OTW Extra Email Archive - August 2019

US Open Countdown - Men's credentials at 40/1...

Thursday 22nd August 2019

In your Ones to Watch EXTRA email today:

  • Dominant forces…
  • The young pretenders…
  • One to Watch at 40/1…

US Open Countdown:

Men’s credentials at 40/1…

The US Open starts on Monday. We’re continuing our build-up to New York today…

Earlier this week, we took note of some of the form horses on the hard courts this summer.

Yesterday, we focused on trends in the women’s Grand Slams & US Open. And we added 100/1 Dayana Yastremska to 66/1 Sofia Kenin on our early-bird ‘Ones to Watch’ list.

Today we’re looking at the men’s tournament…

Dominant forces…

The men’s Grand Slam roll of honour is in stark contrast to that of the women. While the ladies have producing nine different winners from the last 11 Grand Slams – and six first-time winners in that time – the men’s story is much less varied…

The last 11 men’s Grand Slams have all been won by the big boys – Novak Djokovic (4), Roger Federer (3) and Rafael Nadal (4).

Take things back a few more years, and add a pre-injury Andy Murray to the established order that made up the long-standing Big Four of men’s tennis – and the numbers are startling:

  • 53 of the last 58 men’s Grand Slams have been won by the Big Four (91%)

However, the US Open does offer some rare glimpses of glory for the underdogs and outsiders…

Shock-hunting in New York…

Three of those five ‘non-Big Four’ Grand Slam winners came at Flushing Meadows, New York. Those US Open disruptors were Juan-Martin Del Potro in 2009 (@ 16/1), Marin Cilic in 2014 (@ 100/1) and Stan Wawrinka in 2016 (@ 25/1).

And in terms runners-up giving big Each Way payouts at half the odds by reaching the final, recent instalments of the US Open have seem a few surprises, too:

  • Only one of the last 5 US Open finals has been an all-Big Four affair

Those breakthrough men were:

2014 final – Cilic (100/1) beat Kei Nishikori (50/1)

2016 final – Wawrinka (25/1) beat Djokovic (Evens)

2017 final – Nadal (11/4) beat Kevin Anderson (150/1)

2018 final – Djokovic (3/1) beat Del Potro (16/1)

As the last Grand Slam of the season, coming as it does at the end of the busy summer period, there’s a case to be made for the US Open as the Major where upsets are most likely to happen. Injury and fatigue can play a part.

The numbers above make two points. First & foremost – the big boys are the clear favourites. But we already know that. Djokovic is 6/5 (2.20) to win. Nadal is 4/1 (5.00). Federer is 7/1 (8.00). Of much more interest to me is the chance of finding a finalist that comes from outside that Top 3…

The recent history shows a big-price winner or runner-up is by no means out of the question. To help us narrow down who exactly that might be in New York over the coming fortnight, I’ve revisited and updated my ‘young pretenders’ stats from back in March:

Men’s Grand Slams:

Age of first Grand Slam win:

The Big Four:

Andy Murray age 25 (first Grand Slam final – age 21)
Roger Federer 21
Novak Djokovic 20 
Rafael Nadal 19

Others since 2009 - last 10 years:

Stan Wawrinka 28
Marin Cilic 25
Juan Martin del Potro 20
Andy Roddick 20

Age of first Grand Slam final (runner-up):

Since 2009:

David Ferrer 31
Kevin Anderson 31
Milos Raonic 25
Dominic Thiem 24
Kei Nishikori 24
Tomas Berdych 24
Robin Soderling 24

  • Average age of those 15 players when reaching a first Grand Slam final = 23.8 

ATP titles won before first Grand Slam final:

David Ferrer 20 titles
Marin Cilic 11
Andy Roddick 10
Dominic Thiem 10
Roger Federer 8
Milos Raonic 8
Novak Djokovic 7
Andy Murray 6
Rafael Nadal 6
Juan Martin del Potro 6
Kei Nishikori 5
Stan Wawrinka 5
Tomas Berdych 5
Kevin Anderson 3
Robin Soderling 3

  • Average ATP titles wins of players aged 24 or under when reaching first Grand Slam final = 6

The young pretenders...

Here are the five top-ranked players that fit the ‘first Grand Slam final’ criteria unearthed above. That being, players aged 24 or under with multiple ATP title wins to their name – but as yet no Grand Slam final appearances...

Daniil Medvedev (No.5, age 23) 
ATP titles: 5
US Open 2019 best price: 16/1

Alexander Zverev (No.6, age 22)
ATP titles: 11
US Open 2019 best price: 40/1

Stefanos Tsitsipas (No.8, age 21)
ATP titles: 4
US Open 2019 best price: 33/1

Karen Khachanov (No.9, age 23) 
ATP titles: 4
US Open 2019 best price: 66/1

Borna Coric (No.12, age 22) 
ATP titles: 2
US Open 2019 best price: 125/1

Those five youngsters have all appeared in our Ones to Watch lists in the last couple of seasons.

As you can see from those current US Open quotes – and backing up what we said earlier in the week about form horses and jumping on bandwagons – Medvedev’s recent win over Djokovic and three straight finals on the hard courts this month has seen him bumped to fourth favourite in the Outright Winner betting, with only Djokovic, Nadal and Federer ahead of him.

Zverev and Tsitsipas have flattered to decent in recent months. Zverev has fell at the first hurdle in three of his last six tournaments. Tsitsipas has been knocked out in his opening match on three of his last four appearances.

Coric heads to New York with four defeats from his last five matches, and no finals so far in 2019, having reached two title matches in 2018. Khachanov won three ATP titles last year but is also still waiting to make a first final this season.

None of those five youngsters can be written off. All have serious potential to improve and make the big leap up in terms of Grand Slam success. On the criteria outlined above, all five tick a few boxes when compared to the ‘first Grand Slam final’ averages I’ve come up with.

A bit further down the rankings, this young man also fits the bill on paper…

Ones to Watch at 40/1…

Nick Kyrgios is a true outsider. Nick has made headlines for many things this year. Underarm serves. Trick shots. Throwing chairs. Smashing rackets. Swearing at umpires. The list goes on, including – let’s not forget – some sensational tennis.

I’m interested in one thing above all: his Grand Slam potential…

Kyrgios is ranked No.29 in the world. He is 24 years old. The age average mentioned above came out at 23.8. So Nick ticks that box.

At the start of August, he won the ATP Washington title. That takes Nick’s career ATP titles tally up to six – so he’s now bang-on that six-trophy average listed above, too.

It’s not an exact science, of course. But there are signs that Nick is starting to realise his potential.

He’s smiling more on court – and not just ruefully or sarcastically. He’s had less injury withdrawals. He’s won a couple of trophies this season (Washington @ 20/1 and Acapulco @ 25/1). Those results have moved him high enough up the rankings to be seeded at the US Open. His talent or ability isn’t in question. The future could still yet be very bright.

A ‘wild card’ pick…

Kyrgios is 40/1 for the US Open. Having seen the way he engaged with the crowds in Washington – including (successfully) asking spectators which side to serve to on match point – Nick might just have his ‘good head’ on next week…

The New York crowd are famed for being noisy and boisterous. It puts some players off. Other thrive on the atmosphere. Add in the trademark night matches under the floodlights, and Nick – with his taste for the big occasion – might just find he feels right at home here.

When he plays his best, Nick is up there with the best. This is no secret. He’s won five of his last seven matches against Top 10 players, with the scalps including Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Zverev and Nadal.

On the career-to-date head-to-heads against the Top 3, Kyrgios is 2-0 v Djokovic overall and 2-1 v Nadal on hard courts. Federer has held the keys so far (5-1). But Nick doesn’t fear playing anyone.

  • When the men’s draw comes out, I’ll be looking to plot routes through to the final and identify the potential value and Each Way outsiders in the Outright Winner betting – see below

Kyrgios goes on our US Open Ones to Watch list today as a bit of a ‘wild card’ pick – on raw talent and ability, regardless of the draw, a switched-on and fit Kyrgios can beat anyone and is well capable of a big Grand Slam run. We don’t know if he’ll turn out good or bad in New York. But odds of 40/1 allow for that.

  • Kyrgios is available @ 40/1 Each Way with William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral

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

Latest US Open odds here

Book your place tomorrow…

When play begins at Flushing Meadows this Bank Holiday weekend, I’ll be offering Ones to Watch members my full US Open ‘VIP service.’

With DAILY emails exclusively containing ALL my analysis and bet advice for the entire two-week tournament. That includes Outright Winner picks once the draw has been made. And daily advice on the matches and betting markets, starting from Monday.

The doors open tomorrow. Lookout for an email with your VIP member invitation…

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch