Dominic Thiem and Ben Shelton, both unseeded, will battle each other in the second round at the US Open on Wednesday. Advancing from this round will set up a third-round showdown with either Aslan Karatsev or Roberto Carballes Baena for the winner. Dominic Thiem looked in great shape in the first round as he defeated Alexander Bublik in straight sets. He did so in under two hours which should give him confidence of a sustained run here. Thiem is a former US Open champion. He won in 2020 just before he started struggling with injuries. The Austrian has slowly started to get his groove back if his recent performances are anything to go by. He has won seven of his last 10 matches and in this period finished as runner-up in Kitzbuhel. That achievement ended a three-year wait for a tour final for the former world number three. He is currently up to 72nd in the live ranking which is the highest he has placed all year. Thiem defeated Shelton in their first encounter earlier this season on clay in Estoril.
Ben Shelton had to come from a set down to defeat Pedro Cachin in four sets in the first round. The win represented his debut victory in his home major in what is his second main draw appearance. Shelton made it to the quarterfinals in Melbourne earlier this year which is his best-ever result at a Grand Slam. That achievement also stands as his highlight of a rocky season. The American has compiled a 15-22 record thus far in 2023. Nine of his victories have come on hard court but on the surface, he has also lost 11 times. Shelton has lost six times in his last 10 outings with four of those defeats coming on hard court. But as he has fared much better on hard court this year than Thiem, he will be confident of a win here. The 20-year-old is up seven places to 40th in the live ranking.
Our prediction for Dominic Thiem v Ben Shelton is for Thiem to win. Thiem has an impressive US Open record and is a former champion here. As he arrives for this match looking in great shape as compared to Shelton, we give him the nod to emerge victorious.