US Open Tennis 2021 – Men’s Outright Tips and Betting Preview

History could be made in New York this week as for the first time in 50 years the same player could win all four Grand Slam titles in the same year. That player is Novak Djokovic who is the overwhelming favourite to win the US Open, which begins at Flushing Meadows on Monday.

Dominic Thiem won this tournament last year but injury will deny him the opportunity to defend his title, making the task of Djokovic potentially easier but there are plenty of players in decent enough form to fancy their chances.

Recent Winners

2020 – Dominic Thiem

2019 – Rafael Nadal

2018 – Novak Djokovic

2017 – Rafael Nadal

2016 – Stan Wawrinka

2015 – Novak Djokovic

2014 – Marin Cilic

2013 – Rafael Nadal

2012 – Andy Murray

2011 – Novak Djokovic

The Format

The usual Grand Slam rules apply for this tournament with every match the best of five sets throughout. This is one of those Slams where the final set will be decided by a tiebreak. There have been a few big name withdrawals but 128 men have made it into the draw and have already been placed into the bracket. The tournament is a straight knockout with the champion crowned on the second Sunday of the event. Full crowds are back so long as they have been jabbed so we should get all the usual New York excitement over the two weeks.

Top Quarter

This is the section of the draw which will carry the most attention as it is the one Novak Djokovic which look to emulate Rod Laver from and win the calendar Grand Slam. He hasn’t played since the Olympics though so it will be interesting to see what sort of form he’s in. He does look to have a lovely draw though with the seeds in his section either out of form or not suited to these conditions. Matteo Berrettini is the prospective quarter final opponent but he has had injury problems since Wimbledon. The other seeds in this quarter are David Goffin, another who has had injury troubles, Aslan Karatsev, Alex de Minaur, Hubert Hurkacz, Lorenzo Sonego and Fabio Fognini.

This is a Grand Slam so there are always going to be plenty of recognisable players in the draw without a seeding next to their name. In this first quarter they include Jan-Lennard Struff, Kei Nishikori, Jenson Brooksby, Taylor Fritz, Marton Fucsovics, Vasek Pospisil, the Winston Salem winner Ilya Ivashka and Jeremy Chardy. It would be a surprise if anything happened to Djokovic in this section but if it does it is a wide open quarter.

Second Quarter

Alexander Zverev was a couple of games away from winning this tournament last year before going down to Dominic Thiem in the final. Since then he has won the Olympic gold medal and the Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati over the last month or so and is probably the form horse coming in. There are all sorts of issues regarding him off court which aren’t likely to go away but he’ll fancy another deep run here. Denis Shapovalov has had a rotten hard court run so far and he’s the seeded quarter final opponent. The other seeds are the Olympic silver medallist Karen Khachanov, Toronto finalist Reilly Opelka, Pablo Carreno Busta, Jannik Sinner, Gael Monfils and Alexander Bublik.

Once again there are household names in the unseeded brigade here. Some big serving Americans will be on show in the likes of Sam Querrey, Jack Sock and Steve Johnson while Lucas Pouille, Marco Cecchinato, Pablo Cuevas, Lloyd Harris, Nikoloz Basilashvili and Sebastian Korda are all perfectly capable players on their day. Max Purcell is one of the youngsters looking to make a bit of a name for themselves over this fortnight.

Third Quarter

The French Open finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas is the top seed in the third quarter but having not really delivered his best tennis at New York there is an immediate sense that the Greek could be vulnerable in this section of the draw. The Cincinnati finalist Andrey Rublev would appear on paper to be the man to make the most of any waywardness with Tsitsipas but there are six other seeds who will feel they have landed in the right part of the bracket here. They are Filip Krajinovic, Roberto Bautista Agut, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Cristian Garin, Ugo Humber and Cameron Norrie.

Potentially the two biggest names of those who aren’t seeded are in this quarter as well in Andy Murray and Nick Krygios. They both have tough opening assignments though with Murray facing Tsitsipas and Krygios meeting Bautista Agut. Other players include Adrian Mannarino, Carlos Alcaraz, Benoit Paire, Dusan Lajovic, John Millman whose finest moment came here when he beat Roger Federer a few years ago, Feliciano Lopez and Frances Tiafoe who has gone well on the American hard courts this term.


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Bottom Quarter

The Australian Open finalist Daniil Medvedev is the highest seed in the bottom quarter and much like Djokovic in the top section, the Toronto champion looks to have a lovely draw to work with initially. That is because the next highest seed, the potential quarter final opponent for Medvedev, is Casper Ruud who isn’t really suited both to the fast hard courts and the bright lights of the New York atmosphere. The other seeds in this quarter are Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, John Isner, Diego Schwartzman, Grigor Dimitrov, Dan Evans and the former champion Marin Cilic.

As with the other quarters there are a few unseeded players who are recognisable not lead Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who is in the twilight of his career now. His French compatriot Richard Gasquet is another one while the likes of Dominik Koepfer, Alexei Popyrin and Kevin Anderson will all fancy their chances of being relevant this week. Brandon Nakashima is another who has plenty of promise but you sense this quarter is about Medvedev.

Outright Betting

Novak Djokovic is widely expected to win this tournament but history waits for nobody and we’ve seen the weight of it hold players back in the past and I’m sure it will again. Not only is the Serb looking to emulate Rod Laver and win all four Slams in the same year but a win here would take him past Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to 21 titles. When you consider how many times Serena Williams has been in that position and failed we shouldn’t think it is automatic that he’ll win here, especially if the talk of a shoulder injury is true.

I will take Djokovic on and although the off court issues with Alexander Zverev are far from ideal, nobody arrives here in better form than the German. In the last month or so he has won the Olympics and the title in Cincinnati and looks in supreme form right now. His run to the final here last year looks to have given him a lot of belief and although his section is more competitive than some in the draw, I still think he’ll have a decent run here. The fact he knows he can beat Djokovic should they meet in the semi-final is significant and if the reports that Ashe is playing as fast as people say is true then Zverev could easily serve his way to the title this year.

At a monster price I will also take a chance on Felix Auger-Aliassime delivering the goods from the other half of the draw. I think most judges expect the young Canadian to win a Grand Slam and right now if it is going to happen then it will be here where the fast courts make his serve more awkward to face and he can get involved with the rest of his game. He is in the third quarter where Tsitsipas looks vulnerable and Andrey Rublev doesn’t have anything like the five set record that he does over three sets. Auger-Aliassime is exciting which is important in New York and he saw off the likes of Karen Khachanov and Matteo Berrettini in Cincinnati. He was a quarter finalist at Wimbledon and might just have a couple more steps in him here.

Quarter Betting

There isn’t a huge amount that I like the look of in the quarter betting this week but the last time crowds were in position in New York, Daniil Medvedev didn’t exactly endear himself to them so that might be significant because we saw recently that is still isn’t averse to the odd meltdown. I’m not sure he is vulnerable in the top quarter exactly but there might be a case of a door opening, especially were someone like Marin Cilic to revive the memories of old against him.

They would meet in the third round if the draw goes to plan but John Isner is in the other half of the quarter and so wouldn’t meet Medvedev until the quarter final. There is a lot of tennis to be played between now and then so it might be that Isner doesn’t face the Russian if he gets there. In these conditions Isner could be very tough to face with that booming serve of his and the powerful forehand when that serve does come back. At 14/1 I’ll have a nibble to see if he wins the section.

Tips

Back A.Zverev to win US Open (e/w) for a 2/10 stake at 7.50 with Boylesports (1/2 1-2)

Back J.Isner to win 4th Quarter for a 1/10 stake at 15.00 with Boylesports

Back them here:

Back F.Auger-Aliassime to win US Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 101.00 with William Hill (1/2 1-2)

Back him here:

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