The Italian youngster has had a very strong 2019, entering this tournament as the #25 seed. He has an impressive 29-15 record this year, earning 2 titles in the process. He’s dropped just 3 sets in 4 matches so far, defeating Aussie duo Alex Popyrin and Jordan Thompson along the way. His straight-sets defeat of Andrey Rublev last time out showed his best might be yet to come. He doesn’t have a huge pedigree at Flushing Meadows, losing in his lone match last year.
15 years after his debut, the enigmatic Frenchman continues to be a force on tour, now sitting at #13 in the world. He is now 30-11 for the year, earning a title and over $2 million in the process. Aside from an epic 5-setter with Canadian Dennis Shapovalov in Round 3, he has won all of his contests in straight sets, showing some very impressive stroke play. He has succeeded at Flushing Meadows in the past, his strong showing here taking him to a 29-12 career record.
Prediction: Over 39.5 Games
We’ve had some success with the overs of late and I can see that continuing in this tight Quarter Finals clash. Berrettini is playing some of the best tennis of his career and his strong serve should keep him in this one. Monfils is notoriously inconsistent at grand slam events and did struggle against his toughest opponent so far. While the winner of this match is quite hard to call, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say this one goes at least 4 sets. Throw in a tie-break or two and the over 39.5 at near even money looks very tempting.
The diminutive Argentinian is enjoying another strong campaign, entering this tournament as the #20 seed. His form to date has been particularly impressive, winning his first 3 matches in straight sets. His 4-set upset of Alex Zverev last time out was even more impressive, especially considering the size difference. Despite being more of a clay-courter, Diego does now have a very solid 14-5 record at the US Open.
There isn’t much more to say about Rafa, who has looked like the best and most consistent player in this tournament. After breezing through the first 3 rounds, he negotiated a potentially difficult 4-setter with Cilic last time out. His return game has been on another level all tournament, breaking the booming Croatian’s serve 6 times. His first serve has also been especially impressive, winning over 83% of points on it for the tournament.
Prediction: Nadal -7.5 Games
The tournament has really opened up for Nadal and I know he sees a great opportunity to add his 19th career slam here. Schwartzman is almost the ideal opponent for him in this spot as he is essentially a poor man’s Rafa. Nadal has the huge size and power advantage here and I expect a particularly strong service day from him. Instead of him winning in straight sets at $1.50, I like the -7.5 handicap as a better value play.