Tennis Betting Advice - February 2022

Swings & roundabouts - and a 150/1 early-bird...

Wednesday 23rd February 2022

When I said that an outsider could take advantage if one of the favourites slipped up in Acapulco, I wasn’t expecting one of the big names to get disqualified…

That’s what in happened in Mexico last night, with world no.3 and reigning ATP Acapulco champion Alexander Zverev kicked out of the tournament. The 24-year-old German lost the plot after a contested line-call in his Doubles match, repeatedly smashing his racket against the umpire’s chair… while the umpire was still sat in it.

When the dust settles, what that means for this week’s Acapulco draw is that our 33/1 pick from yesterday, Cameron Norrie, is now down to just 11/1 for the title.

Swings & roundabouts…

Norrie won his 1st round match last night. And with Zverev now removed from Cam’s section of the draw, the bookmakers have reacted accordingly.

With the German out, Zverev’s scheduled next opponent, qualifier Peter Gojowczyk, gets a Bye through to the quarter finals…

At midnight tonight (UK time), Norrie plays John Isner. The winner of that match will then go on to face Gojowczyk, for a place in the semi finals.

Compared to the injury sustained to our other Acapulco pick yesterday (Matteo Berrettini at 20/1). That Zverev situation is certainly on paper a decent rub of the green for our 33/1-shot Norrie – provided he can get past the stubborn, big-serving Isner

The 36-year-old American had an epic three-set battle in the last round, hitting 29 aces and saving a match point, to edge out veteran Fernando Verdasco, 7-5, 6-7, 7-6, in a contest that took over three hours.

That’s the good news. The older man may have some aches in his arms and legs. The trickier aspect is that Isner owns a 2-1 career head-to-head record v Norrie, and has come out on top in both of their encounters on hard courts. In the six sets of tennis played in those two most recent meetings, three of them were decided by a tiebreak (7-6). Expect another close scoreboard tonight.

If Norrie does do the business later on and take out Isner, it would be the 26-year-old’s sixth win in a row, and all on hard courts. During that run, the Brit has won four out of four tiebreak sets.

From Horned Frogs to Flushing Meadows…

Should Cam go all the way in Acapulco this week, then I can’t see his price to win the US Open staying static at its current top quotes of 150/1 and 100/1.

And even if Norrie doesn’t make the headlines in Mexico this week, I’d say those odds are too big for a player whose whole career trajectory looks to be geared towards aiming for the hard-court Major played in the USA…

As we noted yesterday, hard courts are Cameron Norrie’s best surface:

  • After winning the 250 event at Delray Beach last week, Norrie is up to a new career-best ranking. The Brit is now no.12 in the world. He’s won 3 ATP titles since the start of last season, all on hard courts. Including the prestigious 1000-grade trophy at Indian Wells
  • After his 1st round win here in Acapulco yesterday, Norrie’s career hard-court match win-loss now reads: 185-81. That’s pushing a 70% win-rate on hard courts, which is a very impressive formbook statistic

Norrie’s story is an interesting one. Born in South Africa to a Scottish father and a Welsh mother, he then spent his childhood in New Zealand. Moving to Great Britain as a teenager, age 16, in 2011.

From 2014 to 2017, Cam was in the United States, where he excelled as a college tennis player. Becoming the no.1 male college player in the US, and also the first man from TCU (Texas Christian University) to achieve that feat.

Norrie’s time representing the Horned Frogs team for TCU served him well, setting him on the path to his current professional tennis career…

The American dream…

Aside from the Great Britain angle for Wimbledon, everything else in Cam’s portfolio points to the US Open – played on hard courts in New York – as his primary Grand Slam target.

Norrie is yet to go beyond the 3rd round at a 'Slam. But with his current ranking poised just outside the Top 10, the world no.12 has every chance of going from strength to strength in 2022, and significantly improving on that Major record.

Add in the fact that the US Open, coming as it does at the back-end of a gruelling spring & summer season, has proved the setting for the most ‘non-Big Three’ upsets in recent years:

  • Since 2016, just 5 of the 12 men’s US Open finalists have come from the Big Three of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal
  • With the other 7 Flushing Meadows finalists in that 6-year period being: Daniil Medvedev (won, runner-up), Dominic Thiem (won), Alexander Zverev (runner-up), Juan-Martin del Potro (runner-up), Kevin Anderson (runner-up), Stan Wawrinka (won)

In comparison, Djokovic, Federer & Nadal have accounted for:

  • 8 of the last 12 Australian Open finalists
  • 7 of the last 12 French Open finalists
  • 7 of the last 12 Wimbledon finalists

Those US Open gate-crashers include some big prices. Wawrinka was a 25/1 winner in 2016. In 2017 runner-up Anderson was a 150/1 shot; in 2020, Zverev was 25/1. Along with Medvedev and Del Potro as 14/1 and 16/1 finalists in 2019 and 2018, respectively.

The Indian Wells connection…

On top of Norrie’s American credentials, there’s a tournament pattern I’ve been tracking for a few years now. With winners of the hard-court Indian Wells ‘Masters 1000’ event in California tending to also do well at the next US Open in New York…

Indian Wells 2011 final: Djokovic beat Nadal
US Open 2011 final: Djokovic beat Nadal

Indian Wells 2013 final: Nadal beat Del Potro
US Open 2013 final: Nadal beat Djokovic

Indian Wells 2015 final: Djokovic beat Federer
US Open 2015 final: Djokovic beat Federer

Indian Wells 2016 final: Djokovic beat Raonic
US Open 2016 final: Wawrinka beat Djokovic

Indian Wells 2018 final: Del Potro beat Federer
US Open 2018 final: Djokovic beat Del Potro

Indian Wells 2019 final: Thiem beat Federer
[Indian Wells 2020 – not played – coronavirus]
US Open 2020 final: Thiem beat Zverev

Due to the pandemic, Indian Wells 2021 was moved from its usual March spot to October – and won by Cameron Norrie at 66/1. That calendar shift means that the next New York Major after Indian Wells 2021 will be this year’s event, the US Open 2022. (And we also have Indian Wells 2022 to come next month, in March).

With all of that evidence in mind, I very much think odds of 150/1 and 100/1 for Norrie to win the US Open this year are worth getting in the book now, as a slice of potential ante-post value.


Ones to Watch picks:

Outright Winner – Each Way (1/2 odds 1-2 places):

US Open 2022 – Men’s:

  • Cameron Norrie @ 150/1 Unibet, 100/1 Betfred, Paddy Power & Betfair Sportsbook

Also available: 80/1 Skybet, 50/1 and 40/1 elsewhere.

Note: Bet365, BetVictor, and Betway have men’s US Open 2022 Outright Winner markets up – but appear to have deliberately left Norrie’s name off the list right now. Most likely, in order to wait & see how he performs in Acapulco this week, having taking the trophy at Delray Beach last time out.


Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch