Novak won round 1 and 2 at the Australian and French, while Serena lost both but came back strongly to tie Steffi Graf’s record at Wimbledon. With both failing at the recent Olympics, who will finish the season on a high at this year’s final major, the US Open at Flushing Meadows, NY?
An in-depth look at the possible candidates who can derail them:
Kerber, Halep and Keys
Of these three players, Kerber has to be the biggest threat to Serena having already beaten her at the Australian Open earlier this year and also reaching the final and playing very well against the American at Wimbledon. The German is also placed in the bottom section of the draw which means if she meets Serena, it will be in the final.
While Halep has played pretty well recently, I feel her consistency is still a big concern. Unfortunately for her, she is in the same section as Serena and a quarter-final with the American looks very likely.
There is a huge expectation on Madison Keys this year as it’s really about time she stepped up in Major tournaments. And what perfect occasion to showcase her talent than her home Grand Slam. If Keys shows consistency in serve, she is a huge threat to everyone including Kerber and Serena.
Pliskova, Puig, Radwanska, Konta, Cibulkova and Bacsinszky
Pliskova is coming into this tournament after stunning performances against players like Kerber at the recent Cincinnati final! Surely, if she plays with such no-fear attitude, odds of around 30 on the outrights could prove value.
Puig’s form throughout Olympics was pretty incredible as she managed to win the Gold medal causing some incredible upsets on the way. Agreeing, she’s a very decent bet especially being in the bottom half of the draw.
Another value bet with odds of close to 40…
Radwanska’s form throughout this year has been pretty decent. If she can get past a possible 4th round match against Bacsinszky and a quarter final against Pliskova or Venus Williams, she’s in with a chance against Serena considering her defensive game is so sound. Radwanska is priced close to 30 on the Betfair outrights.
Konta, Cibu and Bacsinszky are all decent hard courters who are good enough to cause big upsets. All three are priced close to odds of around 100 on the Exchange currently.
Huge Value Bets:
Svitolina, Shvedova, Lisicki and Strycova
Svito’s form is good. Priced around 100 at the moment.
Shvedova was pretty exceptional at the recent Wimbledon. Odds are over 500 on her but sadly, she is in the same section as Serena Williams.
Lisicki and Strycova are priced around 300 at the moment.
The reason why I think Lisicki is a decent bet is because her game works harmoniously on these hard courts in USA. With the fastest recorded serve for any woman in WTA, if she can step up her primary weapon, the German could prove to be a huge threat in the bottom quarter of the draw, which includes the 2nd favourite for the title and compatriot Angelique Kerber.
In my humble opinion, the best looking investment is on the Czech Barbora Strycova who is good enough to reach the quarter finals with a possible showdown with Madison Keys, a battle which I genuinely feel she can win. Her only threat may come Kerber from the bottom section of the draw in a possible semi-final showdown..
Muguruza, Kvitova, Safarova and Makarova
Mugu, Kvitova and Safarova have all been inconsistent this year and I find no value in backing any of them. Makarova is actually a decent bet but the draw has been extremely harsh on her as the Russian must face her nemesis Serena Williams in round 1!
From the bottom half of the draw, I think the possible Semi Final would be Kerber against Keys or Strycova. In the top half, Serena’s only threat may come from Halep in the quarter finals.
With a record breaking opportunity to go past Steffi Graf at her home tournament, I cannot envisage Serena Williams losing US Open this year.
No surprises here, Serena Williams is the right favourite to win US Open 2016!!
The only person who can genuinely beat Djokovic in a 5 setter looks like the Scot, who has already reached the final of both Australian Open, French Open and won the Wimbledon title and even the Olympics, making 2016 his best year to date.
Odds of 3 on Murray will fall sharply in the coming days so staking big on him at the start and hedging later looks the right strategy!
Nadal, Del Potro, Cilic and Nishikori
Nadal showed signs of his previous best at the Olympics but playing doubles matches probably cost him a medal in the singles. Nevertheless, if the legendary Rafa finds his best form, we could be in for an absolute cracker of a tournament!
Del Potro was exceptional as well at the Olympics losing only to Murray in a very high quality match. Let us also not forget that he’s a former Champ at Flushing Meadows..
Cilic has been playing exceptional Tennis since the start of Wimbledon. Having beaten Andy Murray in straight sets just a week ago and also being a former Champion here in 2014, the Croatian is a genuine threat.
Nishikori is bound to face his nemesis Andy Murray who leads 7-1 in head to head matches. If he can get past the Scot in the quarter-finals somehow, there is reason to believe he can reach the final. Personally, I think it will be a big ask for the Japanese talent.
All 4 players are currently priced in the range of 30 – 40 on Betfair Exchange. My best tip out of these 4 would be Nadal.
High Value Bets:
Kyrgios, Monfils and Dimitrov.
All three are priced in the 100 – 150 range on Betfair Outrights.
Kyrgios is one tough hard courter to beat if his serves click.
Dimitrov looked extremely impressive at the recent Cincinnati Open where he should have beaten the eventual champion Cilic in the Semis.
Personally, I would go for Monfils amongst these three as his form has been simply incredible on hard courts this season. The Frenchman is good enough to sneak through to the semi-finals if he can get past Nadal in the quarters.
His next task: A showdown against world no 1 Djokovic!
Small Stakes + Huge Odds:
Isner and Karlovic
Isner is playing at home and will have all the crowd support if indeed he meets Djokovic in the 4th round. Odds of close to 300 looks genuine value on the American.
Karlo is priced @1000. While he hasn’t done anything big in major tournaments recently, it must be noted that he has historically played quite well on American hard court events. If he can step up his return game, the veteran is very much a threat for some big shots this year. A couple of quid is a calculated investment on the big serving Croat.
Wawrinka and Raonic
Raonic did play quite well at Wimbledon, but I haven’t been too impressed with his hard court display in recent months.
Wawrinka meanwhile, has definitely struggled for form throughout the season. Therefore, not suggesting to back either of these two.
As well as Djokovic has played against Andy Murray this season, I must admit that he hasn’t looked physically spot on in recent weeks. If indeed there is an injury issue for the Serbian, Andy looks the obvious choice to back on the Outright market.
On paper, it’s pretty much Djokovic vs Murray for this title. I’m opting for the Scot whose form is just incredible coming into this tournament.
Andy Murray to win US Open 2016!
Thanks for reading and Good Luck in your investments!