Juan Martin Del Potro leads the charge
Juan Martin Del Potro returns to Washington for the first time since winning the title in 2009. Del Potro leads the charge as the top seed and the runaway favourite to win the title at +163 at Bet365. In fact, you could go so far as to say he has the market cornered with those betting odds. The next best bet to win the title (according to bookmakers) is Tommy Haas listed at +700. Home favourite and recently crowned champion in Atlanta John Isner is listed as the third favourite at +900, an honour he shares with Milos Raonic. Rounding out the top faves for the title is Japanese sensation Kei Nishikori at +1000 to win outright.
So, will it be one of the bookies’ pets that wins the title or will it be someone else?
The top half of the draw
The seeds: Del Potro, Haas, Querrey, Anderson, Benneteau, Dimitrov, Dodig, Tomic
Del Potro will begin his campaign in the second round, against the winner of the Lleyton Hewitt and Ryan Harrison match – a match slated to take to court on Tuesday and one that tennis betting fans certainly should spot in the match betting markets as it promises (on paper) to be a very intriguing affair between wizened veteran and whippersnapper. Most in attendance will be rooting for the American to advance, naturally. But bookmakers are backing Hewitt at -225 to win outright and we quite agree on that score.
The third round could serve up a matchup against bad boy Bernard Tomic, David Goffin or Yen-Hsun Lu. The latter Del Potro owns 2-0 lifetime and presents the easiest path to the quarterfinals. However, Tomic and Goffin are unknown to the Tandil native and, as such, without a measure to resort to for reference, either could pose an obstacle of which Tomic most would agree would be the bigger.
The quarterfinals could serve up a whole slew of options but if the draw goes to plan Kevin Anderson, the seventh seed, should be waiting (listed at +1600 to win outright). That said, Anderson is coming off a disappointing defeat to Isner in Atlanta where he held two match points only to succumb 7-6(3), 6-7(2), 6-7(2). It remains to be seen how well he’ll bounce back. Others that could emerge from this quarter are Julien Benneteau (+4000) or Mardy Fish (+5000) however Fish is only just getting back into the swing of things after missing a good chunk of the season with ongoing health issues so he’s more of a long shot than the bookies suggest.
Tommy Haas’ corner is latent with threats: most conspicuous Grigor Dimitrov and Sam Querrey (listed at +2000 and +2200 to win outright with Bet365 for our Tennis Picks) and Ivan Dodig who is listed at +3300. Less conspicuous Xavier Malisse and Denis Istomin, amongst several others, float dangerously at +5000 and +6600, respectively. Given the depth in this quarter it wouldn’t be surprising if it didn’t go according to seeding. Haas is relentlessly foraging his way through the schedule and since Wimbledon he’s played two clay court events, reaching the quarters in both. It’ll be his first hard court event of the US Open Series and surface transition together with the amount of play could be deciding factors against him. More likely than not he’ll fail to win this quarter, which leaves this section up for grabs by Querrey or Dmitrov – both listed at +400 to win the quarter – or Dodig at +700 to in the quarter.
Tennis Free Picks: Juan Martin Del Potro at-150 to win the first quarter and Grigor Dimitrov to win the second quarter at +400 William Hill Sportsbook.
The bottom half of the draw
The bottom half of the draw looks to be structured so as to serve best two of the biggest servers in the game: John Isner and Milos Raonic. Case-and-point, odds makers tip each at +175 to win his respective quarter at Bet365 – the upshot of which is they are slated to collide in the semifinals to decide a spot in the ultimate match – as well as being tipped identically at +900 to win the title.
Fifth seed Gilles Simon however flanks Raonic’s corner and arguably he’s the best bet to deny the Canadian the victory in this quarter. In fact, Raonic has been sporting poor form this season overall, save for a winning the title in San Jose (indoor hard court) he’s only made it past the quarterfinals on one occasion – in Barcelona where he lost to Nadal in the semis. Granted, he’s most potent on hard courts and yes the possibility he would turn around his season with a good showing in Washington exists. Yet, when his confidence seems to be at a low-point – he’s not won back-to-back matches since Roland Garros in May when he fell in the third round – his odds don’t exactly exude cold hard value.
By contrast, John Isner seems to have hit a rich vein of form with a victory in Atlanta and now he looks sharp to win his quarter in Washington, especially seeing that there are so few players in his corner that are viable threats to him on his best surface. His nearest threat is Dolgopolov, who incidentally is the defending champion but also hardly on the kind of form to loom ominously in the third round. Baghdatis and Nishikori loom in the quarterfinals but both will be challenged to return the giant serve.
Tennis Free Picks: Gilles Simon to win the third quarter at +400 and John Isner to win the fourth quarter at +175.
Final Predictions: Del Potro to beat John Isner in the final.