Top matches on Day 2 of the 2023 US Open, according to our experts.



Day 2 of the 2023 US Open features the conclusion of the first round and has a powerful group of talent led by defending men’s champion Carlos Alcaraz and two-time women’s winner Venus Williams, as well as past US Open titlists Daniil Medvedev, Andy Murray, and Stan Wawrinka. There are many top players scheduled to play on Day 2 of the tournament, including 2019 Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka, Wimbledon women’s champion Marketa Vondrousova, three-time major finalist Ons Jabeur, 2021 Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova, and Flushing crowd favorites Gael Monfils, John Isner, Elina Svitolina, Jessica Pegula, Madison Keys, and Jannik Sinner.

Us Open Records

Williams is competing in her 24th US Open. In 2000 and 2001, she won two of her seven career major titles at this tournament. The former No. 1 has won two titles, finished as runner-up twice, and advanced to the semifinals nine times, most recently in 2017. Williams, aged 43, plays a more selective schedule due to health concerns; this year’s US Open is only her third appearance at a major in the previous two years, and she has only played in six tournaments so far in 2023. Since she is the generation’s leading voice in the struggle for pay equity, her appearance as a wild card in the year that this tournament celebrates the 50th anniversary of equal prize money is particularly apropos.

The two-time US Open champion is taking on qualifier Greet Minnen tonight and hopes to let her racquet do the talking. The 26-year-old Belgian’s performance in 2021 was her best in a Grand Slam tournament, as she advanced to the third round. The only three times out of Minnen’s 12 career main draw outings that he has advanced past the first round are in 2021 (here), 2020 (Australian Open), and 2022 (Wimbledon). Minnen has had a career-high ranking of No. 69 but is currently ranked No. 97.

Despite Minnen’s three previous wins at this venue, I give Williams the edge in this first-ever meeting between the two women. The two-time US Open champion isn’t exactly battle-tested, but she understands how to stick it out until the end. Williams advances after this one goes to three.

In 2022, Alcaraz made history by becoming the youngest player to ever reach No. 1 in the men’s singles rankings at the age of 19 years, 4 months. Since then, he has amassed an impressive record of accomplishment and returned to the scene of his breakthrough performance. The now 20-year-old Spaniard won his second career Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon in July with an epic five-set thriller win over Novak Djokovic, displaying a level of toughness, tenacity, and shot-making that severely belied his birth certificate. When he lost the Cincinnati final to Djokovic two weeks ago, he was just as fierce, sparking speculation about a possible rematch between the two on the second Sunday here.

Alcaraz will have to get past German lefty Dominik Koepfer, a slugger whose run to the fourth round in 2019 is the greatest of his career in Flushing, before he can reach his dream matchup. The 29-year-old won multiple victories on the Futures and Challenger Circuits and was a two-time All-American at Tulane University, but he has yet to break through to the majors. He did, however, advance to the quarterfinals of the Atlanta hard-court tournament this summer, when he defeated Isner, and then the semifinals in Los Cabos.

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It’s likely that Koepfer will be intimidated by both his opponent and the magnitude of the Arthur Ashe Stadium setting, where they will be playing for the first time. Defending champion advances to Round 2 in just three rounds.


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