Tennis Betting Advice - September 2020

US Open: Day Six – 100/1 for the fairy-tale…

Saturday 5th September 2020

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • Play starts 4pm…
  • Day Six…
  • 100/1 for the fairy-tale…

Good morning and welcome to day six of our US Open daily coverage…

Play starts at 4pm. You can watch all the matches live on Amazon Prime Video.

Anything can happen…

As Formula One commentator Murray Walker used to exclaim with such enthusiasm, ‘Anything can happen… and it usually does!’

Day five saw some five-set drama in the men’s, with two big comebacks.

Taylor Fritz served for a 3-1 win over Denis Shapovalov, but the Canadian fought back to win 3-2.

And the big shock of the night was Stefanos Tsitsipas, who led by two sets to one, and 5-1 in the third, against Borna Coric. Despite having six match points, and serving at 40-0 for the match, the Greek star somehow contrived to turn victory into defeat. Croatian Coric eventually turned it around to prevail in a final-set tiebreaker.

Coric was a 6/1 underdog before the match, and was any price you could imagine in-play, when facing multiple match points.

That’s not the first time this week we’ve seen a massive, match-point-saving, odds-shattering comeback like that. A big, bold reminder that in tennis, in sport, in betting… anything can happen.

That’s a point to keep in mind today, as we look to add a couple more players at fancy prices to our Outright Winner book. Speculative, yes. But by no means impossible…

I’m backing a 100/1, unranked player today. If you think I’m crazy, then feel free to ignore me.

But women’s Grand Slams feel like they’re never far from a big upset…

  • 5 of the last 10 Majors have produced a women’s winner or finalist at odds of 40/1+
  • Those last 10 ladies’ Slams have had 9 different names on the trophies
  • And 7 of that last 10 have been won by a woman lifting a Major trophy for the first time

I’ve got a good memory, and have seen the extraordinary happen in tennis too many times to rule anything out. The US Open 2015, for example, where 200/1 Flavia Pennetta reached and won her first and only Grand Slam final, promptly announcing her retirement after lifting the trophy. The runner-up in that final? 500/1 Roberta Vinci, who’d knocked out Serena Williams in the semis.

I could go on with a list of huge-odds winners and finalists at past & recent Grand Slams. But let’s get back to the here and now.

In the women’s US Open 2020, we’ve got three players still running for us, all at nice prices…

In the top half of the draw, we have Angelique Kerber at 33/1, and Petra Martic at 50/1. Both women are through to the 4th round.

In the bottom half, we’re on Maria Sakkari at 50/1, and she plays in the 3rd round today, in a match the bookies make 50-50, against teenager and regular Ones to Watch name, Amanda Anisimova.

Of those three picks, Kerber has by far been playing the best so far. Ever the optimist, I’d say that the fact Martic and Sakkari have still yet to produce their best tennis, and could improve as the tournament progresses.

Sakkari has needed the full three sets to get through both of her matches so far. Crucially, on both occasions, Maria held serve from 0-40 down in the final set before going on to win. This 25-year-old Greek woman has plenty of strength, both mental and physical. That fighting spirit could prove the edge against the more nervous looking American teenager, Anisimova.

100/1 for the fairy-tale…

A couple of themes have developed in this women’s event so far. Going into the middle Saturday, and halfway through the 3rd round, there are eight Americans still in the competition. And three teenagers: Anisimova (19), Iga Swiatek (19), Caty McNally (18).

Anisimova and Swiatek both featured in our aforementioned Ones to Watch in 2020 list at the start of the year. As did our 50/1 Australian Open winner, the now 21-year-old American, Sofia Kenin.

At the start of this tournament, I put some eggs in the basket for an American teenager with Coco Gauff at 33/1. The 16-year-old went out in the 1st round. Gauff’s Doubles partner, McNally has progressed much further this week than her more famous and younger teammate.

We won’t always pinpoint the exact player to make the breakthrough, but we’re certainly hunting in the right areas.

Always keen to go against the grain and look at the draw for potential big-odds storylines, I’m sticking with the angle I mentioned with Kerber & Martic earlier this week, and getting behind an older player and a more unfashionable name than some of the American hopes and youngsters…

Another theme that has developed in the background this week is the return to prominence of some names that have been made Grand Slam headlines in years gone by.

Kerber is one, having won the US Open back in 2016, and now reunited this year with her old coach. Victoria Azarenka is another Grand Slam trophy winner and former world no.1. From 22/1 on day one, Azarenka is now in with the favourites for the title, at 9/1. With only Serena Williams at 5/1 and Naomi Osaka at 7/2 (4.5) ahead of her.

One story that might have still have legs is that of Tsvetana Pironkova…

The talented Bulgarian has hinted at Grand Slam success in the past. Pironkova reached the Wimbledon semi finals in 2010, then the quarter finals at SW19 in 2011, and the French Open quarter finals in 2016. Tsvetana then took three years out of the game to become a mother.

Fast-forward to this week, and Pironkova has seemingly reappeared ‘from nowhere,’ emerging from tennis lockdown and her own enforced time away from the sport, to win her first two matches at this level since way back in 2017…

Without a current world ranking to her name, Pironkova has reeled off two highly impressive straight-sets wins. Beating Ludmilla Samsonova at 6/1, then big name Garbine Muguruza at 4/1, for an unlikely two-match run at combined odds of 34/1.

If we work backwards through the Outright Winner prices and apply the odds from those two match wins, then Pironkova’s rank outsider, pre-tournament quote of 1,000/1 would now be down to 28/1

When you put it that way, the current odds of 100/1 for Pironkova could yet have plenty of juice in them.

  • That logic works if we compare the betting for Sofia Kenin, for example. 18/1 at the start of the event, Kenin is now 12/1 at best. Which is the exact price you get if you factor in her winning match odds from the first two rounds

I certainly think the Bulgarian’s comeback can continue with a win against the dangerous but unreliable Donna Vekic today.

The 24-year-old, world no.24 Vekic has yet to really fulfil her potential, with a quarter final here at the US Open last year the best Grand Slam result to the Croatian’s name so far. As we’ve discussed, it’s never too late for a breakthrough to come for Vekic. But Pironkova has the momentum, confidence, and nothing-to-lose air about her here to keep the fairy-tale running going into week two.

You can get 100/1 for the dream run, and 13/8 (2.63) or 6/4 (2.5) for the match win this evening.

50/1 Felix for the big breakthrough…

In the men’s event, we’ve been targeting the bottom half of the draw with attractively priced Each Way contenders, deliberately avoiding Novak Djokovic’s side of the sheet. Our 250/1 long-shot Dan Evans is out, but 50/1 Andrey Rublev is in the 3rd round and priced as an odds-on favourite to progress today.

Elsewhere in the bottom half, I’m adding one more name. Grand Slam breakthroughs are harder to come by in the men’s than in the women’s, but at the last two Majors, we’ve seen Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev make the finals at the Australian Open 2020 and US Open 2019, respectively.

We were on Thiem at 22/1 for a place return in January. And Medvedev was on our Ones to Watch in 2019 list last season. Felix Auger-Aliassime is on our current 2020 roster, and the 20-year-old Canadian looks ready to make a big move sooner rather than later…

After beating a weary Andy Murray by three sets to nil in the 2nd round, Auger-Aliassime is priced at 1/4 (1.25) at best to beat Corentin Moutet today. Felix has the skills and consistency to negotiate that one. And the all-round game to go far and put a real run together this fortnight.

Felix is the youngest player to reach five ATP finals by his age since a certain Mr Rafael Nadal came onto the scene. The 20-year-old is still searching for a first title win – but it will come…

Odds of 50/1 and 40/1 make him one to add to our New York portfolio right now.

Ones to Watch:

Outright Winner picks – Each Way

US Open – women’s:

  • Tsvetana Pironkova is 100/1 with William Hill, Skybet, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportbook, Betfred, Betway, Boylesports, NetBet, 10Bet, 888 Sport, Unibet

US Open – men’s:

  • Felix Auger-Aliassime is 50/1 with Betfred, BetVictor, 40/1 Bet365, William Hill, NetBet, 10Bet, Ladbrokes, Coral

Each Way terms: 1/2 odds 1-2 places with the bookies quoted above.

Match Winner pick

  • Tsvetana Pironkova to beat Donna Vekic is 13/8 (2.63) with Bet365, 6/4 (2.5) William Hill, BetVictor, Betway, Boylesports, NetBet, 10Bet

Play starts at 4pm.

I’ll be back at 10am tomorrow with your day seven email.

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch