Kastles US Open Doubles PreviewAugust 29, 2018
The 2018 US Open doubles draws are out and it's clear the Kastles biggest stars are favored to go the distance at this year's tournament.
In men's doubles, reigning Wimbledon champions Mike Bryan and Jack Sock (Springfield Lasers) are teaming up again in New York in hopes of scoring another major title together. The pair loom large in the bottom half of the draw, where they are the #3 seeds. Bryan and Sock will play Italians Marco Cecchinato and Daniele Bracciali in the first round.
Bracciali is primarily a Challenger-level doubles player, but Cecchinato won his first ATP World Tour title at the Hungarian Open earlier this year. In doing so, he became the first Sicilian tennis player to win an ATP title. In addition, Cecchinato made a sensational run to the semifinals of men's singles at this year's French Open.
Should Bryan and Sock oust the Italians, they'll advance one round closer to a potential third round Kastle vs. Kastle showdown with 2014 Australian Open champion and three-time Wimbledon finalist Robert Lindstedt, who is pairing with former doubles world #11 Rajeev Ram in New York.
Ram is a gifted doubles specialist. He won the silver medal in mixed doubles with Kastles superstar Venus Williams at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 and reached the final of the US Open Mixed Doubles Championship with Coco Vandeweghe the same year. Lindstedt and Ram play British Davis Cup champion Dominic Inglot and Croatian big banger Franko Skugor in the first round.
In women's doubles, Wimbledon mixed doubles champion and women's doubles runner-up Nicole Melichar is also favored to make a run in Queens. Seeded #8, she and her partner, also a former Wimbledon doubles champion, Kveta Peschke are positioned at the bottom of the top section of the draw, opposite #1 seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.
Melichar and Peschke play Americans Asia Muhammad and Jennifer Brady in the first round. Muhammad has won two doubles title on the WTA Tour, as well as five singles and 26 doubles titles on the ITF Circuit. Brady, meanwhile, has won four singles titles and four doubles titles on the ITF tour and last year reached a career-high singles ranking of #60 in the world.
Melichar and Peschke's biggest early round threat at this stage appears to be #9 seeds Johanna Larsson and Kiki Bertens. They could potentially meet in the third round. Also, in the same section of the draw are #3 seeds Andrea Sestini Hlavackova and Barbora Strycova, who recently won the Connecticut Open.
Melichar plays second up Court 4, around 1 p.m. Watch LIVE & ENCORE coverage on ESPN 3 & the WatchESPN app.
Elsewhere for the Kastles, Tennessee All-American star Tennys Sandgren is teaming up with three-time Texas A&M All-American Austin Krajicek in men's doubles. They start off against doubles veterans Jonathan Erlich of Israel and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan in the top section of the draw, with #1 seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic.
Sandgren plays first up on Court 4 at 11 a.m. Watch ALL MATCHES LIVE & ENCORE coverage on ESPN 3 & the WatchESPN app.
Also in men's doubles, Kastles substitute and four-time ATP doubles champ Matt Ebden and Omaha, Nebraska native Jackson Withrow face Serbian Davis Cup stars Viktor Troicki and Filip Krajinovic in their opening round match. Should Ebden and Withrow prevail, the duo could face #15 seeds Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the next round and are two wins away from a likely showdown with #2 seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers.
Ebden plays third up on Court 8, around 3 p.m.
In women's doubles, Kastles sub and two-time WTA doubles champion Christina McHale and Caroline Dolehide take on fellow Americans Varvara Lepchenko and Bernarda Pera in the first round. Should McHale and Dolehide advance, they would like face #10 seeds Chan Hao-ching and Yang Zhaoxuan in the next round.
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