Thiago Monteiro vs Bradley Klahn
Bradley Klahn reached a career-high ranking of No.63 in the world in 2014 but was forced out of the game for almost two years due a back injury that nearly ended his career. The 29-year-old started 2017 outside the Top 800 and struggled to rediscover his best form in the first half of the season. Nevertheless, Klahn found his groove late in the season, reaching two Challenger Tour finals in Monterrey and Fairfield. The Poway native continued his good form in 2018 and returned to the Top 100 in August after reaching the second round in Cincinnati. The first half of 2019 hasn’t been easy for Bradley but the world No.108 has enjoyed a successful US Open series and is always a dangerous player on these fast court conditions.
Klahn will open his US Open campaign on Monday against Thiago Monteiro at Court 11. The Brazilian No.1 will make his second main draw appearance at Flushing Meadows and will try to make it past the first round of a Grand Slam event for the first time since 2017. Monteiro is a very solid clay-court player but struggles to replicate the same form on faster surfaces, winning only 38.71% of the matches played throughout his career on hard court.
This will be the second meeting between these two players. Monteiro leads 1-0 in the head-to-head, but their previous encounter took place on clay, a surface where the Brazilian is clearly the better player.
Klahn enjoys the fast conditions on this event and will have the crowd’s endearing support on this match. On the other hand, Monteiro has never been a very reliable player on hard court. The Brazilian will have a very difficult task against Bradley’s powerful serve on this match, which makes the American an interesting play for this contest.
Best Pick: Bradley Klahn ML (-165) with Bookmaker
Serena Williams (8) vs Maria Sharapova
Six-time US Open champion Serena Williams will make her 19th appearance at Flushing Meadows and will try to win her first title since giving birth to her daughter. Serena was forced to retire from the Rogers Cup final due to a back injury but should be fully recovered for the last Grand Slam of the season. The 37-year-old has always been a very successful player in New York, reaching the semifinals or better in all her last nine appearances on this event.
Looking now at Serena’s draw on this event, the 23-time Grand Slam champion will take on her long-time rival Maria Sharapova in the opening-round match of the US Open on Monday. The Russian is a former champion at Flushing Meadows but hasn’t made it past the fourth round since 2012. Adding to this, Sharapova has struggled for form in recent months, winning only three of her last eight matches on the WTA Tour.
These two players will face each other for the 22nd time in their careers. Serena leads 19-2 in their head-to-head with Sharapova winning only three sets in their last 18 official meetings.
Looking now at the odds for this contest, Williams is the main favorite to win this match at -300 with 5Dimes. The American is a very difficult matchup for Sharapova and should get another good win against this opponent. Placing a bet on Serena’s spread is an interesting approach but we will take her -1.5 Set Handicap as the best betting pick for this first-round match.
Best Picks: Serena Williams -1.5 Set Handicap (-116) with Pinnacle