US Open Tennis Betting Preview : Dominant Djokovic and Keys to spring a surprise

Tennis Previews
Last Updated : 22nd August, 2019 By Steve A
VENUE
Flushing Meadows, New York
TIME
26 Aug - 8 Sep
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Live on Amazon Prime
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The final Grand Slam of the year comes around at Flushing Meadows, New York comes round at the end of August and while the men’s singles appears to be a reasonably predictable outcome, there could be something of a surprise in the women’s.

Djokovic is still the man to beat

As has been the case for years, the three favourites in the men’s event are Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. The likes of Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka have made forays into this elite group over the last 10 years, but this trio have remained at the top of the sport for over a decade and will be attracting the majority of the cash again this year at the US Open, having won 11 between them.

There are a couple of long-shots, such as Dominic Thiem and Stafanos Tsitsipas, and one very exciting name that is attracting some interest in Daniil Medvedev. The 23-year-old has found some incredible form this year and specifically this month, when he has reached three finals.

Medvedev lost out in the finals at the Washington and Canadian Opens, but then won the Cincinnati Masters, where he beat Djokovic in the semi-finals. He has other ATP Tour wins on hard courts having triumphed at the Sydney International, Winston-Salem Open, Japan Open and Sofia Open over the last couple of years. He looks set to be a real contender at Flushing Meadows in the years to come, but can he make the leap to superstardom now?

The concern is that he has never been to a quarter-final of any Grand Slam and only once to the fourth round – at this year’s Australian Open. With Djokovic, Federer and Nadal all still potent forces, it is a big leap for Medvedev to get his hands on the trophy. He has the form, but does he have the experience and the Grand Slam nous? Not yet.

The man who will be lifting the trophy this year is the same man who did so 12 months ago and the player who the bookmakers fancy as well – Novak Djokovic. The world number one will actually feel disappointed he hasn’t won more than three US Open titles, despite that being an exceptional return. The Serb has reached seven of the last nine finals in New York and another one before that. However, without being completely dominant in the event, he has been remarkably consistent over the last decade.

Djokovic has had another sensational year, winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon over 2019 and he is now aiming for a hat-trick of Grand Slam titles in a season for the third time in his sensational career.

He has only played one event since Wimbledon, losing in that semi-final to Medvedev in Cincinnati which actually may have focussed the mind of the world number one, more than anything. He seemed to be strolling to success in that tournament, even winning the first set against Medvedev before losing over three. Djokovic will not want that to happen again and he will be heading to New York all guns blazing.

As for Federer and Nadal, the Swiss legend was dominant at Flushing Meadows, winning every year from 2004-08, but things have changed since then. Federer has not won the event since ’08 and only been to one of the last nine finals. He is a threat, but not enough to back.

Nadal has won the US Open three times since Federer last did and is a much more appealing option that the Swiss. The Spaniard has twice beaten Djokovic in the final and got his hands on the trophy as recently as 2017. He is also in good nick after winning the Canadian Open this month, hammering Medvedev in the final. With this in mind, Nadal will be attracting some money, but Djokovic is just the more convincing argument at Flushing Meadows.

Serena is not worth backing

While the favourite is the most appealing option in the men’s singles, that is absolutely not the case in the women’s singles. The bookmakers are still expecting Serena Williams to come away with the trophy in New York, but there are plenty of reasons why that will not happen.

Serena first won the US Open 20 years ago, which is incredible, but she has not claimed the title since 2014. She has not won a Grand Slam of any flavour since the Australian Open in 2017, skipping four of those events, but she has now competed in six majors without winning one. She is not a spent force, Williams has reached the final of three of those Grand Slams, but she is by no means dominant at the top of the women’s game anymore, nor should she be as she turns 38 in September.

There is also the significant problem of her ongoing back complaint. Williams has entered five non-Grand Slam tournaments this season and has had to either withdraw or retire from all of them. She seems to be able to deal with the pain when she absolutely has to (i.e. in Grand Slams), but she is clearly not fully fit. Williams made it to the final of the Rogers Cup earlier this month before retiring mid-game and pulled out before playing a shot at the Cincinnati Masters just last week.

Keys can be Queen of New York

The woman that is worth backing ahead of this year’s event is in form and has a good record at Flushing Meadows and can win her first ever Grand Slam title this year in front of a home crowd – Madison Keys.

The American is coming off an impressive victory at the Cincinnati Masters, beating the likes of Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza and Svetlina Kuznetsova en route to the title. The world number 10 has won two WTA titles in a season for the first time in her career after claiming the Charleston Open in April as well.

Keys reached the final of the US Open in 2017 and the semi-finals last year, only losing out to the eventual champion Naomi Osaka in the last four. She seems to have been around for a long time, making her US Open debut in 2011, but she is still only 24-years-old and is really coming into her own now. She is becoming a regular face in latter stages of Grand Slams, having reached the semi-finals of the Australian and French as well and is ready to bridge the gap to champion now.

At fifth favourite for the title, Keys looks fantastic value to win the tournament.



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Statistics


  • Novak Djokovic has reached seven of the last nine US Open finals
  • Djokovic has won four of the last five Grand Slam title, dating back to Wimbledon 2018
  • The world number one has not failed to reach the semi-finals of the US Open wince 2006
  • Djokovic has never defended the US Open title
  • Roger Federer has not won the US Open since 2008
  • Favourite Serena Williams has not won the US Open since 2014
  • Williams has retired or withdrawn from all five non-Grand Slam events she has entered this year
  • Madison Keys has won two WTA events in a season for the first time in her career in 2019
  • Keys has reached the final and the semi-final at the US Open in the last two years
  • Defending champion Naomi Osaka has not reached a WTA final since January

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