By Joe Short | | 6 mins
Rafael Nadal US Open Odds Get Boost Despite Tough Draw
Rafael Nadal has gotten a boost in odds despite a tough U.S. Open men’s singles draw as the Spaniard prepares to go for a 19th career Grand Slam title.
The draw was made just four days before the U.S. Open gets underway in New York, with the world’s top players descending on the city.
And immediately after the draw bookmakers across the country reacted by altering their odds on a number of tennis stars, with Nadal attracting plenty of attention.
The U.S. Open men’s singles bracket is split into eight sections, so we’ve taken a look at the four quarters of the draw, to see who could claim victory at Flushing Meadows.
Quarter 1 - Djokovic Fans Stern Test
Novak Djokovic is the No. 1 seed heading into the U.S. Open and is gunning for a third Grand Slam title of the season. But the Serb’s preparations for the tournament were rocked by a surprise 3-6 6-3 6-3 defeat to Daniil Medvedev in the Cincinnati Masters semis this August.
Djokovic faces the prospect of meeting fifth-seed Medvedev in the quarter-finals — and that has got some bookmakers nervous. Djokovic’s price widened from +100 to +130 with William Hill off the back of the draw, which sees the 32-year-old facing a potential clash with American Sam Querrey in the second round.
Medvedev’s price, meanwhile, has shortened to +1100 so keep an eye on the Cincinnati Masters champion.
Djokovic also has former U.S. Open champion Stan Wawrinka (+4000) and ex-finalist Kevin Anderson (+6600) in his section. This might be a long tournament for the three-time U.S. Open winner.
Quarter 2 - Federer Gifted Routine Matches
It’s fair to say third seed Roger Federer has been granted the best bunch of opening matches between all of the top players at the U.S. Open. The Swiss maestro could end up playing qualifiers in the first two rounds, while a prospective third-round clash with Dan Evans or Lucas Pouille - neither of whom he has lost to - won’t scare him.
Veteran Federer’s only real worry in his section of the draw is David Goffin — but even then he holds an 8-1 winning record over the Belgian. There are some names who could scare the 38-year-old in the quarter-finals, with 2014 U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori seeded seventh. 12th seed Borna Coric (+10000) is also worth keeping an eye on.
Canada’s Milos Raonic has never made it past the fourth round of the U.S. Open and is not worth backing here. Some bookmakers lengthened Federer’s odds to +700 once the draw was made and that is a surprise. Right now he is a good price to claim the title and those odds will only fall as the tournament progresses.
Quarter 3 - The Big Three’s Rivals
It is hoped one day someone will be able to rival the Big Three of Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic. And that rival may well lie in Quarter 3 of the U.S. Open. Dominic Thiem is fourth seed here but should be avoided. The Austrian is a clay-court expert and is expected to take over Nadal’s French Open crown soon — but steer clear of him on hard. Indeed, Thiem is in the same bracket as Canada’s exciting Felix Auger-Aliassime, who reached the Wimbledon third round this summer.
With Denis Shapovalov, Gael Monfils and Kyle Edmund all viable opponents for Thiem before the quarterfinals, it’s hard to justify the 25-year-old’s +2100 odds.
The most exciting bracket at the U.S. Open is certainly the one above Thiem’s though. Eighth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas could well clash with the fiery Nick Kyrgios in the third round. The winner of that may face Roberto Bautista Agut in the fourth.
Tsitsipas, Kyrgios, and Thiem are all seen as eventual challengers of the Big Three but none of them have even got close to a Grand Slam yet. Agut has seen his price fall from +6600 to +5000 since the draw, and the Spaniard’s toughest prospective opponent until the fourth round is the unseeded Richard Gasquet. He is a great price right now.
Quarter 4 - Nadal Must Work For Title
Rafael Nadal’s U.S. Open title odds came in at +300 with William Hill once the draw was made. And this shows just how confident tennis betting fans are in the Spaniard, despite a tough draw. Nadal should reach the fourth round without a problem but could then face Croatia’s Marin Cilic (+4000) or John Isner (+6800).
Cilic’s seeding of 22 has thrown the U.S. Open betting odds askew somewhat. The 30-year-old has endured a miserable season to date but is one of the most dangerous players on tour and boasts a U.S. Open crown from 2014.
If Nadal can bypass Cilic or Isner, a prospective quarterfinal clash with sixth seed Alexander Zverev or ninth seed Karen Khachanov awaits. Neither player has ever beaten Nadal but that’s not to say they’re not dangerous.
Khachanov himself may exit at the hands of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round — a match eagerly anticipated among tennis betting experts. Tsonga (+15000) is not going to win the U.S. Open title. But he can provide upsets along the way!
About the Author
Joe Short, a contributor to Bookies.com, is a freelance journalist and former editor at the Daily Express, covering various sports, including soccer, darts and tennis.