Upset of the previous day:
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni def. Garbine Muguruza 6-3 7-6(4)
Looks like Garbine is still struggling to find the consistency to win matches that she's supposed to win. Mirjana can be classified as a has-been, being over 30 and not achieving anything significant for the past 2 to 3 years. Not saying that Mirjana cannot hit a good ball, but Garbine should have been able to weather the storm. Disappointing end of the year for the Spaniard after starting her season so well. Looks like she still needs a lot of maturing to do.
Serena Williams vs. Taylor Townsend
I believe it will be a dream come true for Taylor Townsend to play against Serena, a woman who she has idolised and aspired to be. Just on that point alone, Serena will be able to stamp her authority, and start her US Open campaign on a good note. It will be Taylor's first time playing on the gigantic Arthur Ashe stadium, so it will take her some time to settle down as well. By the time she does that, the match might be over. The only question is if Serena is too eager to prove the doubters wrong. If she rushes things, she might give away too many free points and bolster Taylor's confidence.
Pick: Serena in 2 sets
Flavia Pennetta vs. Julia Goerges
As with all Goerges' matches, you'll never know when peak Julia will show up. Right now, Goerges is going through a drought, losing almost every match in sight, but still manages to spring an occasional surprise from time to time. Against a less than optimal Pennetta, can she do the same? Well, Flavia is defending major points here, so she definitely feels the pressure here. However, I believe Flavia is experienced enough to let Julia self-implode to advance to the next round.
Pick: Pennetta in 2 tight sets
Mona Barthel vs. Zhang Shuai
Somehow, Zhang Shuai finds herself seeded at 32 despite never winning a Grand Slam main draw match before. Mona Barthel will be relieved at drawing the weakest seed in the draw, and will revel at the chance of at least reaching the 3rd round. Zhang's game is elementary, and her high ranking mostly consists of lower tier events, where competition is much lower. I expect an upset of sorts here.
Pick: Barthel in 2 sets
Klara Koukalova vs. Petra Cetkovska
Here is a fun fact. Klara Koukalova has never won a singles match in US Open in her long career. Will she break the duck here against her compatriot Cetkovska? Well, both players haven't been playing well recently, so this match is pretty even. On the whole, I believe Klara has had a better year, and should stand a chance to break the curse. She just needs to believe in herself more and stop sulking so much.
Pick: Koukalova in 3 sets
Francesca Schiavone vs. Vania King
Francesca Schiavone holds the record for the longest consecutive Grand Slam appearances for active players, and will like her chances against Vania King. The Italian's all court game will test the feisty American. Schiavone needs to attack King's weak delivery, and make Vania guess by using drop shots and lobs, not letting King get into the rhythm. All in all, I think this is a very winnable match for the veteran.
Pick: Schiavone in 2 sets
Sure win bets: Petra Kvitova, Madison Keys, Eugenie Bouchard, Dominika Cibulkova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Upset alert: Pauline Parmentier, Zhang Shuai