Wed, Sep 26, 10:08am by Staff Writer
Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka were winners of the year’s final Grand Slam in New York just weeks ago, with the latter claiming her first Grand Slam title in controversial circumstances.
Former world number one Djokovic dazzled in Flushing Meadows, dropping only two sets on his way to a second straight Grand Slam win, after taking out Wimbledon in July.
He defeated Juan Martin Del Potro in straight sets in the final and was seldom troubled all tournament.
In the women’s draw it was 20-year-old Naomi Osaka who became the first Japanese woman to win a Grand Slam after she defeated the highly-fancied Serena Williams in the final.
Osaka dropped just one set in the tournament, with the final marred by Williams’ outbursts to chair umpire Carlos Ramos, who warned her for coaching and penalised her a game for dissent.
The Davis Cup final takes place in late November between France and Croatia in France.
It will be the last Davis Cup tie before new changes are set to take effect in 2019, with the structure of the competition altering.
Croatia are $1.72 favourites to win the event, with France $2 outsiders.
In the semi-finals it was Croatia that defeated the United States 3-2.
After Borna Coric and Marin Cilic breezed through their opening singles rubbers in straight sets, the United States were set an uphill task.
Mike Bryan and Ryan Harrison won the doubles tie in five sets, before Sam Querrey shocked Marin Cilic to win in four sets on clay.
The final tie between Borna Coric and Francis Tiafoe was tense, with the American taking a two sets to one lead, before Coric won the match in five sets.
France’s tie was far less stressful than their finals opponents and was played on indoor hard courts in Lille.
In his debut for France, Benoit Paire dazzled against Pablo Carreno Busta, winning in straight sets and only dropping one game during the final two sets.
Lucas Pouille won a five set match against Roberto Bautista Agut and the doubles pairing of Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut were too good for Feliciano Lopez and Marcel Granollers.
The ‘Asian Swing’ is underway in the men’s and women’s tour, with tournaments in Chengdu, Shenzhen and Wuhan highlighting this week’s action.
All three events are played on outdoor hard courts in hot, humid conditions.
In Chendgu, Korean Hyeon Chung is the tournament favourite at $6, ahead of Fabio Fognini and Gael Monfils at $7.
Fognini has enjoyed success at ATP250 level this season, winning Monterrey and Bastad recently.
Monfils played a Challenger event in Taiwan last week and was victorious, but health and fitness is always a concern with the prolific Frenchman.
Sam Querrey is priced at $13 in a field that on his day, he can get the better of. The stifling conditions in China could be one reason why he is priced in double figures.
In Shenzhen it is Borna Coric, David Goffin and Stefanos Tsitsipas who are the favourites at $6.
Goffin is the event’s defending champion but withdrew from the indoor event in France last week, so his fitness is questionable.
Coric has the better of the hard court stats compared to Tsitsipas, with Andy Murray a surprising $7 shot, despite his slow comeback from injury.
Wuhan is one of five Premier 5 WTA events where all the big names play for one of the biggest prizes of the year outside the Grand Slams.
Simona Halep is the favourite to win at $6, with Angelique Kerber and Madison Keys both $9.
Tokyo winner Karolina Pliskova is looking to back up a title she won on indoor hard court last week and is $15, while defending champion Caroline Garcia is a $17 shot.
ATP Chengdu Outright Odds
Hyeon Chung $6
Fabio Fognini $7
Gael Monfils $7
Adrian Mannarino $10
Sam Querrey $13
ATP Shenzhen Outright Odds
Borna Coric $6
David Goffin $
Stefanos Tsitsipas $6
Andy Murray $7
Denis Shapovalov $7
Davis Cup Odds
Croatia $1.72 France $2
WTA Wuhan Outright Odds
Simona Halep $6
Angelique Kerber $9
Madison Keys $9
Elina Svitolina $10
Garbine Muguruza $10
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