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As the final Grand Slam of the season, the US Open tends to suffer from a couple of high profile withdrawals. The physical demands of tennis are arguably tougher than any other sport and injuries have always been a part of the game but the build up to this year’s US Open has seen several big name players pull out.
Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori will all miss out while in the women’s tournament, six time champion Serena Williams is absent due to maternity leave.
We still have plenty of big name players in the tournament and several young pretenders looking for their breakthrough wins so let’s try to find some winners from the coming fortnight of world class tennis.
Roger Federer 6/4 (Sky Bet)
Rafael Nadal 11/4 (Betfred)
Alexander Zverev 8/1 (Paddy Power)
Andy Murray 8/1 (Paddy Power)
Nick Kyrgios 18/1 (William Hill)
Marin Cilic 18/1 (Ladbrokes)
Grigor Dimitrov 20/1 (William Hill)
Dominic Thiem 25/1 (Betfred)
The scourge of injuries has not just affected those players who cannot compete at Flushing Meadows. Andy Murray and Nick Kyrgios will be playing on with hip injuries. The extent of Murray’s injury made it hard to watch the closing stages of his defeat to Sam Querrey at Wimbledon and he’s not been seen on court since.
Kyrgios’ hip problems forced him to withdraw during Wimbledon and he looked in equally poor physical shape during the first round of the recent Cincinnati Masters. However, he managed to battle for the win David Goffin and from then on there was no sign of any injury as he made it to the final of that tournament. Ultimately, Kyrgios fell at the final hurdle against Grigor Dimitrov and that first ATP 1000 Masters victory will give the Bulgarian huge confidence as he heads to Flushing Meadows.
Many of Dimitrov’s best Grand Slam results have come after a big week leading up to the tournament and we could see the same again this time around. At 20/1 with William Hill, Dimitrov looks a good each-way play.
There are still questions about Dimitrov’s ability to play his best tennis on the biggest stages but there are no such problems for Roger Federer. He’s won the US Open five times and looks on course to claim the title for the first time since 2008. The Swiss showed that skipping Roland Garros was a good idea when he claimed the Wimbledon title having arrived nice and fresh and his withdrawal from Cincinnati recently should ensure he is in top shape in New York.
Federer is playing as well as ever and at 6/4 with Sky Bet he could claim his third Grand Slam of the season at the age of 36.
Garbine Muguruza 9/2 (Bet365)
Karolina Pliskova 15/2 (Paddy Power)
Simona Halep 9/1 (Ladbrokes)
Jo Konta 11/1 (Coral)
Elina Svitolina 12/1 (Sportingbet)
Madison Keys 16/1 (Sky Bet)
Maria Sharapova 16/1 (Ladbrokes)
Venus Williams 20/1 (Sky Bet)
Federer’s dominant display at Wimbledon is one of the main reasons that he is the favourite in the men’s tournament and the same can be said of Garbine Muguruza in the women’s draw. The Spaniard made a mockery of her odds at Wimbledon to overpower her opposition and her recent win in Cincinnati suggests she will be a major contender in New York.
The main problem with backing the favourite at 9/2 with Bet365 is her concerning trend of turning in very poor performances out of nowhere. We’ve seen those missteps in Eastbourne, Stanford and Toronto and so it could pay to back another player in the women’s draw. How about the player who actually lost to Muguruza in the Cincinnati final?
Simona Halep knows that a solid week in New York will see her become the number one ranked female tennis player in the world. She could end up reaching that milestone at the same time as winning her maiden Grand Slam.
There is no questioning the technical ability of Halep. She is a very aggressive player who likes to do her damage from the baseline (a style of play that took her to the semi final of the US Open in 2015). The problem that Halep has faced throughout her career is her on court demeanour. Too often she’s become frustrated and negative and it all got too much for her coach, Darren Cahill, who briefly parted company with her.
Cahill returned before Wimbledon after getting assurances from Halep that she would change her ways but she was back to her worst during the Cincinnati final. However, she admitted that she’d made mistakes with her approach in that match and having that reminder so close to Flushing Meadows could well work in her favour. At odds of 9/1 with Ladbrokes, Halep looks the value bet of the women’s tournament.
Roger Federer to win at 6/4 with Sky Bet
Grigor Dimitrov each-way at 20/1 with William Hill
Simona Halep to win at 9/1 with Ladbrokes