US Open preview from Alex C
From Monday August 26 2013 till Monday September 9 2013, the players in the world will compete on the hard courts of Flushing Meadows.
The 4th major of the year sometimes flies under the typical tennis fan’s radar. The US Open has neither the glamour of Wimbledon, the clay of Roland Garros nor the first-of-the-year, middle-of-the-night strangeness of the Australian Open. In Europe, it also has to compete with the return of the football season (not that it feels like “soccer” ever really goes away, at least to this non-fan!).
But you’d be mad to ignore the US Open because it’s a fine betting medium. The reason I love it is that the best player in the world at the time always seems to win. The Australian sometimes catches the top boys unprepared, coming as it does in the tennis off-season. The French is played on clay, which some all-time greats failed to master: Pete Samprass never won a French; John McEnroe never won a French; and Roger Federer needed Robin Soderling to knock out Rafa on the one (and only) time he mastered the red dirt.
Wimbledon has thrown up some strange results too. A big server can get “hot” for a week, and in the past we’ve seen players like Goran Ivanišević and Richard Krajicek come from nowhere to win.
But the US Open produces very few shocks. The surface is somewhere between grass and clay, and the players are well into their seasons. In fact, you can make the case that the player who’s had the best overall tennis year always wins the US.
With all that in mind, I’m going to restrict my tips to the top two in the market.
Current World No. 1 and last year’s losing finalist Novak Djokovic is the early favourite to win the title this time around at around the 2-1 mark. Novak has cooled off somewhat since his otherworldly 2011 but is still a player of the highest quality. His “choking” and fitness issues are well behind him, but he’s a little skinny for me at the prices.
The man who beat him, the defending champion and World No. 2 Andy Murray, meanwhile, is only a tick or two bigger. I would marginally prefer Murray to be carrying my money than Novak. Simply put, I feel he’s a slightly stronger player, playing on his favourite surface (although, to be fair, it’s also Novak’s). He’s in the form of his life, has cracked his shakiness at the big moments and I fully expect him to add a third slam to his trophy cabinet.
Former champion Rafael Nadal, unable to compete in last year’s tournament, makes his return at around 7-2. As much as I hate to say it, I feel like Murray and Novak have rather “kicked on” compared to Rafa. He was embarassed at Wimbledon and no one with shaky knees like him is going to carry my money on concrete hard courts. The 10-1 about five-time champion Roger Federer is absolute nonsense. He’s well past his best. To think the uber-talented (and 2009 champ) Martin Del Potro is around the same price…
I’ll be therefore buying Andy Murray on the 60 Index at around 28 and selling Nadal at around 31
These are solely the views of the author. Any spread prices quoted are indicative and as always prices are subject to fluctuation. REMEMBER YOU CAN WIN OR LOSE MORE THAN YOUR ORIGINAL STAKE. BET RESPONSIBLY. LICENSED IN IRELAND