Match Predictions for 2012 US Open – Day 5

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The defending champion, Novak Djokovic, demolished Paolo Lorenzi in the first round and he is unlikely to have any further problems with Rogerio Dutra Silva in the second round. The Brazilian did brilliantly to beat Teymuraz Gabashvili in the first round, but his run will come to an end. He has never played anyone inside the top 10 in his career and it is likely to be a fairly unpleasant experience.

Another former champion, Juan Martin Del Potro, will also be in action against the American, Ryan Harrison. While he has not reached the heights of his 2009 run to the title since, he is still a dangerous player on this surface and is unlikely to be troubled too much here. He was poor in the first round against Serra, but Harrison is yet to beat a top 10 player in 14 attempts and it would be a major shock if he were to do so here.

Li Na is one of the form players on tour at the moment and comes into this tournament with plenty of confidence. She has breezed past Heather Watson and Casey Dellacqua so far, although Laura Robson is likely to prove a stiffer test. Robson will be on a high after a sensational performance to end the career of Kim Clijsters, but it will be a huge challenge to repeat that level so soon after.

Likely Winners

Janko Tipsarevic has solidified his position in the top 10 this year and deserves his place. He had to fight back from 2-0 down in his first round match against Guillaume Rufin, but seemed to have rediscovered his game by the end of the match. He faces Brian Baker, who has had a fairytale comeback this year, although his results on the hard courts have yet to live up to the standards that he set on the clay and grass. Baker will fight hard, but Tipsarevic should have enough to see off the challenge.

Stanislas Wawrinka has been poor this year, but seemed to discover some form in Cincinnati, beating Ferrer, Nishikori and Raonic before putting up a good fight against Roger Federer. After a slow start, he came through his first round match with relative ease and should fancy his chances of progressing further against Steve Darcis. The Belgian is an often underrated player with victories over Roddick and Berdych in recent months, but I suspect Wawrinka will get through in the end.

The Upsets

Ernests Gulbis showed great heart to come back from 2-0 for the third time in his career against Tommy Haas, but it will have taken a lot out of him. He is one of the more unpredictable players, but there are similarities between here and Wimbledon, where he had a huge win, but then threw in a poor performance in the next round. Steve Johnson was impressive in his first round, only being broken once, and taking 50% of his break points. The American has been solid in recent months and could shock Gulbis here if he is not on form.

Match of the Day

After his announcement that he will retire after this tournament, all eyes will be on Andy Roddick. The American has been a great servant to the game and he will get rapturous support from his home crowd. Potentially his final opponent will be the Australian, Bernard Tomic, who has plenty of potential, but has flattered to deceive this year. I suspect the crowd might carry Roddick through to one more win, but it will be an emotional occasion for all involved.

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