour, with opening round losses at Wimbledon, Bastad, Gstaad and Kitzbuhel, while reaching the second round of Winston-Salem most recently.
The unpredictability in this match-up is part of what makes it a compelling encounter. While Tomic should be a significant favourite for this contest, he is yet to regain his top form and could be faced with a resilient Germany serve and volley player more than capable of giving him a hard time on the court.
Prediction: Bernard Tomic in Four Sets