Come join us for an overview of the eleventh day of US Open action, and get insight on our best tennis picks to pocket profit over the fortnight! We’re nearing the end of the tournament and value becomes trickier to find, so let’s navigate our way to some spots where our tennis picks give us value. Let’s begin!
It’s semifinals day, and we’re in to find out who becomes the first time Major finalist when the men’s side has Pablo Carreno Busta take on Alexander Zverev. In what’s sure to become a nervy battle to take advantage of the opportunity given, we may have to go the distance to find a winner. On the women’s side, we could also see a maiden Major finalist, should home hope Jennifer Brady manage to overcome the tournament favorite Naomi Osaka.
Pablo Carreno Busta(20) vs. Alexander Zverev(5)
Friday, September 11, 2020 – 04:00 PM EDT – New York
He's once again made it back to the semifinal stage at this tournament, and with that Pablo Carreno Busta may have started to prove doubters wrong. Sarcastic and controversial comments regarding the Spaniard's success at this tournament emerged on Twitter from journalists and players alike, including this later deleted tweet from Nick Kyrgios:
“If clay didn’t exist. Dude wouldn’t of even been close to top 50.”
Funnily enough, the 29-year old actually has better success on hard courts than clay courts, with three of his four career titles coming on hard courts or indoors, along with his two Major semifinal runs. Busta came through a wringer against the in-form Denis Shapovalov in the last round, prevailing in 4 hours and 9 minutes after a five-set thriller. It was a match of exceptional quality, and the world no.27 showcased his impressive consistency from the baseline and ability to finish points when the opportunity was given.
Carreno's body will have had to recover well to prepare for another tough test in Alexander Zverev, who continues to prove his own doubters wrong. Heavily criticized for his poor run of results in the Majors, the German giant has now made the semifinal back-to-back across the Australian Open and now the US Open.
Still not playing his best tennis, and struggling immensely behind his second serve, Zverev has coughed up 47 double faults throughout the tournament. When relaxed and confident, the 23-year old really goes for his serve and groundstrokes, utilizing his ferocious weapons to maximum effect. But suddenly, out of nowhere, it could all go awry and we see a much more tentative approach, afraid of taking the initiative.
Such was the case in his quarterfinal matchup with Borna Coric, a match in which neither player dared take initiative. Despite far from his best, Zverev could rely on a bigger serve and better consistency from the baseline to come through in a low-quality affair.
This has all the makings of a tight affair, with both men eager to embrace the opportunity to make a maiden Major final. Nerves will play a large factor, and the player holding it together the best will come out on top at the end. It's Zverev who comes in the strong favorite in this one, quoted in the -260 range, with Carreno available around +210. The Spaniard is a better version of Coric, who has more Major experience, won't miss as many easy shots, and isn't afraid to go for his shots.
I'm not sure Zverev deserves such lofty favoritism when still shaky and able to lose his way in an instant. Expect a longer affair with tiebreaks a high possibility. The over 39 games at the -113 BetOnline price makes for a strong wager. I'll also take a stab with the Carreno Busta moneyline, as I make him a much larger chance as the underdog in the +140 range. The +210 Intertops ATP odds are worth betting.
Jennifer Brady(28) vs. Naomi Osaka(4)
Thursday, September 10, 2020 - 07:00 PM EDT - New York
The dream run continues for Jennifer Brady, who had previously never made it further than the Last 16 at this tournament or overall, mostly relegated to early elimination. She's improved by leaps and bounds over the last 18 months, working intensely on improving overall fitness and conditioning. Hard work does pay off, and we've seen a meteoric rise from the 25-year old American who won WTA Lexington after the restart.
Brady is one of few women on tour who has the firepower on serve to rely on to get out of holes and apply more pressure on the opposition. With one of the best, if not the best forehand on tour, the world no.41 is lethal enough on that wing to draw comparisons to Juan Martin del Potro on the men's side - known for his near-unstoppable forehand missiles. It's been quite the dominant run for Brady thus far, easily dispatching every opponent in straight sets, including the 2016 winner Angelique Kerber.
She will face her toughest test yet in this semifinal as the level of opposition drastically increases. The 2018 winner, tournament favorite, and no.4 Naomi Osaka stands on the other side of the net. While concerns were plenty coming into the tournament with that left hamstring injury, it doesn't look to have affected the Japanese superstar much. While putting herself in some trouble early on through lack of focus and spirited challenges from Doi Misaki and Marta Kostyuk, the last two matches have been dominant from the 22-year old.
After dispatching the in-form Anett Kontaveit by a 6-3, 6-4 scoreline she did the same number on Shelby Rogers in the quarterfinal. Crushing the ball on serve and on both wings, Osaka racked up 24 winners to only 8 unforced errors. She was able to get into the service games of Rogers quite easily and winning a whopping 76% of second-serve return points.
Readers of our Tournament Futures Preview may be holding a +2000 ticket on Jennifer Brady to win it all, and this is by far the toughest challenge yet. It's the first time the 25-year old has been this deep into a Major, and though Osaka is three years younger she has already compiled two Major titles and possesses maturity beyond her years.
With both players not afraid to go for their shots and both having the arsenal to do so, expect winners to fly all over the court. This match likely comes down to if Brady can protect her second serve as well as she has all week, with Naomi looking to crush the ball on any second serve that comes her way.
Armed with a big serve just like Rogers, but with better defensive skills and movement, the American should be able to find more success in rallies than her compatriot did yesterday. Brady has compiled a 6-4 record in the last ten matches against the top 20 on hard court, good for a +66% ROI.
I expect a close matchup in this affair, and our Futures selection has a better shot than the -223 to +185 WTA Odds in Naomi's favor would suggest. We won't be doubling down nor hedge our Brady position, however, and just cheer the home hope on. While the over 21.5 games is a dreaded total in the WTA, it holds value here and will be our wager for this contest. Bovada pays -115 for that outcome.