Tennis best bets for the US Open final - Sunday, September 10th
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. On Sunday, September 10th, Novak Djokovic will look to win his 24th Grand Slam title in a rematch of his 2021 US Open final with Daniil Medvedev. This isn't quite the Carlos Alcaraz matchup that people were hoping for, but Medvedev has been the best player in New York all throughout this tournament. So, while this might not be the match you wanted, I have a feeling you're going to like what you see. With that in mind, here's our best bet for the match after a very profitable tournament.
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Daniil Medvedev vs. Novak Djokovic
On Friday, Daniil Medvedev played one of the most complete matches of his life, earning a 7-6 (3), 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win over defending US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz. Of course, I should mention that Alcaraz didn’t quite bring his best tennis to that one. And I believe that’s because he got caught thinking about a potential final against Novak Djokovic, making it hard for him to live in the present and worry about the task at hand. And I honestly think you’re going to get something similar in the final. After weeks of thinking about a potential Wimbledon and Cincinnati rematch with Alcaraz, I’m not sure Djokovic will be able to get himself up for this meeting with Medvedev. But even if he does, I still like the Russian to emerge victorious here.
It hasn’t quite been talked about throughout this tournament, but Djokovic really hasn’t looked all that good over the past couple of weeks. Perhaps that’s because he has been winning matches — with some of them being straight-set victories — but the form just hasn’t been there. Djokovic was ripping his forehand in Cincinnati, where the fast courts gave him the weapon he needed to beat the world’s elite players. Here, most of his wins have come down to his opponents not being ready for the big moments. But Medvedev, who won this tournament in 2021, is a big-match player.
I expect Medvedev to do a good job of making Djokovic work for his service games, much like the Russian did with Alcaraz. Medvedev always sits way back on the court to return serves, which allows him to at least get his ball on the racquet. On Friday, he was hitting those returns with outrageous precision. Djokovic might not try to serve and volley quite as much as Alcaraz did, but Medvedev will be ready to hit passing shots if he does. And if he doesn’t, he’ll return it deep in the court and then grind Djokovic down from the baseline. This tournament has been the ultimate display of the advantage Medvedev has over his opponents in the conditioning department. He tracks down nearly every shot and forces his opponents to play a lot of extra balls. Djokovic has looked tired throughout the course of this tournament, so I question whether he’ll be able to keep up with that. Alcaraz was hitting some tired shots into the net late in the match against Medvedev. I believe you'll see some of the same from Djokovic.
Medvedev is also capable of really dialing things up with his serve, which is a very underrated aspect of his game at this point. The Russian’s hold percentage is down a bit in 2023, but he has been in the high 80’s over the past few years. And he won 82.0% of his first serve points against Alcaraz. I just don’t see any reason why he won’t be solid with the ball on his racquet here, which will be good enough when you factor in how good he is as a returner.
It's also worth noting that Medvedev is one of the few players on tour that doesn’t fear Djokovic. Sure, Medvedev has a ton of respect for the player on the other side of the net. But he knows that his best level is capable of matching anyone’s. He said before his win over Alcaraz that he’d need to play at an 11 out of 10 in order to win, and he ended up playing at a 12. I think 10 or 11 will be just fine in order to get the job done here. These conditions are absolutely perfect for Medvedev, who is at his best on quicker hard courts. And if the match ends up being played outside, I'd like this even more. Djokovic hasn't done a good job of dealing with heat and humidity this year.
Overall, I think this is a great opportunity to jump on plus-money odds to ride a red-hot player in a setting he’s going to relish. I have maintained throughout this tournament that Djokovic can’t win at the level he’s been playing at. I’m not backing away from that here. Medvedev beat Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 on this very stage in 2021, winning his first and only Grand Slam title. I’m looking for him to make it two here, but maybe not in the same dominant fashion.
Bet: Medvedev ML (+210 - 2 units)
2023 Overall Record: 283-257 (+44.76 units)
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