Tennis Betting Advice - August 2021

US Open Day 1 – Next Gen contenders at 33/1…

Monday 30th August 2021

In Ones to Watch today:

  • US Open – Day 1…
  • 1st Round…
  • Outright Winner picks…

Here we go…

I positively skipped down the wooden hill this morning. I love day one of a Grand Slam. Two weeks of top-notch tennis. With a big prize waiting at the end…

Across the men’s & women’s events, a total of 256 players are lined up in the 1st round fields. A fortnight from now, just two of them will go home truly happy…

In the men’s event, the man to beat is obvious. World no.1 Novak Djokovic is going after the calendar ‘Slam. Having already scooped the Australian Open, French Open & Wimbledon this year. The US Open 2021 title would see the Serb further etch his name in the history books.

Reigning New York champion Dominic Thiem is one of several Grand Slam winners missing from the draw. Djokovic’s peers and greatest rivals, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, are also out through injury.

The path is there then, for Novak to roll into town and complete the set of 2021 Major trophies. That’s certainly how the bookies see it. In the Outright Winner market, Djokovic is odds-on at 8/11 (1.72) to come through the seven matches needed to take the Flushing Meadows crown this fortnight.

The way we play…

Betting the short-price, odds-on, household-name favourite is not the way we do things here at Ones to Watch

Our approach is to back appealing outsiders at attractive Each Way prices. This means we have far, far more losing bets than we do winners. But when we latch onto a player that goes deep at big odds, the excitement factor and rewards make it all very much worthwhile…

The first pick we’ve got in the book for the men’s event sums up our way of betting. Ones to Watch name Hubert Hurkacz did us proud at Wimbledon this summer, reaching the semi finals, having gone in the book at odds of 200/1, 150/1 & 100/1. He beat Federer in the quarter finals.

At the start of April, the 24-year-old Pole won the biggest title of his career to date, triumphing at the ATP 1000 Masters in Miami, at 100/1.

Three in the book…

Earlier this month, we got Hurkacz for the US Open at standout prices of 100/1 and 80/1. On the eve of the event this morning, the man they call Hubi can still be backed at 80/1 Each Way (1/2 odds 1-2 places) with Bet365, William Hill, Boylesports, MansionBet, NetBet & 10Bet.

Hurkacz has been drawn in the same quarter of the draw as Djokovic (1st Quarter). Outsider bettors like you & I can take heart from a formbook fact that not many people are talking about here. Djokovic hasn’t reached the US Open quarter finals since 2018. Last year, he was disqualified for (accidentally) striking a line judge. And in 2019, Novak was beaten in the 4th round (Last 16) by Stan Wawrinka.

In the women’s, we’ve got two names in the book, early doors. New world no.2 Aryna Sabalenka was flagged up at the start of the season, backed at 28/1, 25/1 & 22/1 for the US Open. The 23-year-old goes off this week at 12/1 in general, and 14/1 with BetVictor, Betfred, MansionBet, NetBet & 10Bet.

Sabalenka is priced as the 3/1 joint-favourite to win the 4th Quarter (eg. reach the semi finals from that quarter of the draw). Also in that section, our other initial choice for New York, Danielle Collins. On 9th August we got the 27-year-old American in the book at top prices of 50/1 & 40/1. Betfred are 40/1 for Collins this morning, with 33/1 generally available elsewhere.

To sum up – those first three Outright Winner, Each Way selections – if you haven’t backed them already:

  • Men’s – Hubert Hurkacz
  • Women’s – Aryna Sabalenka
  • Women’s – Danielle Collins

Next Gen contenders at 40/1 & 33/1…

As with the men, the women’s draw is also missing several star names and former Grand Slam champions. Most notably Serena Williams, as well as sister Venus, and fellow American, Sofia Kenin.

While 17 of the last 18 men’s Majors have been snaffled up by Djokovic, Federer & Nadal. The women’s Grand Slams have been much more open affairs:

  • The last 18 women’s Grand Slams have produced 12 different winners
  • 10 of those last 18 – and 4 of the last 7 – were first-time Grand Slam winners
  • The last 4 women’s Majors have produced 3 finalists at odds of 100/1+, and one at 50/1

The women’s US Open 2021 title is very much up for grabs, and there’s nothing new there. But with the likes of Federer, Nadal, and 2020 winner Thiem all missing from the field, we could see a big-price underdog get to the men’s final, too…

We will be on the lookout for players and opportunities to swoop on at value prices, throughout the tournament. One man I like in the Outright Winner market today, with the draw to hand, is Andrey Rublev…

Last season, I backed Rublev at 100/1+ for the US Open (ante-post, Jan 2020), at 66/1 for the Australian Open, and again at 66/1 for the French Open. The Russian always puts in 100% commitment, and he did well in those events with two quarter finals, and a 4th round (Last 16) showing.

A Ones to Watch regular in his formative seasons on the tour, Andrey is still only 23 years of age. He’s currently sitting at a career-best ranking of no.7 in the world. With one title to his name this year, following on from the five ATP trophies he collected in 2020.

Add in a Mixed Doubles gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics this summer. And a first competitive win over compatriot and higher-status Russian, Daniil Medvedev. With Rublev declaring this month’s Cincinnati victory over his friend, finally halting a 0-5 head-to-head record, as like ‘graduating university.’

Andrey Rublev has reached the semi finals or finals in five out of six ATP hard-court tournaments 2021. As well as the quarter finals at the Australian Open on hard courts at the start of the year. The highlights being:

ATP 1000 Cincinnati – Final (Runner-Up)
ATP 1000 Miami – Semi Final
ATP 500 Dubai – Semi Final
ATP 500 Rotterdam – Final (Won)

Drawn in the bottom half here, and therefore avoiding Djokovic until the final. The US Open 2021 represents the best chance yet for Rublev to make a big breakthrough at a Grand Slam. Playing on his favourite surface (hard courts), at the Major where he has the most success before (two quarter finals).

Fellow Next Gen names with more column inches – and shorter prices – are Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Medvedev. Both have made Grand Slam finals, but are also still searching for that maiden Major trophy win.

Tsitsipas is the 5/4 (2.25) favourite to win this 3rd Quarter of the draw, with Rublev next on the list at 7/2 (4.5). The Greek star is 11/1 at best to win the tournament, with many firms shorter, at single-figure prices. Rublev is 4-5 in overall meetings with Tsitsipas, and tied at 2-2 on hard courts.

Medvedev is the odds-on favourite to come through the 4th Quarter, at 8/13 (1.62). And he’s 4/1 at best for the title Outright, behind Djokovic.

At outsider odds of 33/1 & 28/1 – and a standout 40/1 with Betfred. Rublev is a man I’m trusting to go well from this side of the draw.

Confidence high at 33/1…

In the women’s, another player I like in the region of 33/1 & 28/1 is Belinda Bencic. We were on the Swiss at 25/1 during her semi-final run at her last showing here at the US Open, in 2019.

This summer, Bencic has scaled new heights. With the likable 24-year-old winning Singles gold at the Olympics – as an 80/1 rank outsider. Belinda backed that up on her return to the tour, with a very credible quarter-final run at the prestigious WTA 1000 in Cincinnati this month. Only stopped by a red-hot Jil Belen Teichmann.

As with Rublev, New York is also the scene of Bencic’s best runs at Grand Slams. With a 2014 quarter final to go with her 2019 semi.

A decent enough draw in the early rounds could see the world no.12 bed-in for another big run here.

And finally for our day-one forays into the Outright Winner markets, another 40/1 & 33/1 player that I like the look of is Elena Rybakina

Age just 22, the Russian-born Kazakhstan representative is already establishing herself as a Top 20 player – and I reckon she has all the makings of Top 10, and higher.

Rybakina has made a couple of significant breakthroughs this season. Reaching a first Grand Slam quarter final, at the French Open – clubbing Serena Williams 2-0 along the way. She also made the Last 16 at Wimbledon. And at the Olympic Games, Elena reached the semi finals, before being narrowly pipped in the bronze-medal playoff.

As with Rublev and Bencic, Rybakina has been a Ones to Watch regular – and is still young at 22, with plenty of scope to push on. I like her flat-hitting game, her big serve, and her on-court demeanour. Odds of 33/1+ make Elena good underdog material here.

Day 1 match pick…

There are stacks of matches in the opening few days & rounds. We’ll be looking to make moves in the matchday markets, when the price suits. Today I’ve got one Match Winner pick that I like as a standalone selection:

Ana Konjuh @ 4/5 (1.8) or 8/11 (1.73) to beat Leylah Fernandez

Fernandez features in our Ones to Watch 2021 report as a teenager with big potential. Right now, though, it’s Konjuh who has the most reliable game, and brings the better form. The 23-year-old Croatian has recovered from multiple elbow surgeries, and is back inside the world’s Top 100, at no.88 – having been ranked no.538 at the end of 2020.

Konjuh won her only previous meeting with Fernandez, which came on clay in Madrid in April. Ana swept through US Open qualifying last week with three out of three 2-0 victories. She’s my pick to win this 1st round match.

Play starts at 4pm.

Ones to Watch – US Open 2021

Men’s Outright Winner – Each Way:

  • Andrey Rublev @ 40/1 Betfred, 33/1 William Hill, Boylesports, Ladbrokes, Coral, 30/1 Marathonbet, 28/1 Bet365, Skybet

Already in the book: Hubert Hurkacz.

Women’s Outright Winner – Each Way:

  • Belinda Bencic @ 33/1 Skybet, Betfred, 28/1 Bet365, Ladbrokes, Coral, Marathonbet
  • Elena Rybakina @ 40/1 Betfred, 33/1 Bet365, William Hill, 888 Sport, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, Ladbrokes, Coral, Betway, Boylesports

Already in the book: Aryna Sabalenka, Danielle Collins.

Each Way terms: 1/2 odds 1-2 places.

Match Winner:

  • Ana Konjuh to beat Leylah Fernandez @ 4/5 (1.8) Bet365, 8/11 (1.73) William Hill, Skybet, Boylesports, BetVictor, NetBet, 10Bet

I’ll be back tomorrow by 12 noon with your US Open Day 2 email.

You can contact me during the tournament at:

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch