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Rafael Nadal the new favourite at Flushing Meadows

Fri, Aug 31, 10:28am by Staff Writer

The first week of play at the US Open has been dominated by blistering heat and high humidity, forcing a number of retirements on the first four days of play.

In the men’s draw, top seed Rafael Nadal is now the favourite to win the event at $3.10 at Sportsbet.

Nadal has had a good start to the tournament, defeating David Ferrer (via retirement) and Vasek Pospisil in straight sets. He faces a potentially tricky third round match against 27th seed Karen Khachanov, but he does hold a 4-0 head-to-head advantage against the Russian.

Novak Djokovic battled against Marton Fucsovics in the searing heat on day two and won through in four sets. He is $3.50 to win the US Open.

Most of the big names in the men’s draw have made it through the second round.

The biggest upset so far was the elimination of 14th seed Fabio Fognini in four sets by Australian John Millman.

Other seeded players to have fallen out include 23rd seed Hyeon Chung, who has been battling injury since the Australia Open earlier in the year. 18th seed Jack Sock has had a terrible year and despite winning a Masters 1000 event in Paris at the end of last season, is currently outside the top 150 in the live rankings.

Roger Federer ($5.50) has an intriguing match up in the third round against Australia’s Nick Kyrgios ($26). Federer has had an early start to the tournament, but will be aware of the threat posed by the fiery Aussie.

Federer leads the head-to-head 3-1, with Kyrgios’ sole win coming on clay at Madrid.

The two met in Stuttgart on grass earlier this year, with Federer prevailing in a final set tiebreak. The total match games over looks a good wager in that one.

Alexander Zverev has looked comfortable at Flushing Meadows this season and will be aiming to progress past the third round for the first time at the event. He is $15 to win the tournament and takes on countryman Philip Kohlschreiber in the third round.

Juan Martin Del Potro made the semi-finals in New York last year and plays Fernando Verdasco in the third round, and has lost only once to the Spaniard.

Potential upsets in round three include Stan Wawrinka ($2.14) to beat 25th seed Milos Raonic ($1.72) and Daniil Medvedev ($2.27) to get the better of Borna Coric ($1.64).

In the women’s draw, Kaia Kanepi bundled top seed Simona Halep out in the opening round.

The new favourite in the women’s draw is Serena Williams ($5) who has a third round showdown with sister Venue in the third round.

Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber ($8) plays Dominika Cibulkova, with Kerber beating the Slovak twice this season.

2017 champion Sloane Stephens has a tricky third round match against Viktoria Azarenka, but has beaten her twice this season.

Australia’s Ash Barty is $21 to win the US Open and has a promising third round match up against Czech Karolina Muchova, who surprisingly knocked out Garbine Muguruza in the second round.

Sportsbet US Open Markets

Men’s Winner

Rafael Nadal $3.10

Novak Djokovic $3.50

Roger Federer $5.50

Juan Martin Del Potro $11

Alexander Zverev $15

Mari Cilic $21

Nick Kyrgios $26

Stan Wawrinka $34

Milos Raonic $41

Women’s Winner

Serena Williams $5

Angelique Kerber $8

Sloane Stephens $8

Elina Svitolina $11

Kiki Bertens $13

Madison Keys $13

Petra Kvitova $13

Ashleigh Barty $21

Karolina Pliskova $21

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