Tennis best bets and predictions for Sunday, August 20th

By Zachary Cohen  ( Senior Editor) 

August 19, 2023 04:35 PM

Tennis best bets and predictions for Sunday, August 20th

The US Open is now a matter of weeks away and there have been a lot of big tournaments over the last couple of weeks. VSiN is here to provide you with tennis best bets on everything that's left before we get to Flushing Meadows. With that in mind, keep reading to get my picks for Sunday, August 20th. This one will focus on the finals in Cincinnati, which features two superb matchups. We're going to see Karolina Muchova taking on Coco Gauff in the women's final, and we'll also get another epic showdown between Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz in the men's final. 

RELATED: Check out our Pro Picks page for more bets from our VSiN analysts

Karolina Muchova vs. Coco Gauff

I liked Gauff as a +1400 play to win the US Open after her win in Washington, but that was originally more of a bet on the American to make a deep run. From there, I was hoping to have some hedging options. But after watching Gauff back up that title with great play in Montreal and Cincinnati, I now believe she has a real shot at winning in Flushing Meadows. And that was ultimately why I pulled the trigger on her to beat Iga Swiatek last round. I do, however, think it’s going to be hard for Gauff to back up that win. She put a lot into that match from an emotional standpoint, and she might struggle to match the energy in this final.

Muchova also happens to be an elite player in the women’s game. She will finally crack the Top 10 in the WTA rankings after this trip to the finals, but a good argument can be made that she’s a top-five player in the world. So, I think that these two are on level playing field. But Muchova has a lot less pressure on her coming into this match, so she should be able to play a little more freely than her opponent here.

Muchova is also a player that can really return at a high level. So, she could give Gauff some issues in that regard. The American’s serve has been shaky throughout this tournament, so that’ll be something to keep an eye on here. With all of that in mind, I’m playing Muchova as a pretty big underdog.

Bet: Muchova ML (+155 - 1.5 units)

Novak Djokovic vs. Carlos Alcaraz

After waiting a year between seeing these two battle in Madrid in 2022 and then Roland Garros in 2023, this will be the third meeting between them in the last three months. Djokovic got the better of Alcaraz at the French Open, taking advantage of the Spaniard’s cramps to earn a 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 victory. But Alcaraz responded at Wimbledon, coming through with a 1-6, 7-6 (6), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 victory on Djokovic’s favorite surface. Now, it’ll be up to Djokovic to make the adjustments, and the Serbian finds himself as a pretty big favorite to win this match.

Throughout this week, Djokovic has looked like a much better player than Alcaraz. The 23-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t dropped a single set, even though he has faced some talented players. Djokovic has gone through Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Gael Monfils, Taylor Fritz and Alexander Zverev in Cincinnati. Meanwhile, Alcaraz has earned wins over Jordan Thompson, Tommy Paul, Max Purcell and Hubert Hurkacz, and he lost a set in each of those matches. So, it’s hard to say he’s playing better tennis than Djokovic. But there is something to be said for Alcaraz working on his problem-solving skills in this tournament. And Hurkacz played phenomenal tennis against Alcaraz, so it was big seeing the Spaniard dig in and find a way to win that match.

I’m personally not going to play anything in this match, as I suggested backing Alcaraz to win this tournament before it started. So, anybody that listened to that advice has a great price on the underdog to lift the trophy here. But if you’re looking to play something on this match, I’d strongly suggest taking Alcaraz on the moneyline. I’m at the point where I don’t think much separates these two players, at all. If anything, I believe Alcaraz has a slight edge over the 36-year-old. So, I find it hard to lay off Alcaraz at these enticing odds. And it honestly might be worth playing the underdog in this head-to-head series each time they play — until age finally catches up with Djokovic. 

I also think that Alcaraz could find it somewhat easy to return Djokovic’s serve in this match. That might be a wild thing to say, but Hurkacz put on a serving clinic against Alcaraz last round. Nothing that the Serbian throws at Alcaraz will be anything like that, so the 20-year-old could have a big edge there. He’ll just need to hit his spots when it’s his turn to serve. He can’t let service games get away from him in this big of a matchup. But Alcaraz is fully aware of that and he proved he’s up for this challenge in London.

Bet: Alcaraz ML (+150 - 1.5 units) 

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