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2023 US Open Day 2 picks: Expert predictions for top matches

(Qnnflash) – Day 2 of the 2023 US Open marked the conclusion of the first-round play, featuring notable players like defending men’s champion Carlos Alcaraz and two-time US Open women’s champion Venus Williams. The field also included former US Open winners Daniil Medvedev, Andy Murray, and Stan Wawrinka, along with this year’s Australian Open victor Aryna Sabalenka, Wimbledon women’s champion Marketa Vondrousova, three-time major finalist Ons Jabeur, 2021 Roland Garros winner Barbora Krejcikova, and favorites like Gael Monfils, John Isner, Elina Svitolina, Jessica Pegula, Madison Keys, and Jannik Sinner.

Venus Williams, who secured two of her seven major titles at the US Open in 2000 and 2001, participated in her 24th appearance at the tournament. Despite her injuries and limited appearances, Williams, a former world No. 1, remains a strong presence. Her wildcard entry for the 50th anniversary of equal prize money was fitting given her role in advocating for pay equity. Williams, a two-time US Open champion, faced qualifier Greet Minnen in a match against the 26-year-old Belgian. Minnen reached the third round in 2021, marking her best Grand Slam performance. Although Williams has faced fewer matches, her experience was predicted to give her an edge, and she was favored to win.

Carlos Alcaraz, the reigning men’s champion who gained attention in 2022 as the youngest-ever men’s No. 1 and US Open winner, continued his impressive run. With 53 wins and six titles in the current season, Alcaraz proved his prowess. His victory over Novak Djokovic in an intense Wimbledon final showcased his determination. Despite his loss to Djokovic in the Cincinnati final, Alcaraz remained a strong contender. His first-round opponent was Dominik Koepfer of Germany, known for his powerful left-handed play. Although Koepfer had a notable fourth-round finish in 2019, he faced a formidable challenge in Alcaraz.

The encounter between Alcaraz and Koepfer marked their first meeting. However, the pressure of Arthur Ashe Stadium’s grand stage was expected to weigh heavily on Koepfer. Predictions leaned toward Alcaraz advancing to the next round with a victory in three sets.

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