The final Grand Slam of the season, the US Open, gets underway at Flushing Meadows in New York next week, and after a quiet spell post-Wimbledon the big guns have come to the fore. The Men’s US Open betting favourites, defending champion Rafael Nadal and Wimbledon hero Novak Dkokovic, have both been victorious this August, setting up what has to be a titanic 2018 US Open.
2017 US Open champion Rafael Nadal defeated only one seeded player, Croatia’s Marin Cilic - the winner of the US Open in 2014 - on his way to the final of the Rogers Cup in Canada two weeks ago, with his only dropped set coming against that rival in the quarter finals.
While taken to a second set tie-break by up-and-coming Greek youngster Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Final, he was a comfortable winner having taken the first set 6-2.
Nadal is chasing a fourth victory in the final Grand Slam of the season, having won in 2010 and 2013, in addition to last year’s straight sets victory over South Africa’s Kevin Anderson.
Novak Djokovic’s victory came in last week’s Cincinnati Masters, a competition in which he was taken to three sets by Cilic, and also Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov and Adrian Mannarino. He then defeated Roger Federer, again, in straight sets.
Federer rounds out the top three in the 2018 US Open betting market. He was playing his first tournament since his Wimbledon Final defeat, when beaten by Djokovic in Cincinnati. The 37-year-old has had a packed season, perhaps peaking at the beginning with that emphatic 20th Grand Slam title victory at the Australian Open.
With the big three all in good form in recent tournaments, this US Open looks set to be a Grand Slam in which the youngsters may well be best-placed to spring a surprise.
Stefanos Tstsipas looks a big price at 50/1 in the outright market with Unibet following his good form on hard court this season. A fourth round exit at Wimbledon marked his best performance at Grand Slam, but he has enjoyed some good runs of late, making the semi-final in Washington, in addition to playing the Rogers Cup Final.
Among the players that Tstsipas has beaten in recent times are Novak Djokovic, Kevin Anderson, Dominic Thiem, and fellow youngster Alexander Zverev.
Of the more experienced campaigners, 2016 winner Stanislas Wawrinka has shown some good form, his most recent defeats coming at the hands of Nadal and Federer.
In the 2018 Women’s US Open, all eyes will be on 23-time Grand Slam singles winner Serena Williams, who is on the comeback trail having given birth to her first child.
Williams reached the final at Wimbledon, but her prep for this has hardly been ideal, with defeats at the hands of Johanna Konta and Petra Kvitova in recent weeks.
It would be dangerous to write off a player who has won this six times and reached the final on two other occasions, so consider taking that top price of 6/1 with Black Type now - it would look extreme value if she did register her 24th Grand Slam victory at Flushing Meadows.
Simona Halep is currently second favourite at 7/1 with Bet365, after taking a first Grand Slam victory at the French Open in June. Two weeks ago, she defeated plenty of top players on her way to victory over Sloane Stephens in the Final of the Rogers Cup, and arrives in New York in great form to justify her position in the betting.
Sloane Stephens has shown strong form on hard courts since returning from injury last year, and comes into the 2018 US Open as the defending champion, having beaten Madison Keys in straight sets in the Final last year.
She suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Belgium’s Elise Mertens in the last 16 of the Cincinnati Masters, but has shown enough this season to suggest that at a best price of 11/1 with BetVictor, she can put up a bold show in her bid to defend her title.
Among the players she beat on her way to that Final was Belarusian youngster Aryna Sabalenka, who was a finalist on grass at Eastbourne the week before Wimbledon. The big hitting 20-year-old is coached by former tour pro Dmitry Tursonov and her game looks well suited to hard courts.
At the time of writing, she is still involved in this week’s tournament in New Haven, but and at a huge 60/1 with Unibet, she’s worth a punt to cause a shock against her more experienced rivals.