US Open – Stephens to soar into the quarter-finals

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TENNIS analyst Gavin Mair (@gavinnightmair) has been in great form. He takes a look at the overnight US Open action from Flushing Meadows.

Yesterday didn’t go to plan as my suggested bets failed to land. Nick Kyrgios kicked things off with a dismal effort against Roger Federer.

The Australian produced a shocker of a match overall, highlighted by a very poor service game at 4/4 in the first set that stifled the chances of a first set tiebreak. Kyrgios can compete with Federer but unfortunately his focus and maturity denies him from fulfilling his potential.

The second match I focused on in yesterday’s preview was the match between Diego Schwartzman and Kei Nishikori. The two were well matched and took turns at winning highlight reel points won after one lengthy rally after another. Schwartzman had his chances and despite defeat still offered us a good run for our money.

Unfortunately Nishikori played more of the big points better and looked to be in impressive form come the end of the contest.

Day 7 has quite a few tight matches and I will do most of my work in play. Therefore I offer only one selection that I will chance pre match.

Sloane Stephens v Elise Mertens | Monday 3rd September, 00:00 | Amazon Prime

This match kicks off the night session on Arthur Ashe and will showcase a rematch from Cincinnati a couple of weeks ago. Mertens won in two sets that night, but I believe Stephens will turn the result on its head this time around.

Sloane Stephens is a Jekyll and Hyde type player. In her formative years it was very hard to tell which Stephens would appear on court. However, since her comeback last year Stephens has been able to raise her game for the big occasions and you can usually tell when the Jekyll character may appear.

Whilst Cincinnati is a big tournament Stephens arrived there fresh from a final in Montreal and wasn’t in a position to give her very best effort. Mertens is a pest to play against with her physical style of play and it was no surprise to see Stephens falter in that one.

The American stated of that match, “I was tired, I was fried.” I tend to believe her and I think that when she is in her focused mood she has a higher level than Mertens can offer.

15th seeded Belgian Mertens must be respected as she has had a strong rise up the rankings this year and has consistently fought her way through draws. This tournament has been no different.

She was fortunate to escape Kurumi Nara in round one, and may well have lost to Barbora Strycova in the third round had the Czech not been wired to the moon throughout that match.

Furthermore, whilst it was Stephens that was in the weaker physical state in Cincinnati I think it is Mertens who is in that position this time around. She has taping on various body parts, perhaps unsurprising after a grinding and successful season.

I believe Stephens will be focused in this match and having got through the difficult test of Azarenka should continue that form by dominating a solid but unspectacular player like Mertens.

Sloane Stephens to win in straight sets is available at a best price 13/10 with Unibet.

Best bets

Sloane Stephens v Elise Mertens – Sloane Stephens to win 2-0 (13/10 Unibet)

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