Target This 50/1 Longshot For Wide Open Women's U.S. Open

Target This 50/1 Longshot For Wide Open Women's U.S. Open
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The 2021 U.S. Open went down as one for the longshots.  

Emma Radacanu burst onto the tennis scene, working through qualifying to win the tournament after entering as a 400/1 underdog. She defeated Leylah Fernandez in the final, who was also 250/1 before the grand slam started.  

Serena Williams’ retirement announcement will deservedly be the main storyline for this year’s Open, but this tournament is once again shaping up to allow a longshot to make another historic run. 

The favorites have struggled this hardcourt season. Some are dealing with injuries. We just saw Elena Rybakina win Wimbledon at 100/1 and it wouldn’t surprise me to see another longshot winner given the volatility of women’s tennis.  

Here’s a betting preview of the women’s U.S. Open and one player worth taking a flier on.  

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Should you bet on Serena?  

No.  

That’s all that needs to be said for this section.  

Look, if you want to bet her at +5000 in hopes she can catch some of the magical form she has shown in the past, go for it. It’s your money and it can at least be fun to watch. But I’d be more willing to bet she doesn’t win a set, let alone the U.S. Open.  

Williams has yet to win a set this hardcourt season, losing in straights to Nuria Parrizas-Diaz, Belinda Bencic and Raducanu. The Raducanu loss was her last outing and saw her get bageled in the second set (0-6). It was ugly.  

Willaims simply doesn’t have the power to overwhelm her opponents during the baseline rallies and lacks the mobility to consistently win those longer rallies. This doesn’t even consider the endurance she would need to win seven matches over the span of two weeks. Also, Williams is 0-4 since her comeback this year.  

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U.S. Open Womens Favorite Struggling 

Besides Rybakina, who could overpower her opponents with her first serve, there isn’t anyone at the top of the board I’d feel comfortable backing. Iga Swiatek is the favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook at +400 but she is just 4-4 in her last eight matches and has voiced her concerns about the balls being used at this tournament being harder to control than usual.  

"Right now we play powerful, and we kind of can't loosen up our hands with these balls,” she told the media. “I know that there are many players who complain, and many of them are top 10. 

"We make more mistakes, for sure. So I don't think if that's like really nice to watch visually," said Swiatek, who had a 37-match winning streak this year. "I don't know why they are different than men's ones. 

Simona Halep is the next favorite at +700, and she’s been dominant this hard season. Halep won the title in Toronto and has won eight of her last nine matches, but she now has injury concerns. She withdrew from the tournament in Cincinnati due to a hip injury.  

Naomi Osaka (+2500) has not shown the dominant form on her favorite surface this year. She’s just 1-4 this hardcourt season and has lost her last three matches.  

Ironically, the one person Osaka has beaten this year is who I will look to back at the Open.  

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Womens U.S. Open Best Bet 

Qinwen Zheng +5000 at DraftKings and FanDuel

If Zheng has proved anything, it’s that she has the game and mental fortitude to compete at grand slams.  

At the French Open this year, she defeated Halep, a former champion, and then managed to be the only person to win a set off Swiatek at the tournament in the round of 16. But any possibility to pull off the upset at the French was halted by an injury Zheng suffered that hampered her mobility.  

She went on to earn two wins at Wimbledon before again losing to the eventual champion, Rybakina. But as good as she performed at the French and Wimbledon, hard courts are her preferred surface.  

Zheng has a powerful game she can utilize off both wings but is also an explosive mover who can defend all corners of the court. Women’s tennis also regularly sees more breaks of serve compared to the men’s game, making it vital to be able to regularly hold, and this is where Zheng has an advantage. Her serve is one of the best on the women’s side.  

With players who have played at least 20 matches this year, Zheng’s first serve point percentage (73.2%) is the second-best on tour, trailing only Osaka (75.9%). The stats also align with how her opponents talk about her serve. 

“Very powerful,” Halep said after facing her twice. “Some balls, I didn’t even see them.” 

If you tailed my Wimbledon futures pick, that was also 50/1 odds and we took that ticket the way to the final. If Nick Kyrgios was facing anyone other than Novak Djokovic that day, he likely would have won with the way he was serving.  

Zheng has the game to give us another memorable run. A matchup with Swiatek awaits in the fourth round, but Zheng’s experience of taking a set off her at the French could pay dividends.  

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