Roland Garros finally takes centre stage over the next few weeks nearly three months after it was originally scheduled. In the men’s draw all eyes will be on Rafa Nadal and if he can win an incredible 13th French Open title or will one of the new generation come through and steal his crown. Check back everyday for expert betting tips from tipsters Form Labs for some of the key match-up’s in both the men and women’s draw.
You only have to look at Elena Rybakina’s form this year to know she has a real chance this fortnight. She’s won 28 of her 36 tour matches and finished runner-up in Strasbourg last week, while she ranks in the top five for combined service/return points won on this surface over the last 18 months on the main tour, and so she’ll make life very difficult for Sorana Cirstea.
The Romanian did well at the US Open to reach the third round, but she’s lost all five of her clay court matches since being knocked out of this tournament in May last year. To make matters worse, the highest ranked player she faced over that period was the current 97th in the world Aliona Bolsova, as she lost in straight sets and we just can’t see anything but a convincing defeat for her in this one. Moreover, the Kazakh has won the only meeting to date between the two players, coming earlier this year in Dubai and she gets our backing to make easy work of this opponent.
Three straight set victories for Henri Laaksonen has earnt his spot in the opening round of the French Open, but considering the 28-year-old has only advanced past that stage on three occasions at a Slam from his 22 career attempts when including qualifiers, it could be over before it’s even begun. In fact, since Novak Djokovic cruised past him in this tournament in May last year, he’s lost nine of his 11 main tour matches, including all three in the first round this year.
Pablo Cuevas on the other hand, may not have had the best of 2020’s himself, but he showed glimpses of what he’s capable of in Hamburg last week when downing both Gilles Simon and Taylor Fritz. The Uruguayan has never been knocked out in the opening round of this Slam from his seven career attempts, reaching the third round in four of the last five and we highly doubt this will be the first time he’s failed to do so against a much inferior opponent. In fact, he’s won all six of his first round matches here by at least five clear games on the handicap since 2014, while the average across those was an astonishing 8.5 games, and that looks the way to go in this one.
It is easy to forget Sara Errani’s class on the clay courts as she reached the French Open final in 2012 and has since made a semi and two quarters here. The opponent she beat in her opener this year, Monica Puig, may have been out of touch, but she made the third round on these courts in June last year and the convincing manner in which Errani dealt with her gives us confidence of her chances this fortnight.
Kiki Bertens decided not to head to New York for Cincinnati and the US Open, meaning she’s played just three competitive main tour matches since February. She lost to Polona Hercog, retired when losing the deciding set to Jelena Ostapenko and although she won her opener here in Paris, she did take a 6-2 hammering in the opening set to 112th ranked Katarina Zavatska. Furthermore, she lost both her exhibitions in straight sets against Petra Kvitova and Anastasija Sevastova in July, and considering her Italian opponent has a W5-L0 when including mid game retirements, we’re happy to get behind the big underdog in the outright.
An impressive year on the clay courts for Casper Ruud saw him lift his first ever ATP tour title in Buenos Aires, while he also matched his best Grand Slam performance at the US Open in September when reaching the third round. Indeed, the Norwegian also finished runner-up on this surface in Santiago back in March, meaning he’s now won 18 of his 24 matches on the tour since the start of February, including last four appearances in both Rome and Hamburg recently and he’ll be tough to stop this fortnight.
Tommy Paul doesn’t quite boast the same results on the main tour, with him losing six of his 11 matches since the start of February, as four of those defeats came from his most recent six. Furthermore, he could only make the second round in Hamburg and lost in the first round of qualifying in Rome to 129th ranked Facundo Bagnis, and so this should be a routine victory for Ruud.
Throughout the 2020 US Open tennis GentingBet and tipsters Form Labs will help guide you to where the value might sit for the 2020 US Open tennis, by providing daily betting tips to some of the key matchup’s. Check back each day throughout the Flushing Meadows showpiece and see who the experts are backing.
We nearly experienced yet another choke from Alexander Zverev, as having gone into the game as around the 4/11 favourite he proceeded to lose the opening two sets to Pablo Carreno-Busta. He did rally himself to get over the line though, taking the final three sets with relative ease. That puts the German into his first ever Grand Slam final and although he’ll feel relieved it isn’t against any of the ‘Big Three’ – Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal & Roger Federer – it won’t exactly be any easier facing Dominic Thiem.
The Austrian has dropped just one set so far this fortnight and fully deserves his favouritism. That included matches against all of Marin Cilic, Felix Auger-Aliasssime, Alex De Minaur and Daniil Medvedev, with the latter being the tournament favourite following the exit of Djokovic and it’s going to take a monumental performance to stop him getting his name on the title. It’s even more remarkable that he also managed a similar feat at the Australian Open at the start of the year before losing out to Nole in the final, defeating both Nadal and Zverev in the quarters and semis respectively. Interestingly, he did lose in his opening match against Filip Krajinovic 6-2 6-1 at this venue in the Cincinnati Open just before the US Open, and so he is by no means unbeatable.
That Melbourne Park clash between the two went to four sets, with Thiem winning the last two in tiebreakers and so this could be closer than people might think. That was their ninth career meeting to date as the Austrian leads the way W7-L2, however, both Zverev’s wins have come from their last six since the second half of the 2016 season, while one of those victories for the second seed was on his prefered clay surface at the French Open which we’re happy to ignore. We therefore feel that the money coming in for the favourite may have a slight bias based on their most recent performances, especially since a four or five-setter is characteristic of the underdog anyway.
Moreover, it’s worth noting Zverev leads this years’ US Open stats for aces, first serve receiving points and break points won, while he’s in the top 10 for second serve receiving points won and percentage of first serve points won. Of course, he’s played more tennis over the last two weeks than most his competitors, but he’s also converted the fifth most break points of the players to have had more than 20 opportunities (53%) and Thiem only really features on the break points from those statistics, still behind the German.
The fifth seeded underdog has a career record of W4-L3 at Grand Slam and Masters event finals, while that compares to his opponents’ W1-L6, although two of those came against the ‘King of Clay’ Rafa Nadal at Roland Garros. With that in mind, we’re very surprised that the handicap for the German to win just one set isn’t much shorter, and that gets our backing.
This will be the 140th edition of the US Open and like always it will be held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre in New York. However, this year, due to the current circumstances, it will be held behind closed doors and that will certainly give it a slightly different feel, most notably the fact that only four of the top 10 in the rankings will be attending the US Open this campaign: Karolina Pliskova (3rd in the world), Sofia Kenin (4th), Serena Williams (9th) and Naomi Osaka (10th). In fact, if Cincinnati is anything to go by, we can expect a fair few upset as rustiness players a part following a four-month mid-season lay off. For the second season running Flushing Meadows threw up yet another maiden winner of the title with Bianca Andreescu taking the honours. That means that all five winners since 2015 have won it for the first time while only Angelique Kerber from that bunch had previously won a Grand Slam and so it could well toss up a few more surprises. Tipsters Form Labs guide you to where the value might lie for the US Open tennis women’s draw.
32/46 finalists have been seeded since 1997, with 36 being in the top-10 seeds and 25 in the top-four.
15/23 winners have been in the top-four seeds.
Karolina Pliskova heads the seeds although her form leaves at lot to be desired. Three straight defeats now on the hard surface, the last of which came at this Flushing Meadows venue in her opening round match of Cincinnati. She does have pedigree here though, with a fourth round, two quarters and a runner-up in her four visits since 2016, and she won’t mind her run to the third round where she’s scheduled to face Jennifer Brady. The American 28th seed won in Lexington in mid-August, beating the likes of Coco Gauff and Magda Linette en route, although she did crash out in the opening round last week.
Tussling to face the winner of that in the fourth round is 2016 winner Angelique Kerber, Alison Riske and Tatjana Maria. The latter hasn’t advanced past the first round of a Grand Slam now for five consecutive tournaments, while Riske has crashed out in the opening round here in five of her six appearances, not to mention she lost in straight sets last week in Cincinnati.
Since her sensational run to the Roland Garros final in 2019, 12th seed Marketa Vondrousova is yet to win a Slam match and is a woeful W4-L8 at all tournaments off the red surface. 23rd seed Yulia Putintseva should benefit from that and although the Kazakhstani doesn’t exactly have the best of CV’s, a third round appearance at the US Open and Australian Open at the start of the year should put her in good stead.
The two seeded players in the final group of eight players will probably have more chance in Kristina Mladenovic and Petra Martic. The former French superstar may have reached two finals here since 2016 on the doubles circuit, but that hasn’t correlated over to her singles performances with a best of three second rounds. Croatian Martic, reached an impressive semi-final in Dubai in February, while fourth rounds here and at Wimbledon in 2019 make her the one to beat for us in this section.
Tournament favourite Naomi Osaka won this competition in 2018 and backed that up with the Aussie Open just four months later. She may not have been to the business end of any Slam since, but a fourth round here 12 months ago while currently in the semis at this venue in her first Premier event since the enforced break, she deserves to lead the market.
Coco Gauff, Danielle Collins and Anett Kontaveit look to be her main contenders in the top half of the second quarter. The latter of the trio looks to be in the best form with a quarter in the Australian Open and last week here at Cincinnati, as well as a runner-up in Palermo at the start of August. However, it was Osaka that beat her in the quarters on Wednesday, while she faces Collins in the first round so we’d be wary of getting behind either of them, while Gauff has seeded player Anastasija Sevastova first up and the Japanese top seed scheduled for the third round.
The main challengers to take it to Osaka from the bottom half of this section look to be Elena Rybakina (11th seed), Dayana Yastremska (19th) and Petra Kvitova (6th) from the seeds, as well as Shelby Rogers, Marie Bouzkova and Jessica Pegula. The latter two unseeded players face off against one another in their opener, while sixth seed Kvitova lost two of her final three exhibitions at the end of July as well as her opening round last week to her potential third round opponent Bouzkova. Moreover, Rogers may have beaten Serena Williams earlier this month, but she’s won just one Slam hard court match now since the start of 2018 and is scheduled to meet Rybakina in the second round.
That leaves either Rybakina or Yastremska from this bottom section for us as the most likely to advance to a quarter-final. As previously mentioned, Rogers could put up some resistance to the 21-year-old 11th seed who hasn’t exactly proven she can continue on from her impressive W21-L4 before the enforced break, as she lost in the first round to Ekaterina Alexandrova last week. However, a win, three runners-up spots and two third round from her six 2020 tournaments is phenomenal going and she should have too much for Yastremska.
Serena Williams’ quarter doesn’t look too daunting. The 23-time Grand Slam champion has a straightforward route to the fourth round with Sloane Stephens unlikely to cause her any problems in the scheduled third round. It’s here that a very talented women who beat her last week will likely face her. Should Maria Sakkari fend off a challenge from 2019 Roland Garros semi-finalist Amanda Anisimova in the third round, she’ll be raring to take on Williams again. The Greek is W11-L6 since the start of the Australian Open, reaching her furthest ever in a Slam there of the fourth round, before bowing out to Kvitova and she will at least put up a fight at the last 16 stage.
Seventh seed Madison Keys heads the top half of the third section in this US Open draw and she always leaves her best performances for this tournament. Three last 16s, a semi and runner-up in the most recent five appearances here is impressive, although she did get thrashed 6-4 6-1 by Ons Jabeur last week. She’ll also have to keep a keen eye on Lexington runner-up Jil Teichmann in a potential second round, while either Aliza Cornet who reached the third round at Cincinnati or 25th seed Shuai Zhang who was runner-up at Hobert in January and reached the third at Melbourne Park, would be tough matches in her path too.
Garbine Muguruza looks to have it her way to meet whoever advances from that group of players in the fourth round, with other seeded player Donna Vekic not showing much in the shape of form. However, that is on the assumption that the Spaniard replicate her Aussie Open runner-up form earlier this year having not played a competitive match since February.
Aryna Sabalenka has been unfortunate with her draw as the unseeded current Cincinnati semi-finalist Victoria Azarenka is scheduled to play her in the second round. Both Iga Switek and 29th seed Veronika Kudermetova have to be respected in a scheduled third round with the winner between Sabalenka and Azarenka, but neither look capable of beating that pair.
Jo Konta will like her draw with a British first round against Heather Watson, and either out of touch players Venus Williams and Karolina Muchova in a scheduled third round. The ninth seed is currently in the semis at Flushing Meadows in the Premier 5 event where she faces the Belarusian Azarenka.
The bottom half of this final quarter looks fairly straight forward too. Elise Mertens has already finished runner-up in Prague and is into the semis at Cincinnati on her return from the Covid break, making her without a doubt the one to beat. Ekaterina Alexandrova may have a thing or two to say about that, but a W1-L3 on her return doesn’t look quite so impressive.
The tussle to play them in the last 16 looks to be another straight shootout between Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin and Ons Jabeur. The later Tunisian reached the quarters at the only Slam in 2020 back in January and reached that same round last week before bowing out to Azarenka. However, it was Kenin that knocked her out at Melbourne Park and it’s no surprise to see the second seed amongst the favourites. It should be noted though, that she’s lost her only competitive match since the return to Aliza Cornet 6-1 7-6.
US Open 2020 Betting Tips
With it being an unusual Grand Slam given the current circumstances it would a surprise if there weren’t a few early upsets, but if last week at Cincinnati is anything to go by the best players generally tend to com out on top towards the business end.
Pliskova will take confidence in the fact that her scheduled third round match with Brady would be just the third time in her career she’s made it that far at a Slam, with the other two coming way back in 2017 at Aussie Open and here. However, Caroline Garcia scheduled in the second round and either Kerber or Riske in her fourth round, followed by another tough fixture in the quarters makes us unsure on her third favouritism, not to mention she lost her solitary competitive match in straight sets on her return. Instead, it’s Petra Martic that holds the value for us in this first quarter. The Croatian should breeze through to at least the fourth round like she did here 12 months ago, only this time Serena Williams won’t be waiting in her path at that stage and we feel she can turn a few heads this fortnight.
We’re struggling to see who can stop the in-form Japanese superstar Naomi Osaka in this second quarter. She’s W9-L0 against all of Collins, Kontaveit, Yastremska and Kvitova, who’re tussling it out to face her in either the fourth or quarter-final rounds and although she’ll likely not have an easy match this fortnight, she looks to good to not get behind.
The four players that jump off the page in this section are Serena Williams, Maria Sakkari, Madison Keys and Garbine Muguruza. It’s hard to ignore the fact that Serena has lost just four times at US Open since the start of 2015 and even if she hasn’t won the event in that time, that is a remarkable run. However, the price has factored that in with her one of the two clear front runners in the market, while although Muguruza has the favourable draw her price at 18/1 doesn’t show that much appeal either given she hasn’t played a competitive match since February. Keys’ difficult draw makes her also less appealing to get behind and so it’s the Greek 15th seed who looks the most intriguing at a huge 40/1. She beat all of Cori Gauff, Yulia Putintseva and the Williams sister last week and that’s enough for us to get behind her.
Having backed Jo Konta last week at 90/1 her price doesn’t look quite so appealing now at 16/1 in a much harder tournament, even given her easy draw. Kenin in normal circumstances would be the one to back, but her defeat in Cincinnati means we’re happy to serve her, while with Azarenka and Sabalenka having such an early showdown their prices look too short for us. Therefore, it’s Elise Mertens that looks the value option. The Belgian is in great form and has won 17 of her 22 matches at the hard court Slams since the start of 2018 making her the one to beat in the fourth quarter.
This year’s US Open will have a very different feel to it than in years past. Not only will there be no spectators in attendance due to the Covid pandemic, but two of the world’s best players will also be missing from New York next week. Novak Djokovic heads into this as the top seed as expected, though Roger Federer’s and Rafael Nadal’s absences leaves Austrian Dominic Thiem as second seed this time round. Federer used the break in tennis as an opportunity to have surgery on his knee and ultimately rule him out for the rest of the season. Spaniard Rafa Nadal took the decision to not appear amid concerns over the pandemic and will miss the opportunity to defend his crown. Those two absences count for eight of the last 13 Grand Slam wins, while the other five came from Novak Djokovic so it’s no wonder the Serb heads the market here, though it does leave the door open for a surprise winner. Tipsters Form Labs cast their eye over the men’s draw for the US Open with their preview and betting tips.
Number One seeds have made at least the quarters in 17 of the last 18 competitions, the semis in 16 and claimed the title in eight. The exception coming as Djokovic retired in last year’s fourth round.
57/60 finalists since 1990 have been seeded, with 51 being in the top 10 and 46 in the top six.
25/30 winners have been in the top-six seeds.
Novak Djokovic is the runaway favourite to come out of this draw unscathed, and shouldn’t find his path to the semis too treacherous. The Serb is yet to lose a match in 2020 from his 21 played (at the time of writing), though faces a tough task as he comes up against in form Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the Cincinnati semi-finals. Regardless of that result, he shouldn’t face too much trouble here. The highest other seeded player in his quarter is David Goffin, though he leads the Belgian 7-1 in head-to-heads including a 4-0 record on outdoor hardcourts. Seventh seed Goffin also has a tricky opener against Reily Opelka whose serve could cause him some trouble.
28th seed Jan-Lennard Struff shouldn’t cause any issues in the third round should they meet there, considering Djokovic just swatted him aside 6-3 6-1 in Cincinnati on Wednesday, and it’s John Isner who is arguably the biggest threat. While the Serb holds a 10-2 record against the home favourite, although both the big servers victories came on the outdoor hard courts in America where he is a more favourable W2-L3 on, with all three Djokovic wins seeing a tie break at some point in the match so that could be worth keeping an eye on.
Denis Shapovalov is second favourite to go through to the semis from this quarter, but with just five wins from 13 matches in 2020, it’s hard to make a case for the Canadian. He’s never made it past the fourth round at a Grand Slam, and he also went tumbling out of the Western & Southern Open second round this week, so we’re inclined to forget about his chances here, and it’s Isner who looks the biggest threat to the three time champion.
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev are the market leaders for this section of the draw, and it’s a bit of a tossup between the respective fourth and fifth seeds. After a disappointing start to the year with a third round exit at the Australian Open, Tsitsipas bounced back with a win in Marseille and a final appearance in Dubai before the break. He’s also into the semis in Cincinnati this week which will give him confidence to right his wrongs from last year and a first round exit. The Greek also doesn’t have the toughest run in, with Dusan Lajovic the favourite to stop him reaching the quarters. Moreover, the Greek player has won the last five meetings against Zverev, and looks to have a much easier side to the draw.
The German has a tough opening round match against big hitting Kevin Anderson, while the likes of Jack Sock, Lorenzo Sonego, Diego Schwartzman, Hubert Hurkacz and Dennis Novak all pose a threat to the 23-year-old’s chances of reaching the quarters.
In what has been a slightly contrasting year to Tsitsipas, Zverev managed a solid semi-final run at the Australian Open only to lose to Dominic Thiem, though he followed that up with a second round defeat in Mexico to Tommy Paul and lost to Andy Murray in the first round this week. It’s difficult to gauge his form on such a small sample of games lately, but his run to the quarters is by no means a walk in the park and the fact Tsitsipas has that advantageous record between them, he looks a solid bet even if they do meet in the quarters.
Daniil Medvedev is the highest seeded player in this quarter, and he’ll be confident he can go all the way this year having lost in the final to Nadal 12 months ago. Just the one semi-final this year isn’t good enough by his standards, though with such a long break he can be somewhat forgiven. He lost in the third round this week to Bautista Agut, which in theory gives him a greater rest and longer to prepare for only the second Slam of the year.
He should have no problem making the fourth round, with Guido Pella in a scheduled third round the biggest challenge. The Argentine has a 2-0 record over the Russian, though both came on his preferred clay surface and the most recent was all the way back in May last year so we wouldn’t read too much into that. He’s most destined to meet Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth in what would be a repeat of last years semi-final, though the Bulgarian has the likes of Tommy Paul, Frances Tiafoe, Andreas Seppi and Nikoloz Basilashvili to contend with before that point. Even if they were to meet, Medvedev also won there only other hard court meeting in 2017, and looks well placed to get to at least the quarters.
The other side of this quarter looks to be a three-way battle between Matteo Berrettini, Benoit Paire and Andrey Rublev. Italian Berrettini reached the semis here last year, though bowed out in the second round in Melbourne at the start of 2020. While he’s not played much competitive tennis since, he won nine of his 1 exhibition matches dating back to late June, beating Paire but losing to Rublev, though with those two likely facing off before they meet Berrettini, he could be worth getting behind to replicate his run from last year.
Andrey Rublev made a strong run to the fourth round at the Aussie Open before understandably losing to Zverev. He’s again not played much since, though he exited at the quarter final stage in both his follow up tournaments, as well as a first round defeat to Dan Evans this week which doesn’t bode well for him. It’s likely he’ll face Berrettini in round four, though we can’t see him progressing much further than that.
Second seed Dominic Thiem is one of the most frustrating players on the circuit due to his inconsistency. While the Austrian has reached three of the last eight Grand Slam finals, he’s also exited at the first stage in a further three, including this competition last year. He followed up his Australian Open final run with a quarters in the Rio clay before the break, but won a whopping 25 of his 28 exhibition matches since the restart. His inconsistency shone through again with a shock first round exit in Cincinnati, and he’s got a tough draw to navigate here.
He should come through his first round with Jaume Munar having won all three previous meetings against the Spaniard. A third round meeting with 31st seed Marin Cilic is where it gets trickier for him, though on three of the four most recent occasions where he’s reached that stage at Slams, he’s gone on to the final, and his 100% record against the Croat from there two meetings should fill him with confidence for that.
Either Andy Murray or Felix Auger-Aliassime should await him in the fourth. 2012 winner Murray poses the biggest threat, though it’s unclear if the five sets will take too much of a toll on him, and he can’t be backed considering.
Milos Raonic, Roberto Bautista Agut, Alex De Minaur and Karen Khachanov are the seeded players on the other side of this quarter, and all will fancy their chances of making a good run of things. Raonic has made the quarters in three of his last five Grand Slams and is worth watching out for. He made the semis at Delray Beach after the Australian Open, and is into the semis in Cincinnati this week. He’s showing arguably the best form from anyone outside Djokovic, and has the experience to go far here. Bautista Agut won all six matches at the ATP Cup at the beginning of the year and is also in the semis of Cincinnati. He’s been one of the best players on the circuit in this limited year, though to go well he’ll have to do something about that W0-L5 record he has against Raonic.
Khachanov lost to Bautista Agut this week, and has never made it past the third round of a hard court Grand Slam, so it’s difficult to get behind the Russian with such a tough draw and while Alex De Minaur is one of the upcoming stars of the sport, his two wins in just six matches this year isn’t encouraging us to back him.
With two of the big three missing this week, it’s no wonder that Djokovic is odds on. Though that does leave some of the chasing pack in with a big shout, especially each way, with a few of them at some tantalising prices.
Stefanos Tsitsipas looks to be the pick of the bunch with his form over the year coupled with a more favourable draw than he’d have been expecting. He’s got a great record against Zverev if they are to meet, and he could be in with a chance of reaching a final again if Djokovic somehow falls short and at 15/2 we’re happy to get behind him.
The other side of the draw is where some real value can be had. Thiem and Medvedev are the two favourites from this side, though with Medvedev not showing any signs of the form he was in in the build up to last year’s event, and with some solid players in his quarter we’d rather avoid him as second favourite. Dominic Thiem seems to carry momentum through the Grand Slams if he gets up and running, so if he makes it through the opening rounds unscathed, we can see him doing well and we’ll take a chance on him at 17/2.
Milos Raonic is the final pick for us this week. He’s looking in good form heading into this and has been playing some good tennis all year. His experience over some of the younger players on the tour should give him an edge in what is a tricky draw for the Canadian, and he looks well priced at 22/1 to capitalise on the absence of Nadal and Federer.
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