Thu, Aug 9, 10:29am by Staff Writer
19-year-old Australian Alex de Minaur has climbed 27 places in the ATP World Rankings after an impressive run to the final of the ATP500 event in Washington last week.
After the youngster made his first tour final earlier this season in Sydney, before losing to Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in three sets, he was bounced out of the Australian Open in the first round.
His new career-high ranking of 45 makes him a dangerous proposition ahead of the final major of the year, the US Open in Flushing Meadows.
De Minaur’s run to the final included three wins as an underdog against Australian Open semi-finalist Hyeon Chung, American Steve Johnson and fellow NextGen player Andrey Rublev.
World number three Alexander Zverev was far too strong in the final, with the 21-year-old making a name for himself in ATP500 and Masters 1000 events.
The 6-4 6-2 score is an accurate reflection of the disparity between the two at present, with de Minaur’s second serve in particular needing attention.
Zverev has now captured the Washington title in back-to-back seasons and will be eager to improve upon his best-placed finish at the US Open which was a second round exit in each of the past two seasons.
He is priced at $9 to win the US Open, behind Novak Djokovic ($3.75), Roger Federer ($5) and Rafael Nadal ($5).
Both Federer and Nadal are playing sparingly across the North American summer swing, with Nadal appearing at the Toronto Masters, where he is the tournament favourite.
Federer opted against playing in this week’s Rogers Cup, in favour of a returning in Cincinnati, which would be his first match since a five-set quarterfinal loss to Kevin Anderson.
Bernard Tomic was bounced out in the qualifiers in Toronto after a flat display against Brit Bradley Klahn, where he retired down a set and 3-0.
His hardcourt form has been poor this season, with only two wins from seven matches. He has lost his last three matches, including a straight sets defeat by world number 261 Egor Gerasimov in Los Cabos last week.
Tomic will have to qualify for the US Open and given current form, he may struggle to make the main draw.
Nick Kyrgios has battled injury all season and was eliminated from the Toronto Masters by an equally fragile Stan Wawrinka on Wednesday morning.
The three-set loss in Kyrgios’ second Masters 1000 tournament of the season is disappointing, as he appears frustrated and unable to sustain his powerful serve and groundstrokes for an entire match.
It will be interesting to see whether or not he takes part in next week’s Cinicinnati Masters or opts to rest ahead of the US Open. He is $26 to win the US Open at Sportsbet.
Thanasi Kokkinakis ($201) and Jordan Thompson ($501) will both be hoping to win a match at the US Open, with the former needing to qualify for the main draw.
Kokkinakis is another who has had an injury-plagued career thus far, playing less than 50 matches in the past three seasons.
Thompson has solid recent ATP Challenger form, losing the final of the Binghampton Challenger last week.
He only has one win on the ATP World Tour this season, against compatriot James Duckworth at Newport, which inspires little confidence heading into the US Open.
The world number 100 would be fortunate to pass the first round of the US Open and has struggled to perform at ATP World Tour level.
Andy Murray made played a near three-hour early morning marathon against Marius Copil in Washington before becoming emotional post-match and crying for almost a minute.
Murray’s return from injury has been challenging for the Scot, who has played only seven matches this season. His price of $13 to win the US Open is far too short given his lack of fitness and match-practice.
Former champion Juan Martin Del Potro ($13) is always a contender at Flushing Meadows, as is the big serving Marin Cilic ($19) who won his maiden Grand Slam title in New York in 2014.
Big serving Kevin Anderson ($34) and John Isner ($67) played an epic five-setter at Wimbledon, with both a threat in New York.
Anderson lost last year’s final to Nadal, while Isner’s best result at his home Grand Slam was a quarterfinals appearance back in 2011. He is in career-best form this season after winning his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title in Miami, and is a terrific price at the moment.
US Open Odds – Sportsbet
Novak Djokovic $3.75
Roger Federer $5
Rafael Nadal $5
Alexander Zverev $9
Juan Martin Del Potro $13
Andy Murray $17
Marin Cilic $19
Nick Kyrgios $26
Grigor Dimitrov $34
Kevin Anderson $34
Stan Wawrinka $34
John Isner $67
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