Mon, Aug 27, 1:09pm by Staff Writer
The final Grand Slam major of 2018 begins at Flushing Meadows, New York on Tuesday morning when the 138th US Open commences.
Two-time winner and 2018 Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic is the $3.50 favourite at Sportsbet to win his first US Open since 2015.
Djokovic has enjoyed a wonderful return to tennis after being hampered by injury during the first six months of the season.
His win at Wimbledon against Kevin Anderson was followed by a win in the recent ATP1000 event in Cincinnati, the first time he has won that title. In doing so, he became the first player to win all four Grand Slams, all Masters 1000 events and the end of year championships.
Djokovic is seeded sixth for the US Open, setting up a clash with Roger Federer in the second week of the tournament.
Federer’s hard court form left a little to be desired from the Swiss maestro, who we are used to seeing at an exceptional level.
His ground strokes were erratic in his loss in the final at Cincinnati and he was forced to win a number of tiebreaks during that week in Ohio.
Federer is $7 to win the US Open, a tournament he won on five consecutive occasions between 2004 and 2008.
A potential third round clash against 30th seed Nick Kyrgios will not be easy for Federer, with a potential showdown against Australian Open semi finalist Hyeon Chung in the fourth round.
Top seed and defending champion Rafael Nadal is $3.75 to win the US Open after defeating Kevin Anderson last year.
Nadal skipped Cincinnati after winning the ATP1000 event in Toronto a week prior. The Spaniard once again looked comfortable on the American hard courts and is primed for another deep run at Flushing Meadows.
He has won at Flushing Meadows three times and faces veteran countryman David Ferrer in the first round, with Russian Karen Khachanov a potential third round opponent.
Unproven in best-of-five set matches, Germany’s Alexander Zverev is a risky proposition at $11 and fourth favourite in the betting at Sportsbet.
Zverev has not made it past the second round at Flushing Meadows, but faces lucky loser Peter Polansky in the first round. Polansky enters the main draw as a lucky loser for the fourth Grand Slam this year. That is the first time that feat has been achieved.
Past winners Juan Martin Del Potro ($13) and Marin Cilic ($21) are both going to be contending in the second week of the tournament, with fitness concerns plaguing the veteran Argentinian.
After losing the Los Cabos final to Fabio Fognini, Del Potro skipped Toronto and looked rusty in Cincinnati in a straight sets loss to David Goffin.
The big man is the third seed in New York and after making a run to last year’s semi finals, he is one not to be discounted.
Big serving Kevin Anderson has yet to hit his straps in this North American swing, with his most notable win being against an out of sorts Grigor Dimitrov in Toronto.
Anderson made the final in New York a year ago and will be defending plenty of points. He is $34 to win his first major.
Injury riddled Nick Kyrgios is certainly not worth a wager at $34 given that he faces a round three showdown against Roger Federer. What sort of fitness levels the Australian will offer over best-of-five sets remains a mystery.
Stan Wawrinka ($41) and Andy Murray ($41) have both made steady improvement long lay offs, with the former enjoying better form than the Brit. Neither should have the fitness to last deep into the second week, but they are certainly capable of springing an upset, with Wawrinka’s round one clash against Grigor Dimitrov sure to be one of the early tournament highlights.
The two shortest priced favourites to win the US Open are likely to meet in the final and with little separating them; Djokovic’s hunger to recapture the US Open should see him win another Grand Slam.
Best bet- Novak Djokovic to win at $3.50
Value bet- Marin Cilic to win at $21
US Open Odds – Sportsbet
Novak Djokovic $3.50
Rafael Nadal $3.75
Roger Federer $7
Alexander Zverev $11
Juan Martin Del Potro $13
Marin Cilic $21
Kevin Anderson $34
Nick Kyrgios $34
Andy Murray $41
Stan Wawrinka $41
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