US Open – Day 10

Matteo Berrettini vs Gael Monfils
Over 39.5 Games

Matteo Berrettini

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.

Gael Monfils

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.

Diego Schwartzman vs Rafael Nadal
Nadal -7.5 Games

Diego Schwartzman

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.

Rafael Nadal

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.

US Open – Day 9

Stan Wawrinka vs Daniil Medvedev
Over 40.5 Games

Stan Wawrinka

After another decent year on tour, Wawrinka appears to be saving his best for last. He has very comfortably made it through to the Quarters, dropping just 2 sets in the process. He dominated the last two sets against Novak last time out before his early retirement. He’s only faced Medvedev once in the past, a match he lost relatively comfortably.

Daniil Medvedev

An outstanding 48-16 season on tour has seen this Russian young gun claim the #5 seed. He was one of the pre-tournament favourites and has lived up to that billing so far. He has dropped just 3 sets during his 4 matches so far, admittedly against a relatively easy schedule. His record in lead-up tournaments was outstanding, reaching the final in Washington, Toronto, and Cincinnati.

Prediction: Over 40.5 Games

The odds suggest this will be a very close matchup and I’d be inclined to agree. Medvedev has been killing it on hard courts this year, while Wawrinka is playing his best tennis of the season. I can easily see a 4 or 5 set contest here without too many breaks of serve. 40.5 is probably on the low end of what these two are capable of and I think the value on the over is worth a play here.

Roger Federer vs Grigor Dimitrov
Over 33.5 Games

Roger Federer

He might be 38 years of age but the Fed Express still looks like one of the best players on tour. His path to the Quarters has been incredibly comfortable, dropping just 2 sets so far. After initial scares against Nagal and Dzumhur, he has destroyed both Daniel Evans and David Goffin in straight sets. With a combined 16 breaks of serve in his last 6 sets, his return game is looking as lethal as his serve.

Grigor Dimitrov

‘Baby Fed’ appears to have found some form of late and will take on his idol again here. Those who watched his match against de Minaur saw him thoroughly outclass the Aussie in a comfortable 3-set win. He has dropped only 1 set in his matches so far, with his serve looking particularly impressive. These two have matched up 7 times before and Dimitrov has been on the losing end every single time.

Prediction: Over 33.5 Games

Despite his poor record against Fed, I think Dimitrov has looked really strong of late. His serve has been especially consistent and should really keep him in this one. Fed struggled early in his 2 initial prime time matches and I could see an early Dimitrov set win here. With an outright set win or 3 fairly competitive ones, this over occurs the majority of the time.

US Open – Day 8

Alex Zverev vs Diego Schwartzman
Zverev $1.83

Alex Zverev

The young German still looks like one of the future ATP stars, entering this tournament as the #6 seed. He is in the midst of another solid campaign, going 33-17 with 1 title so far. He has faced a relatively difficult road to reach this point, losing 5 combined sets against the trio of Albot, Tiafoe, and Bedene. This is the furthest he’s ever made it at Flushing Meadows, where he now enjoys a 7-4 career record.

Diego Schwartzman

The Argentine vet is one of the more consistent players on tour, entering this tournament as the #20 seed. He also has enjoyed a solid 2019 so far, going 33-18 with a title of his own. His form thus far has been outstanding, having won all 3 of his matches in straight sets. He does have some decent pedigree at the US Open, now going 13-5 for his career.

Prediction: Zverev ML $1.83

Although Schwartzman has been in some great recent form, I think this is overvaluing him in the betting market. At nearly a foot taller than his opponent, I think Zverev’s game is much more suited to hardcourt. I don’t see Schwartzman getting a look on his serve in this one, while Zverev should have no trouble breaking. At near even money, I think the value is definitely on the #6 seed here.

Rafael Nadal vs Marin Cilic
Cilic +6.5 Games

Rafael Nadal

The #2 seed now looks like the favourite to win the tournament after Novak’s injury retirement yesterday. He has had a very cruisy run to this point, winning 2 matches in straight sets and getting a walkover against Kokkinakis. His form in lead-up tournaments was fantastic, dropping just 1 set as he won the prestigious Rogers Cup. Nadal certainly enjoys the conditions at Flushing Meadows, now 61-11 for his career.

Marin Cilic

Although not quite at his peak of a few years ago, Cilic is still a very competent #22 seed. He has negotiated a tough road to make it here, beating both Stebe and Isner in tough 4-setters. His form in the lead-up tournaments was nothing to write home about, with relatively early exits at both Cincinnati and the Rogers Cup. The US Open is still historically his best grand slam, going an impressive 36-9 for his career.

Prediction: Cilic +6.5 Games

While Nadal is rightly favoured in this matchup, the conditions here are really suited to Cilic’s game. He gets a ton of bounce on his serve on hardcourt, making it difficult even for elite returners like Nadal. Rafa also hasn’t faced anyone near Cilic’s quality during this tournament and there could be somewhat of an adjustment period. I just don’t see Cilic’s serve getting broken more than a couple of times here, making me like the generous +6.5 handicap.

US Open – Day 7

Alex de Minaur vs Grigor Dimitrov
Over 38.5 Games

Alex de Minaur

Despite being unseeded, the #38 ranked Aussie has been very impressive en route to the 4th round. He had two relatively straightforward wins to start off, before an outstanding 4-set win against #7 seed Kei Nishikori. He has been killing it on first serve all tournament, landing 65% and winning 73% of those points. This strong run has taken his career US Open record to 5-2, his best in any grand slam.

Grigor Dimitrov

Dimitrov has also fallen dramatically from his heights, entering this tournament ranked #78 in the world. He has received his fair share of luck, with #12 seed Borna Coric retiring in round 2. His other 2 matches have been straightforward, dropping just 1 combined set in wins over Seppi and Majchrzak. This run comes off the back of some atrocious form, where he won just 1 of his last 7 matches in the lead-up.

Prediction: Over 38.5 Games

Neither of these men would’ve entered this tournament expecting to make the 4th round. Both have some very solid strengths, although neither has been hugely consistent throughout their career. De Minaur is probably the better player right now, although this is a huge pressure moment for him. I think the Aussie ultimately takes it in 4 or 5 sets, although the value is on the over at this number.

Novak Djokovic vs Stan Wawrinka
Novak 3-0 $2

Novak Djokovic

The Djoker is in the midst of another outstanding campaign, going 41-7 overall with 3 titles this season. The #1 seed has had a relatively simple road to round 4, having not dropped a set so far. He has excelled at Flushing Meadows throughout his career, now enjoying a 72-10 record with 3 titles. He has also largely had Wawrinka’s number, compiling a 20-5 record against him and winning 8 of 10 on hardcourt.

Stan Wawrinka

Stan has also had a decent road to the 4th round, dropping 2 sets so far and seeing off a difficult affair against Paolo Lorenzi. While not at the level he once was, his 26-16 record for the season show he still has what it takes. Despite a poor career record against Novak, he did manage an epic upset against him in the 2016 Final here.

Prediction: Djokovic 3-0 $2

Novak looks to be in career best form right now, while Stan has commenced the gradual decline. I think Novak’s defence and athleticism prove too much in this one as Stan’s inconsistencies ultimately prove his downfall. He knows the importance of recovery during a grand slam fortnight and won’t show Stan any mercy here. Novak has proven his ability to $1.17 for the outright win isn’t hugely valuable, although $2 for straight sets looks very tasty.

US Open – Day 6

John Isner vs Marin Cilic
Over 44.5 Games

John Isner

The big-serving American is still going strong, entering this tournament as the #14 seed. He has had a solid 2019 to date, going 25-12 in singles matches with 1 title to his name. He is yet to drop a set all tournament, with two relatively routine wins to start off. Flushing Meadows has been good to him previously, sporting a 28-12 career record before this year.

Marin Cilic

Still a strong force on tour, the Croatian vet enters this tournament as the #23 seed. 2019 hasn’t been his best season, compiling a 15-13 record and claiming under $1 million in prize money. He has also enjoyed 2 comfortable wins so far, dropping just 1 set in the process. He is an outstanding 35-9 for his career at the US Open, claiming his lone grand slam here in 2014.

Prediction: Over 44.5

With two absolutely elite servers, breaks will be at a premium in this match. The oddsmakers can’t really split these two, making me think we’re in for a tight affair here. If we get even 4 sets, I think 1 or 2 tie-breakers should carry us over in this one.

Gael Monfils vs Denis Shapovalov
Monfils -1.5 Games

Monfils

Monfils is another veteran still competing fiercely, enjoying the current #13 ranking. His 2019 to date has been very impressive, compiling a 28-11 record and winning a title. He is yet to drop a set in this tournament, only being taken to a tie-break 1 time. He has a solid record at the US Open for his career, going 25-12 before this year.

Shapovalov

The flashy young Canadian enters this tournament with a ranking of #33. He has had an indifferent 2019 so far, going 20-19 in singles matches with no titles. He’s looked excellent in the first 2 rounds, dispatching of Auger-Aliassime and Laaksonen with ease. The US Open is statistically his best grand slam, now boasting a strong 7-2 record.

Prediction: Monfils -1.5 Games

While these are two flashy and exciting competitors, Monfils is ultimately the more consistent of the two. I think he has the patience and all-around game to trouble Shapovalov here and expect him to win relatively comfortably. Given his ability to win sets comfortably, I particularly like the -1.5 games handicap here.

US Open – Day 5

David Goffin vs Pablo Carreno Busta
Over 36.5 Games

David Goffin

The talented Belgian has had a mixed campaign, although still enters this tournament as the #15 seed. He is 26-19 in singles matches this year, failing to win a title so far. His path to the 3rd round has been relatively straightforward, dropping only a single set. His career record at Flushing Meadows is relatively poor, going just 10-7 in his prior attempts.

Pablo Carreno Busta

The veteran Spaniard continues to hang around on tour, currently ranked #69 in the world. He has had an indifferent 2019, going 15-15 in singles matches with 0 titles. He managed an impressive upset of #18 seed Guido Pella in round 1, taking care of Berankis in 4 hard-fought sets last time out. The US Open is historically his best grand slam, boasting an 11-5 record before this year.

Prediction: Over 36.5 Games

Despite PCB’s recent fall in the rankings, he’s still a very competitive player on tour. Goffin isn’t having his best season and I expect this match to be closer than the oddsmakers. I’m predicting a tough 4-setter in this one, without too many service breaks. Assuming we get a tie-break or two thrown in, over 36.5 looks like a solid play.

Stan Wawrinka vs Paolo Lorenzi
Lorenzi +8.5 Games

Stan Wawrinka

Although at the tail end of his career, the Stanimal still enters this tournament as the #23 seed. His 2019 has been solid but unspectacular, with a 23-16 record and a few decent finishes. He seems to struggle to close out grand slam matches in straights, winning two tough 4-setters to reach this point. He has been excellent at Flushing Meadows for his career, going 40-12 with 1 title win.

Paolo Lorenzi

Now 37 years old, the veteran Italian is still plugging away at a ranking of #135. He has sparsely competed in 2019, going just 4-9 so far. His first two matches were particularly gruelling, both resulting in epic 5-set wins. The US Open is easily his best slam, sporting a 7-7 record in his previous appearances.

Prediction: Lorenzi +8.5

Wawrinka often seems to play down to his competition in a grand slam setting. Lorenzi is as competitive as they come and I expect him to make things difficult on Stan here. Despite being a heavy underdog, I think he has a good shot at winning a set here, or at least coming close. As such, the +8.5 games represents good value for what should be a relatively tight affair.

US Open – Day 4

Fernando Verdasco vs Hyeon Chung
Over 39.5 Games

Fernando Verdasco

The Spanish veteran keeps plugging along nicely, earning the #32 seed here even as he nears 36 years of age. He is in the midst of a decent campaign, going 22-20 during singles matches this season. His round 1 win was relatively impressive, beating German Tobias Kamke in 4 straightforward sets. He has historically performed quite well at Flushing Meadows, compiling a 30-16 career record.

Hyeon Chung

The flashy Korean has really fallen down the rankings of late, entering this tournament as #170 in the world. This is largely due to inactivity, where he was only 1-4 in competitive matches entering the US Open. He doesn’t have great pedigree at Flushing Meadows, being eliminated in the second round in each of his 3 previous appearances.

Prediction: Over 39.5 Games

Despite Chung’s relatively low world ranking, this has the makings of a tight and competitive clash. Both men are strong servers on hard courts, which should lead to minimal service breaks and high scoring sets. I think it’s unlikely that we see a straight sets win by either man, with 4 or 5 sets being much more likely. If we can get a tie-break or two, I really like over 39.5 at near even money.

Alex Zverev vs Frances Tiafoe
Zverev -3 Games

Alex Zverev

Despite some recent inconsistencies, the German young gun enters this tournament as the #6 seed. He has compiled a 30-17 singles record in 2019, winning 1 title in the process. His first-round clash with Radu Albot was unnecessarily difficult, being pushed to 5 gruelling sets. That win sees him sport a 5-4 career record at the US Open, his worst at any of the grand slams.

Frances Tiafoe

The next great American hope has tailed off somewhat of late, entering this tournament with a ranking of #45. He has struggled since a Quarter-Finals appearance at the Aus Open, going just 13-18 since. He doesn’t enjoy a great record at his home slam either, going just 1-4 prior to this year.

Prediction: Zverev -3 Games

While Tiafoe is a solid competitor, I think this is definitely a strong mismatch. Zverev is still one of the most accomplished players on tour and I expect his versatility to prove too much here. Especially after a gruelling 5-setter to start, he’ll be motivated to finish this one quickly and conserve energy for later. I think Zverev likely takes this by an amount between 4-7 games, meaning there is very strong value on -3 or -3.5.

US Open – Day 3

Cristian Garin vs Alex De Minaur
Garin +5.5 Games

Cristian Garin

The young Chilean is in the midst of a very solid campaign, earning the #31 seed for this tournament. He has had undoubtedly his best year on tour, going 24-16 straight up and winning 2 titles. He is primarily a clay-courter, although he did enjoy a Round of 16 appearance at the Rogers Cup a few weeks ago. This is the first year he has made the US Open main draw, winning his opening match in 5 tight sets.

Alex De Minaur

The Demon has slipped down the rankings a little of late, just outside the seeds at #38. He is still enjoying a solid year overall, going 20-14 with 2 titles of his own. He tends to have his best success on hard court, recently winning at Atlanta and making the Round of 16 in Cincinnati. This is his 3rd appearance in the US Open main draw, going 2-2 in his 2 previous attempts.

Prediction: Garin +5.5 Games

While De Minaur is rightly favoured here, I expect this match to be closer than this handicap would suggest. Garin is a very accomplished player on tour and I can see his defence giving De Minaur some trouble. De Minaur has struggled to close out matches in straight sets of late and I’d estimate that this goes at least 4 sets. There is probably some good value on the Garin moneyline at $3.60, but I’ll take the insurance with +5.5.

Borna Coric vs Grigor Dimitrov
Over 38.5 Games

Borna Coric

The young Croat appears destined for great things, already enjoying a very strong ranking of #12. He has gone 22-15 through a relatively tough schedule, earning over $1.2 million this year. His hardcourt campaign has been relatively disappointing so far, going just 1-2 in the Rogers Cup and Cincinnati Masters. He boasts a 6-5 record overall at Flushing Meadows, boosted by a 4th Round appearance last year.

Grigor Dimitrov

The inconsistent Bulgarian has fallen to #78 in the rankings after a relatively lean spell. He is just 12-15 on tour this season, failing to win a single title. His form on hardcourt has been particularly poor, managing just 1 win in his 4 lead-up tournaments. He did impressively beat Andreas Seppi in Round 1, which could be a sign that things are set to improve.

Prediction: Over 38.5 Games

While Coric is the better of these two players, hardcourt has proven to be his worse surface so far. Dimitrov has historically done quite well at hardcourt grand slams, compiling a 32-17 combined record at the US and Oz open. As such, I’m expecting a relatively close affair between these strong competitors, one that should go at least 4 sets. Assuming both men continue

US Open – Day 2

Alex Popyrin vs Federico Delbonis
Exactly 4 Sets $2.60

Alex Popyrin

The young Aussie has had the best year of his career to date, winning 9 singles matches and earning a ranking of #105. The highlight of his campaign was undoubtedly an impressive display at the Aus Open, where he pushed Lucas Pouille to 5 sets in the Round of 32. He has had an average hardcourt season to date, going 3-3 in main draw matches since Wimbledon. This will be his first appearance at Flushing Meadows, although his tall frame and powerful serve should prove effective in these conditions.

Federico Delbonis

The Argentine vet has carved out a nice niche on tour, entering this tournament with a ranking of #67. He is 14-18 on the season, with the majority of his matches coming on his preferred surface of clay. His history at the US Open isn’t all that impressive, compiling just a 2-4 record for his career.

Prediction: 4 Sets $2.60

Popyrin enters this one as the relatively strong $1.55 favourite, which seems about right. The conditions are definitely more suited to his style of play, although I see this one going either way. Neither of these men has been incredibly consistent throughout their career, so I can’t see a straight sets win. Instead of backing the over, I like this match to have exactly 4 sets, paying out strong odds of $2.60.

Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Andrey Rublev
Tsitsipas -1.5 Sets

Stefanos Tsitsipas

The young Greek has had an outstanding 2019, earning himself a top 8 seed for this tournament. He has compiled a very strong 37-18 record, winning 2 titles and $3 million in prize money on the season. His hardcourt season hasn’t been the greatest, losing each of his last 3 competitive matches. He doesn’t have huge US Open pedigree, making the second round in his lone main draw appearance last year.

Andrey Rublev

This Russian young gun has also had a stellar season, going 19-13 to earn a ranking of 43. In many ways, he is very unlucky to come up against an opponent of Tsitsipas’ quality in the first round. He has had a decent last stretch on hardcourt, making the Quarters at both Cincinnati and Winston-Salem. He is 4-3 for his career at the US Open, making a surprise Quarter Final appearance in 2017.

Prediction: Tsitsipas -1.5 Sets

While he does have a tough round 1 draw, Tsitsipas has really shown his immense quality on hardcourt of late. His game is really suited to this surface and I don’t see Rublev getting a look in on his serve. I also like his defensive ability and knack for winning tie-breaks if we get some close sets. It looms as a relatively tight affair but I’d be surprised if it takes him more than 4 sets to get the job done.

Multi: Tsitsipas/Isner/Cilic
Combined Odds of $2

Having touched on the Tsitsipas match earlier, his individual price of $1.44 really helps to beef up this multi. John Isner has a great record in his home slam and I expect him to overpower Guillermo Garcia Lopez, who is really more of a clay-courter. Likewise for Marin Cilic, who is enjoying another stellar campaign and returns to the scene of his maiden grand slam win. Combine each of these 3 men at strong $2 odds and we’ve got a decent day 2 multi.

US Open – Day 1

Denis Kudla vs Janko Tipsarevic
Tipsarevic +3.5 Games

Denis Kudla

The veteran American has really slipped in the rankings this year, now at 111 in the world. He enters the US Open after a dreadful campaign that has seen him win just 9 of 30 ATP Singles matches. He has been especially poor on hard courts of late, failing to win a main draw match in any of his last 4 tournaments. His record at his home slam is also very poor, going just 2-5 since his debut in 2012.

Janko Tipsarevic

After recently turning 35, the Serbian vet has had a relatively quiet year on tour. He is just 5-8 in matches this year, falling to number 260 in the world. He hasn’t had the greatest warm up for this tournament, going 0-1 in hard court matches since Wimbledon. That said, he does have decent pedigree at Flushing Meadows, going 16-13 for his career.

Prediction: Tipsarevic +3.5 Games

This is more of a bet against Kudla than it is one on Tipsarevic. Both of these men have had relatively poor campaigns and Kudla tends to fade under the pressure at home. Tipsarevic has a ton of veteran savvy and experience and won’t beat himself in this one. This is ultimately a 50/50 clash, but with the +3.5 games I see good value on the Serbian veteran.

Adrian Mannarino vs Daniel Evans
Over 39.5 Games

Adrian Mannarino

A relatively average 2019 sees the 31-year-old Frenchman ranked at #57 in the world. He has gone just 17-19 so far, a far cry from the strong 2018 that took him to #22. 4 combined wins in the Rogers Cup and Cincinnati Masters are definite positives that should have him confident entering this tournament. He has an average U.S Open record to date, going 8-8 for his career.

Daniel Evans

These two players find themselves very similarly ranked, with Evans just 1 spot below his opponent at #58. He has had an average at best 2019, going 13-13 and earning just over $500,000 so far. He has gone 3-4 in hard court tournaments since Wimbledon, far from an ideal preparation. The US Open is technically his best grand slam, compiling a 4-2 record for his career.

Prediction: Over 39.5 Games

This looks like a very evenly matched affair that is very tough to call. Both of these men are better servers than they are returners, which should lend itself to relatively long sets. Neither is the most consistent player either and I’d be very surprised in a straight sets result. Assuming we get 4 sets here and at least 1 tie-break, I very much like this over at even money.

Multi: Berdych/Lajovic/De Minaur
Combined Odds of $1.94

The good thing about the start of a Men’s Grand Slam is the plethora of multi opportunities on offer. I like Berdych at $1.25 odds against young American Jenson Brooksby and I think the 27 seed Lajovic should have too much for clay courter Steve Darcis. Despite not being among the seeds, Aussie Alex de Minaur also has a clear matchup edge over Pierre Hughes-Herbert. At combined odds of $1.94, this is just the type of play I look for on Day 1.