Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Outer Courts Previews Day 2

Good morning, tennis fans, and welcome to Tuesday at the Western & Southern Open in sunny Mason, Ohio. Today is the first full day of action for The Outer Courts crew after we spent most of yesterday learning our way around the grounds and making impulse purchases in the merchandise tents, which has become a tradition at tennis tournaments. Now we're ready to buckle down and watch some ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 tennis. And then write about it, of course.

Tuesday's order of play features several riveting matchups, interesting personalities and a few people we've never heard of, so you can imagine our excitement as we devour our Egg White Delight McMuffins on the way to the Lindner Family Tennis Center. Below you'll find a rundown of what we're looking forward to the most...

The Outer Courts Match of The Day

Milos Raonic [12] vs. [WC] Jack Sock
Grandstand, 7:00 p.m.

Rogers Cup runner-up Milos Raonic jumps right back into action on Tuesday with only one day off since his loss to Rafael Nadal in Montreal. He's up against the young man Matt Jones loves to hate: Jack Sock. Raonic and Sock have one previous meeting, a 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 victory for Sock in Memphis earlier this year.

Last time we saw Sock he was hitting balls out of the stands and mouthing off to officials in the BNP Paribas Open. We want to like the guy, we really do, but with the attitude he showed that day at Indian Wells, he has a lot of ground to make up with The Outer Courts.

With that said, the short turnover for Raonic will open the door for Sock to advance.

Prediction: Sock

Kicking It Off At Center Court

[Q] Vania King vs. Victoria Azarenka [2]
Center Court, 11:00 a.m.

Her boyfriend's "Party Rock Anthem" was played no less than 20 times at Center Court on Monday, so expect Victoria Azarenka to have a similar dominance on the tournament's main stage Tuesday. The world's second-ranked woman drew qualifier Vania King, ranked 140th in the world. King's Twitter bio says she is a macaron expert.

Prediction: Azarenka (feat. Red Foo)

Will Gulbis Keep His Cool?

Ernests Gulbis vs. Mikhail Youzhny
Grandstand, Match #2

Forget about the tennis, we'll be front and center for this one only for the potential Gulbis tantrum. We want to see flames. Throw a racket!

Prediction: Gulbis meltdown, hopefully


Hot Head Burritos
Food Court, #8

Spicy chicken burrito with rice, black beans, pico, lettuce, sour cream and cheese.

Prediction: Gas

Let's go, Sloane!

Sloane Stephens vs. Maria Sharapova
Center Court, 7:00 p.m.

We'll be watching Sock versus Raonic during this one, but we'll be rooting for America's tennis sweetheart from afar and following along on our iPhone devices in what is arguably the real 'Match of the Day.' 

No 17. Sloane Stephens is 0-3 versus No. 5 Sharapova in her career; the two last met at this year's French Open. But today, it's Sloane's time to take down the Russian bombshell.

Prediction: Sloane Stephens. God Bless America.

The Main Event

Roger Federer [5] vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber
Center Court, Match #6 (Not Before 8:30 p.m.)

Tonight's grand finale at Center Court features Roger Federer versus a man whose name I'm not certain I spelled correctly. It has been a down summer for Federer -- as you learned in yesterday's "What's been distracting Federer?" post -- but he is ready to rebound and he is eyeing that potential quarterfinal showdown with Rafael Nadal. 

He wins this one without blinking, then goes back to watch Breaking Bad on Netflix.

Prediction: Federer

We'll be back later this afternoon with more from the 2013 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati Mason, Ohio.