The US Open is the most unpredictable of the Grand Slam events, and Simona Halep looks a good pick to upset the odds at Flushing Meadow.
Who do Bettors Favor?
The top tennis online betting sites have identified two clear favorites for the final Grand Slam of the season. In the women’s singles tournament, world number one Iga Swiatek is the overwhelming favorite on +225, with Naomi Osaka at +600 considered her main rival and every other contender priced at +1200 or higher. In the men’s tournament, it is no surprise to find Novak Djokovic the +125 favorite, although Daniil Medvedev is second favorite at +250 and Rafael Nadal is available at +550.
The final Grand Slam event of the tennis year is also the hardest to predict. The last ten tournaments have produced 14 different champions across both the women’s and the men’s singles. Roger Federer in 2008 and Serena Williams in 2014 were the last two players to win back-to-back US Open titles.
Few sports are more influenced by the nature of the playing surface than tennis and it is important to understand the effects. The US Open, like the Australian Open, is played on hard courts, which are faster than clay but slower than grass, while the bounce on a hard court is higher than grass and more predictable than clay. In theory, it should therefore have something for every player, but there are clear preferences for or against the surface among the top players.
Can Swiatek Bounce Back?
World Number One Iga Swiatek was knocked out in the Third Round at Wimbledon, much to the disappointment of tennis bettors who had wagered on her at short prices. While clay is her preferred surface, she is a more effective player on hard court than on grass, so will expect to improve on her London performance when she gets to Flushing Meadow.
Still, wagering on Swiatek at a short price may be a risky option. Since 2016, only two winners and three finalists in the women’s singles at Flushing Meadow were ranked in the top ten, underlining the greater unpredictability in the women’s game than the men’s, which last year saw world number 150 Emma Raducanu win the US Open in her second Grand Slam event.
If you’re looking for a contender at a bigger price, Simona Halep could be a good option. Although her best surface is clay, she has been competitive on both grass and hard courts and her experience will always make her a dangerous opponent. Her hard court win percentage is close to 70% and this year it is just under 80% and she underlined her current form by reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon.
After his disappointment at the French Open, Novak Djokovic bounced back in style at Wimbledon, beating Nick Krygios in the final to close the gap behind Rafael Nadal in the all-time Grand Slam winners standings. But as with Swiatek, there are reasons to be cautious about wagering on Djokovic here.
While his record at the US Open is better than at the French Open, it is some way short of his successes at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Although he has reached the final at Flushing Meadow nine times, he has only won on three occasions: an unusual statistical blemish on his career.
While there is every chance that someone can stop Djokovic in the US Open this year, it is unlikely to be Rafael Nadal, whose ongoing battle with his own body makes him a risky wagering proposition this far in advance. Defending champion Daniil Medvedev will be allowed to play at Flushing Meadow as the US Open officials have taken a different approach to Russian athletes than their Wimbledon counterparts, and he has a good chance of retaining his title on his favorite surface.
I would also consider having a wager on rising star Carlos Alcaraz. The 19-year old has long been tipped as a potential world number one and last year reached the quarter-finals at the US Open – his first appearance in the last eight of a Grand Slam. His powerful baseline play, footspeed, athleticism and mental fortitude make him a dangerous opponent on this surface, and with more improvement to come he looks like a good wager at his current odds.
For more than a decade and a half, Teri Geis has carved a niche in the world of betting. Her writing has graced the pages of some of the industry's heavy hitters, including the likes of Betfair, ESPN, and Sporting Life. With her extensive understanding of sports betting, readers can now peruse her insightful reviews, features, and previews here on this website.