Tennis best bets for the US Open - Tuesday, September 5th
The US Open is the final major of the year and it's arguably the most exciting of the four Grand Slams. There's just something special about this tournament being played in Flushing Meadows, New York, where the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center serves as one of the greatest venues in the sport. The drama of the night matches at Arthur Ashe Stadium can't be replicated anywhere else. With that out of the way, I'm hoping to continue dishing out winners over the next week, so make sure you keep reading for my tennis best bets for Tuesday, September 5th.
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Taylor Fritz vs. Novak Djokovic
Djokovic has never lost to Fritz and I’m not expecting that to change in New York. But I do think Fritz is capable of winning a set off the 23-time Grand Slam champion. Fritz actually won two sets against him at the Australian Open in 2021, and he’s generally the type of player that Djokovic struggles with. Fritz is a big server that also has a little game from the baseline. So, if Fritz is serving well and holding easily, he’ll put a lot of pressure on Djokovic as a server. And he’ll also play his way into a tiebreaker or two, where I’d like the American’s chances of winning at least one set.
It's also tough to ignore the way Djokovic is playing in this tournament. He had a lot of trouble in his match against Laslo Djere two rounds ago, and I don’t think he was overly impressive against Borna Gojo. Overall, I haven’t seen Djokovic ripping his forehand the way he was in Cincinnati, and I think a lot of that has to do with the slower conditions in New York. That should make Fritz feel like he has a shot at making this a tighter match. Also, while Djokovic hasn’t been at his best in this tournament, Fritz hasn’t lost a set thus far.
Fritz should also have the full support of the New York crowd, which will give him a little extra adrenaline. It could also get to Djokovic a bit. I also wonder if the conditions will get to Djokovic. He had trouble playing during the day in Cincinnati and it’s going to be hot and humid in New York on Tuesday.
Bet: Fritz +2.5 Sets (-140)
Ben Shelton vs. Frances Tiafoe
Shelton is coming off one of the biggest wins of his career, as he beat Tommy Paul in four sets to reach the quarterfinals. But Paul wasn’t quite himself in that match, and Shelton was relentless in ripping his serves and forehands. Paul couldn’t snap himself out of his funk, even though he did win the third set. But playing against Tiafoe should be a whole different beast.
Tiafoe isn’t one of the biggest guys on tour, but he still has a hold percentage of 86.5%. He has really turned into one of the more reliable servers on tour, and I think that’ll be huge against Shelton. Tiafoe simply won’t let Shelton hang around in service games as often as Paul did. That’ll put Shelton under more pressure when the ball is on his racquet, and it’d be shocking if the 20-year-old’s nerves don’t impact his serve here.
It's also worth noting that the New York crowd has a special love for Tiafoe. So, even though Shelton has had the fans in his corner throughout this event, it’ll be Tiafoe that has them on his side in this one. And playing in an environment like this one just seems like a tough task for Shelton, who is still relatively unexperienced.
I also have a hard time shaking the fact that Shelton is just 16-21 on the season. I’m extremely high on his future and am very impressed with the way he has played at majors this year, but he is 9-4 in Grand Slams. So, while the environment seems to make him stronger, I sometimes feel like we’re jumping the gun just a little on a guy that is 7-17 the rest of the year. With that in mind, I’m backing Tiafoe to win in four or less. But either way, I’m excited to see what an American might be able to do against Djokovic in the semis.
Bet: Tiafoe -1.5 Sets (-130 - 2 units) & Tiafoe Over 13.5 Aces (-120)
Sorana Cirstea ML (+160) vs. Karolina Muchova
2023 Overall Record: 279-250 (+48.23 units)
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