Fixture: Marco Cecchinato vs Lloyd Harris
Date: 31 August 2020
Tournament: US Open 2020
Round: First round (Round of 128)
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $39,024,000
Match timing: 11 AM EDT, 8:30 PM IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Star Sports / Hotstar
Marco Cecchinato vs Lloyd Harris preview
Since beating a certain Novak Djokovic en route to making the 2018 Roland Garros semifinal, Marco Cecchinato hasn't quite made the same impression at the big events. He did win two titles that year before making a first-ever year-end top-20 finish, but he failed to go deep at any of the Majors.
The Italian's subsequent poor run of form even at the smaller events saw him slide out of the top 100 in the rankings.
Cecchinato opened his 2020 campaign with a first-round loss against Frenchman Pierre Hugues Herbert in Doha, before winning his only match of the season in Auckland. Since then he has lost five consecutive matches on tour - including his seventh consecutive first-round exit (2020 Australian Open) at a Grand Slam.
On the other hand, South African Lloyd Harris has had his best season on tour since making his professional debut in 2015. The 23-year-old has won a career-best six matches this year, a run that saw him make his first ATP final in Adelaide (lost to Andrey Rublev).
Marco Cecchinato vs Lloyd Harris head-to-head
Marco Cecchinato has never met the 97th-ranked Lloyd Harris on tour before, so the pair's head-to-head rivalry currently stands at 0-0.
Marco Cecchinato vs Lloyd Harris prediction
The 106th-ranked Marco Cecchinato has never won a Grand Slam match outside Roland Garros. But he came close to doing so at the US Open last year, losing to Switzerland's Henrik Laaksonen in a fifth-set tiebreak.
Lloyd Harris, like Cecchinato, is also looking for his first match win at Flushing Meadows. In fact, he won his only Grand Slam match at Roland Garros last year.
Both men will be playing their first competitive fixtures in over six months, but Marco Cecchinato couldn't have been in worse form heading into his fourth appearance at the US Open. Considering the duo's contrasting results and performances this year, it is difficult to imagine Cecchinato ending his debilitating five-match losing streak in his opener against the 23-year-old South African.
Prediction: Lloyd Harris to win in four sets.Published 30 Aug 2020, 12:04 IST