Labour Day Weekend gets off to a thrilling start at Flushing Meadows on Saturday, as top seeds from both sides Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Caroline Wozniacki and Serena Williams are all in US Open action.

Novak Djokovic v Nickolay Davydenko

Novak Djokovic has been breezing through the US Open thus far, in much the same way as he has breezed through the rest of 2011. Of the four full sets he has played so far in Flushing Meadow, the Serb has won three of them 6-0 and the other 6-2.

Davydenko is having one of his toughest years on the tour to date, yet a player who was ranked inside the World’s Top 10 for as long as the Russian was, will always be a dangerous prospect, no matter who you are. These two met just three weeks ago in Montreal and although Davydenko went up two breaks in the opening set, he was still pegged back and finished up with a straight sets defeat. 

With that memory so fresh in his mind, Davydenko will struggle to gain any real confidence, even if he does get off to a good start, and I see another straight sets victory for the ‘Serbinator’, with the minimum of fuss. 

Tips

Novak Djokovic to win 3-0 – 4/11 – Victor Chandler

Djokovic to win the first ser, 6-3 – 12/5 – William Hill

 

Roger Federer v Marin Cilic

Roger FedererThis is a tough match for Federer so early in the competition. Having coasted through the first two rounds without the loss of a set, the Swiss World No.3 may be in confident mood, but in Cilic he faces a man who has just defeated up-and-coming Aussie star Bernard Tomic, losing just three games over the entire match.

Croatian No.27 seed, Cilic is always capable of causing an upset here in the Big Apple and has knocked Andy Murray out of the event before now. 

The head-to-head record is not favourable for the Croat, with Federer having won both of their previous battles without the loss of a set. However we are clearly not dealing with the same Roger Federer who has swept all aside in previous years and Cilic is certainly in with a chance here. 

Tips 

Marin Cilic to win the match – 4/1 – Paddy Power

Cilic to win 3-1 – 12/1 – Victor Chandler

 

Serena Williams v Victoria Azarenka

This is the toughest test so far for Serena and if she can get through this one, the draw should start to open up a little for her.

World No. 5, Victoria Azarenka, reached the semi finals at Wimbledon this year following on from a quarter-final appearance in Paris. She has had a smooth path through to this third round meeting with Serena, having not lost a set so far and will certainly be unhappy that she is playing in what could potentially be a final match-up, so early in the competition. 

Serena leads the head-to-head 5-1 and looks to be playing somewhere near her best after picking up a title in Toronto just three weeks ago. Azarenka’s single victory over Williams did come on the US hard courts of Miami, but I don’t see her knocking Serena out of her stride on Saturday and I’d forecast a straight sets victory for the three times winner of this event.

Tips 

Serena Williams to win 2-0 – 4/7 – William Hill

Total Williams games – Under 12.5 – 4/6 – Paddy Power

 

Caroline Wozniacki v Vania King 

Despite being World No.1, Wozniacki has managed to slip below the radar a little. The return to action of Serena and Sharapova along with the emergence of Petra Kvitova, has meant there are other names faced with the pressures of being ‘expected’ to win a Grand Slam

As the event goes on, the pressure on Caroline will inevitably begin to increase, but so far she has being going about her business very quietly and professionally and there’s no reason to expect she won’t be present for the second week of this event. 

American 22-year-old, Vania King has enjoyed a successful week here so far with two impressive straight sets victories. Ranked just outside the top 100, King comprehensively defeated the 29th seed Jarmila Gajdosova in the previous round and will have the backing of the home crowd for this one on Saturday afternoon. 

The pair have met on two previous occasions, both on hard courts, and whilst it was King who took the first set they played, 7-5, Wozniacki won both matches and has won four of the five sets to date.

If Wozniacki can hold her nerve and stay confident, she should be able to see this one out in straight sets. 

Tips 

Wozniacki to win 2-0 at tennis odds of 1/5 with Victor Chandler