US Open 2019: Ashleigh Barty vs Lauren Davis, Preview and Prediction
American Lauren Davis, who had taken out Angelique Kerber at the Wimbledon Championships this year, will have another shot at a big upset when she steps out on court against Ashleigh Barty. This second round encounter at the US Open is a mouthwatering one as the home favourite is set to take on one of the favourites for the title.
Davis has never reached the third round at her home Slam, but will be looking to change that this time around. She was impressive, especially on return, in her first-round match against Johanna Larsson. While Davis' abilities are better suited for clay courts, the 27-year-old has still managed some fine results on other surfaces recently.
Davis is very quick on her feet and has solid groundstrokes, particularly off the backhand wing. She does not give away too many free points and is very consistent. That kind of play bothered Barty a lot in her first-round match against Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas, who stormed past the Australian in the first set before eventually running out of steam.
Barty struggled to find answers for the Kazakh's consistent hitting and leaked quite a few errors, especially at the start of the match. Barty also struggled on serve, making just 43% of her first serves.
The match also exposed a few vulnerabilities in Barty's game, with her backhand leaking quite a few errors. When pushed deep into the backhand corner, she struggled to keep the ball in play and even her slice, one of her major weapons on all surfaces, was not too effective.
If Davis can put pressure on the Barty backhand, she will have a shot at winning this match. She needs to start quickly and gain some early momentum, as once Barty settles down, she can do some real damage with her strong serve and topspin-heavy forehand which even the best defensive players struggle to cope with.
The American will have to be at her defensive best against the Australian, who will come out with a lot of aggression.
Prediction: Ashleigh Barty in three sets.