After the shock default of Novak Djokovic, we were guaranteed a first-time grand slam champion. Will Alexander Zverev, who came back from 2-0 down against Pablo Carreno-Busta, be able to up his game for the occasion or will heavy favorite Dominic Thiem cruise to victory? Join me as I analyze the final in New York and offer my best value picks and predictions for Sportsbook Review!
Alexander Zverev (5) vs. Dominic Thiem (2)
Sunday, September 13, 2020 – 04:00 PM EDT – New York
The men’s semi-finals were a little underwhelming compared to the women’s. In the first match, Zverev’s performance in sets 1 and 2 was, in his own words, borderline embarrassing, though he did play significantly better in the rest of the match. Then Medvedev decided to have a bizarre argument with the umpire early in their match which seemed to break his focus before going on to lose in straight sets. Daniil looked to be making a match of it when he served for the second set but he faltered and ultimately lost it on a tiebreak before doing exactly the same thing again in the third set. All in all, a weird couple of matches.
Nonetheless, the final is set and we have two great friends competing for their first grand slam title. Thiem is a heavy -400 (1.25) favorite to lift the trophy, which feels a little short based on pure ability, but about right given their respective form, experience, level shown in slams and the H2H. Thiem has simply been the better player of late and his new coaching partnership has clearly improved his hard court game a huge amount.
Zverev has also really struggled to produce his best tennis in the best of 5 format while Thiem now has considerable experience of playing deep in slams and producing excellent tennis. Finally, the H2H is 7-2 to Thiem and 3-0 in grand slams, so it’s not been a good matchup for the German.
All of these factors push me away from taking a chance on Zverev, who is also 2-10 as an underdog in grand slams. In contrast, Thiem has won 21 of 22 priced up -500 (1.2) to -101 (1.99) in hard court grand slams and he is 7-0 as favorite from quarters onwards in slams overall.
However, Thiem needed 4 sets in 10 of those 22 matches, and in another, the opponent retired. Taking just matches where Thiem is priced -500 (1.2) to -200 (1.5) in hard court grand slams, he is 16-0 but in 8 of those he needed 4 sets. Zverev has been poor at winning matches as an underdog in slams, but he has still won a set or more in 9 of 12 and has also won a set in 7 of the 9 H2H, including at the Australian Open in 2020, where Thiem won 3-6 6-4 7-6 7-6.
It is hard to be sure of much with the way Zverev played in the first 2 sets against Carreno, but history does suggest he is likely to put up a fight and Thiem is unlikely to be entirely clinical. Medvedev did serve for sets 2 and 3 after all, and while I would be (pleasantly) surprised to see Zverev make it through, I would not be surprised if he can compete for at least a set.
These two are great friends after all and know each other’s game very well. Thiem has also lost 3 on the trot in slam finals so nerves may play a part, whereas Zverev has nothing to lose and everything to prove at the minute. Nothing screams value to me in this match but I feel that 3-1 is not that much less likely than 3-0 so +120 (2.2) on the straight sets win may be a touch short.
All of that being said, a small interest on 3-1 to the Austrian makes sense at a decent price of +250 (3.5) with Intertops sportsbook and is my selection for the final.