Tennis: US Open Preview & Betting Picks

Novak DjokovicWith the books almost closed on the 2015 tennis season, all eyes will be on Flushing Meadows, home of the 135th US Open, the fourth and final grand slam event of the year.

According to Bovada Sportsbook et al, odds favor world #1 and top seed in the draw, Novak Djokovic (+120, pictured) to take home what would be just his second ever US crown, the first of which came four years ago when he defeated then-defending champion, Rafael Nadal. If Djokovic claims the title, it will be the 10th major for the 28-year old Serbian and third in the 2015 calendar year.

Speaking of that calendar year, in 2011, Serena Williams (-125), who boasts the best odds as the world #1 and top seed in the women’s draw, lost the US Open to Samantha Stosur. This was the last time that Williams lost a major on home soil, as she enters 2015 as the three-time defending US Open Champion. In addition to the four-peat, Williams will be looking to do something only four other females have done before her, and that’s complete the calendar grand slam, meaning she’ll have won every major in the 2015 calendar year.

While Williams and Djokovic, as they have been all season, are the prohibitive favorites, there are a few more names on the men’s side and perhaps one or two on the women’s to watch out for. Most notably, Roger Federer (+400), who enters as the world #2 and the second overall seed, and as third favorite in the betting odds to win his sixth US Open title and his first major crown since winning Wimbledon back in 2012.

US Open Men’s Draw

Federer enters his second favorite grand slam coming off a solid hard court season in the US Open Series. Seen as a tune-up to the biggest hard court event of the summer, the US Open itself, Federer took part in and won, the Cincinnati Western & Southern Open. It was the seventh time the 34-year old native of Switzerland took home that particular title and the 87th title overall in his career.

While Federer played well and his fitness was on point, the biggest note could be that he defeated Djokovic to claim the victory. This was the rubber match so to speak for the duo, as Federer’s victory gave him the slight edge in the head-to-head at 21-20. It was also the first time since Dubai at the beginning of the season that Federer got the best of his rival.

Prior to Dubai, Federer claimed a hardcourt victory against Djokovic in the semifinals of the Shanghai Masters in 2014. It should be worth noting however, that since Federer won Wimbledon in 2012, he has yet to defeat Djokovic in a five-setter. Such was the case earlier this year at Wimbledon, as Federer, despite two hard fought sets, faded down the stretch, overcome by Djokovic’s superior fitness level.

Slightly ahead of Federer with the USA sportsbooks is another man who has quite the history with Djokovic, Andy Murray (+350). Murray, as the third seed and #3 player in the world, actually won the US Open Series this year, doing so with a victory at the Masters 1000 event, the Rogers Cup, and a semifinal appearance at Cincinnati.

Again, like Federer, Murray’s win came against Djokovic in the three-set final. This was the first time since Wimbledon in 2013 that Murray, who owns just nine wins in their 28 meetings, recorded a win against Djokovic.  In between then and now, included three losses in the grand slam tournaments.

Overall, Djokovic actually looks the worse entering into the US Open, given the losses he sustained to both of his rivals. However, that shouldn’t deter you from betting on him to win his third major of the year. Djokovic seems to turn it on in the majors, evidenced by the fact that he has won nine of them in his career, eight of which have come within the last five years.

He’s the favorite for a reason. Not to mention, he clearly has Murray’s number and as of late, Federer’s as well.

  • When it comes to picking the US Open Champion, as repetitive as this may sound, put your money on Djokovic and he is our preview’s US Open tennis betting pick @ best odds of +120 with Bovada Sportsbook.

US Open Women’s Draw

That brings us to the women and Williams’ historic quest for greatness.

It wasn’t more than four years ago that many were beginning to start the clock on the countdown to Williams’ retirement. At times in matches she looked sluggish and overmatched, even by opponents who she had previously dominated. After the loss at the US Open in 2011, which completed the first season since 2006, in which Williams did not end the year with at least one grand slam, many believed her best chance to win again was behind her.

Flash forward to today. Not only has Williams’ won one grand slam in 2015, she’s won three. As last year’s US Open Champion, she is currently in possession of all four titles as well as the defending gold medalist from the 2012 London Olympics.

Williams has won eight majors since the end of the 2011 season and is very much the favorite to win her ninth at Flushing Meadows. Like Federer on the men’s side, Williams enters having come off a solid, if not spectacular hard court season. She was victorious at Cincinnati and was a semifinalist at the Rogers Cup. She finished second in the points standings for the US Open Series.

Williams’ loss at the Rogers Cup is really nothing to be alarmed by. In fact, she actually won the first set, something of an anomaly given the majority of her matches during this historic run have seen her drop the opener.

The biggest challenge it seems to Williams’ calendar grand slam, is herself. Sure, Victoria Azarenka (+800) and Maria Sharapova (+900) could factor into the picture but neither hold a particularly promising head-to-head against Williams, with Serena holding a collective 35-5 edge over her nearest competitors. Additionally, neither woman has beaten Williams at a major since Sharapova did it at the 2004 Wimbledon, despite having had 16 chances.

So as you can see, there really isn’t much competition for Williams. The 2015 US Open is hers to lose.

  • Serena Williams is our preview’s US Open betting pick. She is the safe and smart bet @ best betting odds of -125 with Bovada or BetOnline.