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US Open Men’s 3rd Round: Preview & Prediction – Victor Troicki vs. Donald Young


In this third round encounter at Flushing Meadows,  Victor Troicki of Serbia and Donald Young are set to square off in what many predict as being an appetising encounter.

Troicki has the clear edge in the match-up on these low bouncing, fast hard court surfaces used here at Flushing Meadows. He has both the minerals in his backhand and the movement side-to-side to LESSEN the effectiveness in Young’s lefty game. (Lefty out-wide sliced serves, lefty out-wide swinging forehands) Unfortunately using just great width isn’t enough to oust Troicki on the low bouncing surface like this.

Troicki’s ‘WORLD CLASS’ return of serve and how it matches up against Young’s lefty serve
For me Troicki is the third or fourth best returner on the globe, behind Djokovic, Nishikori and Murray and I visualise Young being caused ALL SORTS of problems in his service games. Young’s ‘go-to lefty serve’ on the AD court is the slice out-wide and that heads into the area Troicki is EXTREMELY proficient in lunging to return from. I don’t know whether it’s a Serbian thing or whether Djokovic has simply inspired fellow country-men, but in-terms of returning from the AD court on the backhand, Troicki is up there. The great natural timing & technique he has on the backhand allows and enables him to take most serves going into that wing, SUCCESSFULLY EARLY. As a result his opponent’s find themselves rushed for time in preparing for their following shot after completing their service motion.
What’s worse is Troicki hits a lot of these returns up the middle of the court, NARROWING the angles his opponents then have to work with/from. A formula that proved priceless in success against Cilic a couple of months back on the grass, also a low bouncing surface.  It was the major catalyst for his victory over the Croatian. Like Cilic, Young DEPENDS entirely on HAVING angles to work with, that’s his oxygen supply right there and with these balls coming down the centre of the court from Troicki, he will be struggling for air. Young’s game is all about creating angle with his forehand, but without coming in from an angle, he struggles to create that angle. Without angles to WORK FROM Young’s forced option is trying to create them himself and this has been exactly what has led him to errors. It’s a major reason he has struggled to get games on the board against Murray. He simply does not match-up well against great returners and Troicki is one of those.
Donald Young’s Return of Serve

Another area of concern for Young in this match-up is his own return of serve. On a fast surface particularly, he doesn’t return that well from either the forehand or backhand wing. Now when you couple that in with the fact Troicki has a booming first serve, one which he also makes to a ‘high percentage’ level, given his 6’4 height, the prospects aren’t good reading for the American.

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The USTA have invested a lot into Young and I can imagine he feels a slight sense of pressure to deliver here. That’s not good as when Young is feeling pressured her struggles to fully ‘flow’ with any ‘momentum’ you naturally gain as an attacking player after gaining breaks of serve. This was demonstrated perfectly in his match against Aljaz Bedene two days back, where he was one minute hot and the next cold. Relentlessly blowing the break of serve he had produced stunning tennis to achieve. When you’re feeling pressure it’s difficult to to MAINTAIN focus and MAINTAIN intensity and constantly dropping leads can cause a player to get down on-themselves, naturally. I feel this will happen to Young today and it will cause him to ’tilt’.



Troicki without doubt has too much in his counter-punching bag of tricks for Young. The changes in spins and paces added with spontaneous dashes to the net. It will all prove too much for the American, who I expect to go through quite a number of racquets.


Prediction: Troicki, without doubt the better match-player. Serbian to come through in a comprehensive four sets. (Betting perspective, Victor Troicki to win at around 1.95)


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