Our tennis betting expert returns to offer his daily betting tips for the US Open 2016 – check back every day for his best bets and to see how the tips fare.
|TIPS||WINNERS||LOSERS||VOID||PROFIT/LOSS (to a £10 level stake)|
Day 14 – Sunday 11th September
Novak Djokovic v Stan Wawrinka
Novak Djokovic takes on Stanislav Warwinka for the US Open 2016 title, with the betting markets making Djokovic a 4/11 favourite to add another Grand Slam to his already incredible collection. Those are pretty interesting odds when you consider that he’s won 22 of their 26 matches, and 9 of their 10 meetings on hard courts. They do of course reflect the off-court troubles Djokovic is rumoured to have been contending with, but hearing him talk this week he seems relaxed and has clearly benefitted from great luck when it comes to limiting the time he has spent on court.
The 4/11 certainly seems fair enough (the longest price he has been offered at against the Swiss since April 2010), so I’m not going to start hedging my outright position, and it probably pays to enhance it a little. Backing Djokovic -1.5 sets looks a reasonable punt at 5/7 – a 3-1 or 3-0 wins the bet, and that’s more than possible.
In the specials markets, I struggled with my Double Faults betting in the semi-finals, but stick with it going into the final. Djokovic has double faulted 22 times thus far in the tournament, while Wawrinka has done it 24 times. The big difference however is that Wawrinka has played almost exactly twice as many games as Djokovic (237 v 118). Djokovic looks value for the first double at evens, he should surely be odds-on.
Also with Paddy Power, Over 3.5 Double Faults looks worth backing at even-money – he put in 7 against each of Monfils and Edmund, and 5 vs Janowicz. At an average of 0.186 per game (and 0.37 per service game) he could go well over the 3.5 line.
|Novak Djokovic (-1.5)||Sets Handicap||5/7||Unibet|
|Novak Djokovic||First Double Fault||Evens||Paddy Power|
|Over 3.5||Total Djokovic Double Faults||Evens||Paddy Power|
Day 13 – Saturday 10th September
Karolina Pliskova v Angelique Kerber
Few would have had Karolina Pliskova down as a potential finalist at the start of this tournament, but the Czech seized her opportunities to beat Serena Williams, and now lines up against a second World Number 1 in three days after Angelique Kerber was promoted to the top of the world rankings as a result and lays in wait.
Pliskova beat Kerber just last month in the final at Cinncinatti (6-3 6-1) so will certainly have a chance, athough the long-term records do make Kerber a decent favourite. The last time they met Kerber was an 8/15 favourite and that recent result has seen her eased to 8/13 for this one. That probably looks about right for player who has the stronger hard court form in general, but with both players in decent form since Wimbledon I’ll keep our powder dry in the match result markets.
In the Aces markets, Sky Bet are giving Kerber a +6.5 handicap, and that looks pretty generous in my eyes. Kerber has never enjoyed a big serve, but she’s an excellent returner and can limit the number of aces against her enough to win this bet.
Kerber has served just 6 aces thus far in 50 service games (0.12 per game), but crucially aces against her have been equally rare – just 7 in total (0.14 per game). While Pliskova has been much more aggressive with 39 in 63 service games (0.62 per game), she has also been aced herself (22 times) at a rate of 0.35 per game.
A two set match is odds on, which would probably mean a match of fewer than 20 games in total, so we may not see high ace totals from either player. Back the +6.5 on Kerber is the advice – the bet would have won in 5 of their last 7 meetings.
|Angelique Kerber (+6.5)||Aces Handicap||8/11||Sky Bet|
Day 12 – Friday 9th September
Stan Wawrinka v Kei Nishikori
The mens semi-finals have a great look about them, although of course it would have been better with Andy Murray involved. Stanislav Wawrinka against Kei Nishikori looks wonderfully set up for a big encounter, and the bookmakers are probably right to find it hard to separate the pair.
The market has been moving towards Nishikori, but whilst his efforts over Murray were superb, it was also a pretty taxing match both mentally and physically and I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to back the in-form Japanese, but couldn’t make a case to oppose him either. Wawrinka has been the marginally better server this week, winning 70% of his service points, while Nishikori has won 68% of points.
The Japanese returned superbly against Murray, winning 44% of receiving points, and he is at 41% for the tournament as a whole, while Wawrinka has managed 39%. Those stats suggest a very close match.
So I will turn to the specials instead, and the Double Faults markets has caught my eye, where again, the bookmakers think the honours will be shared.
Wawrinka has been pretty efficient on his serve this week, and came through 79 games against Del Potro and Marchenko without a single double fault. He wasn’t quite as careful earlier in the tournament, but is serving just 1.6 per match this tournament.
Nishikori has served down more double faults in fewer games over the course of the event – he is averaging 2.4 per match, and that’s been pretty consistent through each of his matches.
Those numbers make the 5/6 on Nishikori serving the first Double Fault and 10/11 on him hitting the most during the match look pretty appealing (money back if a tie).
|Kei Nishikori||First Double Fault||5/6||Paddy Power|
|Kei Nishikori||Most Double Faults||10/11||Paddy Power|
Novak Djokovic v Gael Monfils
I am taking a similar angle in the Djokovic versus Monfils match, where I think that the Serb is struggling a little to maintain his usual high standards on serve, and Monfils is probably slightly over-achieving.
Djokovic has only played 84 games of tennis thus far – a tremendous advantage in this match – but in those games he’s hit a pretty disturbing 15 double faults in just 42 service games (0.36 per service game).
Monfils has double-faulted exactly 15 times also, but he’s played a couple of matches more than the Serb, who has only been forced to complete two of his five matches. His 15 have come in 77 service games (0.21 per service game) and there is little reason to expect those patterns to change much.
Try taking the even money on Djokovic serving the first Double Fault, plus the 2/1 on him getting the most in the match.
|Novak Djokovic||First Double Fault||Evens||Paddy Power|
|Novak Djokovic||Most Double Faults||2/1||Sky Bet|
Day 11 – Thursday 8th September
Caroline Wozniacki v Angelique Kerber
After a terrific result on Wednesday evening, I am looking ahead to the first Ladies semi-final – Caroline Wozniacki against Angelique Kerber – on Thursday evening.
Although the pair have broadly split the honours in their matches over the years, I really fancy Kerber to extend her head to head advantage to 8-5 with a comfortable victory here.
The German has been playing supremely over the past couple of months, reaching the finals in both Cincinnatti and Rio, the semi-finals of the Rogers Cup in June, and of course the final at Wimbledon.
That compares extremely well against Wozniacki – the Dane falling at the first hurdle at SW19, and then following up with 2nd round defeats in Washington and Rio, and a first round exit at New Haven. She has enjoyed a great week thus far in New York of course, but the longer term form lines point strongly to Kerber winning this.
Over the past two years, Kerber has won 79% of her matches on hard courts against players ranked 10th-50th (34-9), while Wozniacki is a more disturbing 5-12 (29%). All in all, this could be a one sided match, and I favour Kerber to win this 2-0 at the best odds of 11/10 with Unibet (just 10/11 with various other bookmakers).
|Angelique Kerber 2-0||Set Betting||11/10||Unibet|
Day 10 – Wednesday 7th September
Andy Murray v Kei Nishikori
The bookmakers don’t appear to be giving much away ahead of Wednesday’s matches, but I have spotted what could be a sliver of value in the Correct Score betting in Andy Murray’s match with Kei Nishikori.
Murray has had the measure of the Japanese in all five of their previous hard court meetings, winning all 11 sets between the men, and he’s been more than comfortable in those – winning three to love, two 6-1 and a further four 6-3. He’s playing some of the best tennis of his career right now and it’s hard to see him making too many mistakes against Nishikori in this one.
He’s won the first set 6-3 in three of their five outdoor hard court meetings, and also an impressive 9 of his last 21 first sets in all matches dating back to the start of Wimbledon, so odds of 4/1 look pretty generous on a man who is now electing to serve when given the opportunity. Murray took the serve in each of their last four meetings, so it’s reasonable guess he may do so again.
I suggest backing Murray to win the 1st Set 6-3 at that 4/1, plus 6-1 at 12/1.
|Andy Murray 6-3||Set 1 Score||4/1||Paddy Power|
|Andy Murray 6-1||Set 1 Score||12/1||BetVictor|
Day 9 – Tuesday 6th September
Novak Djokovic v Jo Wilfried Tsonga
We are enjoying a pretty successful US Open, so I am sticking with a winning formula ahead of Novak Djokovic v Jo Wilfried Tsonga.
Long term readers will know that I am always keen to side with players who have had more straight forward progress in the early rounds of Grand Slams against those who have endured energy sapping matches over a number of hours, and Djokovic looks well set to benefit significantly on that metric in this match.
Thanks to a brace of retirements in rounds two and three, Djokovic has so far been on court for just 5 hours, 3 minutes thus far. He progressed easily against Kyle Edmund, with a very slight shoulder injury giving him some concern in the final set, but his 55% receiving points won was impressive.
Tsonga has been working much harder over the past week and has been on court for more than double that of Djokovic – 10 hours 49 minutes to be precise.
Djokovic also has a great record against Tsonga recently – winning 12 of their last 13 matches, and 27 of their last 31 sets. That actually improves to six of the last seven on hard courts (and 12 of their last 14 sets).
I’m confident Djokovic can continue his progress with minimum fuss, and Tsonga’s relatively weak form against players inside the Top 50 (13-13) suggests he is unlikely to prove capable of breaking Djokovic, even if his serve is strong.
Back Djokovic to win 3-0 at even money with BetVictor is the advice in this one.
|Novak Djokovic 3-0||Set Betting||Evens||BetVictor|
Day 8 – Monday 5th September
Illya Marchenko v Stan Wawrinka
Stan Wawrinka will be licking his lips at the prospect of facing Illya Marchenko in the 4th round this week – not only is the Ukrainian arguably the weakest player left in the bottom half of the draw, but he’s also a man who Stan recently dominated on a similar court.
The pair met earlier this season at Indian Wells and while the 6-3 6-2 looks comfortable enough, it was perhaps an even easier win for the Swiss than that looks – he won an impressive 48% of receiving points in that one, but only managed to convert 3 of his 9 break points, while Marchenko won just 26% of receiving points and didn’t force Wawrinka to serve a single break point in the match.
With that result in mind, I am going to plump for a 3-0 win for the World No.3 at best odds of 13/16 with Unibet.
|Stan Wawrinka 3-0||Set Betting||13/16||Unibet|
Carla Suarez Navarro v Simona Halep
In the Ladies event, Simona Halep looks worth supporting to beat Carla Suarez Navarro in straight sets given her superb form of late and surface stats.
Halep has been in great form recently, losing just one match since Wimbledon – winning the Bucharest Open and the Rogers Cup, plus reaching the semi-finals in Cincinatti, and that compares well to Suarez Navarro, who found herself ejected from the Rogers Cup in the second round, and reaching just the 3rd round in Rio and 4th round in Cincinatti. She has of course made things easy for herself this week, recording a double bagel against Pereira, then winning 6-1 6-4 against Jankovic and 6-4 6-3 against Vesnina.
Previous matches between the pair have shown an interesting pattern – despite an equal share of their ten meetings, Suarez Navarro has won all four of their clay court matches, while Halep is 4-1 up on Hard Courts, which further strengthens my confidence in this.
Finally, looking at their hard court stats over the past couple of years, Halep has won 62% of her matches against Top 10 opponents (Suarez Navarro 38%) and 82% against those ranked 10th-50th (Suarez Navarro 64%).
All in all Halep is a solid favourite here, and at evens with Bet365 I’ll back the 2-0.
|Simona Halep 2-0||Set Betting||Evens||Bet365|
Day 7 – Sunday 4th September
Novak Djokovic v Kyle Edmund
The fourth round gets underway on Sunday at Flushing Meadows, and I am backing Novak Djokovic to win 3-0 when he meets Brit Kyle Edmund on the show court.
Rumours abound that Djokovic remains distracted by off-court personal matters, but the class difference in this match suggests the Serb should win comfortably even if he can’t play to his best.
Djokovic was a 1/100 shot over a two set format between these men back in March, so seeing him available at 1/10 in a longer format match is surprising, and I think the value could lay in backing him to win 3-0 in this one.
Over the past two season’s he has played 14 matches on hard courts against players ranked 50th-100th (Edmund is 85th) and he has won all of those. He’s dropped just three sets in that period, winning 29, and that suggests the 3-0 is being under-rated in this match at 5/8 with Unibet.
Djokovic will have benefited massively by receiving a bye against Jiri Vesely and an early retirement allowed him to progress in just 30 minutes against Mikhail Youzhny in the 3rd round.
|Novak Djokovic 3-0||Set Betting||5/8||Unibet|
Johanna Konta v Anastasija Sevastova
In the Ladies event, Johanna Konta can reach the quarter finals by beating Anastasia Sevastova in straight sets. Konta has been in superb nick ever since Wimbledon, rising to 14th in the World Rankings, and she looks likely to go even higher following the conclusion of this event.
I tipped her to beat Belinda Bencic in straight sets in the last round, and she cruised through that one winning 6-2 6-1, and this looks an easier match up on paper. Konta is 17-5 (77%) against players ranked 50-100 on hard courts, and 11-4 (73%) against those ranked 10-50, while Sevastova is 6-4 (60%) and 0-4 (0%) on the same metrics.
The class gulf is sizable and Konta has never experienced a richer vein of form than she is in right now, winning the Stanford classic, before appearing in the quarter-finals of both the Rogers Cup and the Olympics in Rio. She looks a good thing to add to that run and can be backed at 13/16 with Unibet to win 2-0 in this one against a player ranked 34 places lower in the world.
|Johanna Konta 2-0||Set Betting||13/16||Unibet|
Day 6 – Saturday 3rd September
Ivo Karlovic v Jared Donaldson
Ivo Karlovic bids to reach the 4th round of a Grand Slam for only the second time in six years on Saturday, and I am backing the big serving Croat to power his way past Jared Donaldson in a match-up which should suit the more experienced man.
I opposed Donaldson in the 3rd round unsuccessfully, but am willing to try my luck again given his poor record against the biggest servers in the game in his short career so far. The American has played six matches in his career against players currently ranked in the top 15 in terms of % of service games won. Those six matches have been against Sam Querrery (2), John Isner, Gilles Simon, Milos Raonic and Nick Kyrgios, and Donaldson hasn’t won a single set in any of those. His overall game count stands at 74-37.
On offer at 8/13, Karlovic looks a sound investment in this one, and I’ll also suggest backing him to win 3-0 at stand-out odds of 10/3 with William Hill.
|Ivo Karlovic||To Win Match||8/13||William Hill|
|Ivo Karlovic 3-0||Set Betting||10/3||William Hill|
Carla Suarez Navarro v Elena Vesnina
In the Ladies, I like the look of Carla Saurez Navarro in her match with Elena Vesnina. The pair have played just once previously, but it was highly relevant as it took place on the Doha hard courts this season – Suarez Navarro won that match 6-3 7-6 so will feel that she has the measure of Vesnina.
Their two season records on the surface put the Spaniard at a significant advantage – she’s collected nearly four times as many ranking points as Vesnina in the same number of events, and has a decent 15-6 record against players ranked 50th-100th and a 14-8 (64%) record against those ranked 10th-50th. On the latter, Vesnina has a much worse strike rate at 4-7 (36%)
With everything in her favour, I’m happy to back her at the 8/15 with Unibet.
|Carla Suarez Navarro||To Win Match||8/15||Unibet|
Day 5 – Friday 2nd September
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga v Kevin Anderson
Regular followers will know that I like to keep an eye on the 1st Set Correct Score markets, and that’s where we head for my first bet in the battle of the servers between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Kevin Anderson.
Tsonga is an impressive 6th in the rankings when looking only at % service games held, while Anderson isn’t far behind in 9th, but it is their returning which is preventing either man occupying a spot in the Top 10 overall rankings – Tsonga is ranked just 42nd in the Return Games Won table, while Anderson is down in 70th.
Put those two stats together and you get the feeling that breaks of service are going to be pretty rare events in this match, and as such I am going to plump for Tsonga to win the first set 7-6 at 15/4.
The pair have met three times before (once in each of the last three years and always on hard courts), and played a total of seven sets. Tsonga has won no fewer than five of those sets by the exact score of 7-6, making the 15/4 with BetVictor look pretty generous indeed.
|Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6||Set 1 Score||15/4||BetVictor|
Marcos Baghdatis v Ryan Harrison
Also in the mens event, I like Marcos Baghdatis in his tie with Ryan Harrison at a shade of odds-on.
Harrison did superbly in the 2nd round to knock out Milos Raonic, and he’s been in pretty decent nick recently, with a strong show in Washington and a trouble-free qualifying event for this week. He’s ranked outside the top 100 though, and playing Baghdatis could be a jump too far after the exertions of Wednesday.
The Cypriot may be ageing slightly now, but he still collects plenty of ranking points in the events he turns out for, which is more than can be said for Harrison, who has struggled to work his way up the rankings despite playing much of his tennis on hard courts. In fact, only one man left in the draw has collected fewer points on average on hard court events than Harrison, and despite having a home crowd behind him, he could allow Baghdatis a relatively easy route to the fourth round.
Take the 4/5 on offer with Coral is the advice.
|Marcos Baghdatis||To Win Match||4/5||Coral|
Johanna Konta v Belinda Bencic
Finally, Johanna Konta should be trusted to come through comfortably against Belinda Bencic, and I am going to try a bet on the straight sets win for the Brit with the pair’s post-Wimbledon experiences being polar opposites.
Bencic managed just two matches since her Wimbledon retirement against Julia Boserup, losing both as she struggled against both Timea Babos and Lucky Loser Kirsten Flipkens. She also made hard work of Samantha Crawford whom she was expected to beat easily, and she looks a shadow of the herself 12 months ago.
Konta on the other hand has risen to 14th in the world, and has been loving life since Wimbledon – winning the Stanford Classic, before reaching the quarter finals in both Montreal and the Rio Games. A third round appearance in Cincinatti ended in defeat to Agniezska Radwanska, but there is nothing embarrassing in that, and I reckon she should dominate this match-up. The 2-0 can be backed at a stand-out 6/4 with Coral.
|Johanna Konta 2-0||Set Betting||6/4||Coral|
Day 4 – Thursday 1st September
Viktor Troicki v Jared Donaldson
After a profitable start to the US Open, for Thursday I’ll kick off by suggesting Viktor Troicki looks a great thing against American youngster Jared Donaldson.
It’s likely to be a case of experience and class winning through against youthful exuberance as the task looks too big for the improving home favourite.
Troicki has been in decent fettle recently, reaching the semi-finals in Winston-Salem, taking out Sam Querrey and Fernando Verdasco en route to his meeting with Roberto Bautista Agut. Previous early exits from the Olympics and Cincinatti can be forgiven due to the fact that Andy Murray and Marin Cilic were his opponents – both of whom went on to take down the titles respectively.
Donaldson is up and coming quickly, but his records when playing the better players suggests the learning curve remains stretched out ahead of him – he is 14-22 against Top 100 players, 4-11 against Top 50 and just 1-6 against Top 25.
Take the stand-out 4/5 on offer with Coral about Troicki which I suspect is being influenced too much by his first round troubles, and the heroics of Donaldson in beating David Goffin.
|Viktor Troicki||To Win Match||4/5||Coral|
Illya Marchenko v Damir Dzumhur
Staying with the men, I like Illya Marchenko against Damir Dzumhur, which could see the surface expert holding the advantage. Marchenko has played 300 career matches on hard courts (43%) compared to Dzumhur who has preferred clay, and has only banked 82 hard court matches (19%).
Neither have experienced stellar form over the past month, with each suffering four straight defeats in the run-up to the US Open, but Marchenko has been on hard courts for longer and enjoyed two successful challenger events during July – winning one and reaching the final in the other. Although the calibre of opponent left a little to be desired, court time may well have helped him approaching this event and it looks good preparation.
At 11/10 he looks a decent price in a match he could arguably be favourite to win.
|Illya Marchenko||To Win Match||11/10||Bet365, Coral|
Katerina Siniakova v Caroline Garcia
In the ladies Caroline Garcia looks over-priced at 4/5 in her match against Katerina Siniakova. Garcia has always been a fan of hard courts, and her 101-84 record marks it out as her strongest surface. She’s played 46% of her career matches on the surface, compared to just 26% for Siniakova, who at 39-29 struggles somewhat compared to other surfaces.
Looking just at their hard court records against Top 100 players over the past two seasons shows that Garcia has a 24-27 record, including no fewer than 31 matches against Top 50 opponents, while Siniakova is just 6-11 and has met Top 50 players just 11 times.
I’d have had Garcia nearer 2/5 than 4/5, so she represents value in this one.
|Caroline Garcia||To Win Match||4/5||BetVictor|
Day 3 – Wednesday 31st August
Nicolas Almagro v Pablo Cuevas
Pablo Cuevas versus Nicolas Almagro would usually be a clay court encounter, but that’s the 2nd Round tie I am focussing on today on the Hard Courts at Flushing Meadows, and I believe that the bookmakers have failed to sufficiently factor in two men moving in opposite directions in the world rankings.
Almagro flirted with the Top 10 for a long while, but after a few problems has struggled back to hover around 40-50th in the world now, while Cuevas reached the top 20 for the first time in his career recently. Although predominantly a clay courter, he’s more at home on hard courts than Almagro and has played 25 matches against Top 100 players over the past two seasons. By comparison Almagro has played just nine.
Looking at the head to head further strengthens the case for Cuevas – he’s won all four meetings between the pair, including a hard court match up last season, so he will come into this one full of confidence. While results have been mixed, the Uruguayan has also prepared suitably for this event, playing the Olympics, Cincinatti and Washington on similar surfaces. Almagro has been playing his warm up events on hard courts as well, but Los Cabos and a Segovia challenger have hardly presented him with the same calibre of opponent as this week.
On balance, the 7/10 on offer with BetVictor about Cuevas winning a fifth straight match up with Almagro looks generous to me.
|Pablo Cuevas||To Win Match||7/10||BetVictor|
Roberta Vinci v Christina McHale
In the Ladies, I like the look of Roberta Vinci in her match with Christina McHale. While the American will enjoy home advantage, there is a big class difference between the pair, and Vinci has won both prior meetings between the pair – with both played on hard courts.
Despite being the wrong side of 30, Vinici has maintained her place inside the top eight and has enjoyed much better hard court form over the past couple of seasons than McHale, so it’s surprising the see the bookies disagreeing over who is favourite in this one. For me, it’s a clear call and Vinci should be in pole position to reach the 3rd round.
When playing against opponents ranked 50-100, Vinci has a 12-5 record over the past two seasons, compared to McHale’s 12-12, while moving up to players ranked 10th-50th, and the records compare at 15-9 versus 6-6. Back Vinci at 10/11 is the advice in this one.
|Roberta Vinci||To Win Match||10/11||William Hill|
Yulia Putintseva v Carina Witthoeft
Finally, consider adding Carina Witthoeft to your staking plan at around 6/4. The German may well be getting underrated against Yulia Putinseva who is struggling for form recently, particularly against Top 100 players. Historically, Putinseva has been the stronger player on hard courts, but Witthoeft has continued to show improvement and is still young enough to suggest she will get better and better over the coming months.
She has a 9-15 hard court record against Top 100 players already, which is actually stronger than Putinseva (22-45) and I’m struggling to separate the pair and was expecting even money the pair in this encounter. Witthoeft also beat Putinseva on similar courts just a few short weeks ago at New Haven and came through the 1st round easily enough.
|Carina Witthoeft||To Win Match||6/4||Unibet|