Djokovic and Murray front the market
Three Grand Slams in, and the verdict is out: the top tandem Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are the top contenders and they have the best rivalry this season. The pair have already battled twice for major honours and split the meetings. Djokovic won the Australian Open title, beating Murray in four sets. Murray returned the favour at Wimbledon, beating Djokovic in straight sets.
It’s therefore no wonder that the pair front the market for the US Open, just two weeks ahead of the start of the Emirates US Open Series in Atlanta on July 20, a six-week stretch of summer tournaments that link nine hard court tournaments to the final Grand Slam on the season, the US Open.
The tennis odds at Bet365 list both Djokovic and Murray at +163 to win outright while William Hill makes a slight distinction between the pair, listing Djokovic at +175 and defending champion Murray at +188. Hardly a noteworthy hair splitting exercise, really. Simply put, on the evidence of the season, you could do no worse than pick either of these two players to win the US Open.
Last year, the tennis world was treated to four different champions: Djokovic (Australian Open), Rafael Nadal (French Open), Roger Federer (Wimbledon) and Andy Murray (US Open). Prior to 2012, the last time the tennis world saw four different men’s Grand Slam champions in the same calendar year it was 2003 and Andre Agassi was still playing (sans his hair of course). It was also the same year Federer broke into the major champions circle by winning his first title at Wimbledon.
There is no doubt that when push comes to shove, this foursome has the goods. Case-and-point, they are the four top favourites for the US Open title. Will 2013 deliver the same variety on the podium as we witnessed last year? If it were to, by deduction the only player in the quadrangle yet to win one this year is Roger Federer (tipped at +800 at Bet365 and a slightly cheaper +700 at William Hill). Yet Federer hasn’t been performing this season well enough to make him the obvious pick to recommend; he’s a fry cry from his maestro self although he’s certainly capable of winning it (of course) having won the most Grand Slams in the history of the men’s game.
Nadal – with seven titles already – was well on his way to replicating his standout 2010 season until that inexplicable hiccup at Wimbledon. Still, the Spaniard, who is listed as the third favourite at +550 at Bet365 and +600 at William Hill to win the 2013 US Open, could get his year back on that lofty track with a win at Flushing Meadow and a win at the ATP Barclay’s World Tour Finals in London.
Are there any outside contenders?
Right now with two weeks to go before the US Open series kicks off officially in Atlanta, only two players leap off the page with any conviction: David Ferrer and Juan Martin Del Potro.
Ferrer recently reached his first Grand Slam final and just this week he reaches a career-high ranking of World No.3. More importantly, he’s been one of the most consistent players on the ATP Tour this season. Odds makers however feel differently about him, listing him as the eighth in line to the US Open title at +4000 (always a bridesmaid never a bride).
Juan Martin Del Potro, they’ve taken note of with betting odds of +900 at Bet365 and even tastier betting odds of +1000 at William Hill. Underscoring his odds is his epic performance against Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of Wimbledon where he looked like he might actually topple the tournament favourite. As well, don’t forget, he did win the US Open title in 2009 beating Federer in an epic five-set final.
Another whose stock is promising is Jerzy Janowicz at +4000. The rising Polish star is quickly proving he’s the real deal. Although he had a slow start to the season, he picked it up in spring and since has carried the momentum all the way into his first Grand Slam semi-final appearance at Wimbledon.
Jo Wilfried Tsonga and Tomas Berdych are sandwiched between Del Potro and Ferrer and Janowicz in the market at +3300, but as far as they are concerned, they’ve flattered to deceive all too often. Plenty of opportunities to join the Grand Slam elite have gone begging. They do factor in the equation of course but only so far as to make a deep run usually before losing to one of the top players: Tsonga’s miserable loss to Ferrer in this year’s French Open semis and Berdych’s defeat to Djokovic in this year’s Wimbledon quarterfinals spring to mind.
Be sure to review my article on the Women's US Open Early Odds~
Tennis Betting Verdict: Strictly speaking it’s hard to look beyond the top tandem right now and, as such, a placing your tennis picks on either one (or both as an each-way bet) would appear to be the smart move. We’ve yet to see what Nadal has to offer during the hard court swing and whether he’ll be 100 % healthy as well whether Federer will bounce-back from his Wimbledon disappointment convincingly. Barring that that pair should be given a skip for now, at least until the first Masters event on the US Open Series stretch is in the books (assuming both are competing then), as it might be a wasted investment. Finally, as far as outside plays go, the best sports betting pick has to be Juan Martin Del Potro. Outside of the usual suspects on the podium, he’s the only player to have broken the ranks of winners. And if his Wimbledon account were any indication, he looks to be finally back to top form.