Q2 Matches to Watch at US Open Wednesday
Steve Fogleman in Queens
The rubber hits the road today as players can almost smell the $90,000.00 first round prize money and the glory of a three-match winning streak. A win in the second round today will lead you to the wall that is one more match to qualify for America’s biggest tennis prize, main draw at the U.S. Open in New York.
D. Kovinic (MNE)  vs. V. Gracheva (RUS)
24-year-old Danka Kovinic hasn’t won a main draw tour level match all year after injury but put together a superb comeback in three sets against Allie Kiick on Monday. Today, she faces #184 Varvara Gracheva, who looked sharp in qualifying matches in Washington last month.
I. Begu (ROU)  vs. J. Cepelova (SVK)
Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu looks like it’s her match to lose today to the always upset-minded Czech Cepelova, but you might want to re-think that. Cepelova is 3-0 against Begu, with their last meeting at New Haven in 2017.
S. Napolitano (ITA) vs. H. Chung (KOR) 
Two years ago, you wouldn’t have been surprised to find Chung in the round of 16 here. Injuries and bad luck have taken their toll, but we’ll find out where his game is in a match against Italy’s Stefano Napolitano, who’s trying to qualify for any tour-level main draw, let alone a grand slam. This is a first meeting, but Chung is 8-2 in his last 10 hard court matches, so edge to him.
T. Townsend (USA)  vs. V. Cepede Royg (PAR)
Can Taylor Townsend unplug the VCR today? Paraguayan Cepede-Royg is 2-0 against the American overwhelming crowd favorite and higher-ranked player.
J. Brooksby (USA) vs. Y. Sugita (JPN) 
Japan’s Yuichi Sugita is always around at the slams and the bigger tournaments qualifying draws. American Jenson Brooksby, a wild card recipient, shares one thing with Sugita: they’re both playing excellent tennis on hard courts right now. Brooksby took out lesser-known Japanese player Kaichi Uchida on Monday in straight sets, but this is Yuichi Sugita.
A. Raina (IND) vs. D. Allertova (CZE)
Can India’s #1 player inch closer to her first main draw of a Grand Slam today? Denisa Allertova stands in the way and as these players have never met and both went three sets in round 1, this is a true toss-up.