TENNIS analyst Gavin Mair (@gavinnightmair) has enjoyed a great US Open. Here's his take on Sunday night's action from the men's final at Flushing Meadows.
Unfortunately the 2-0 Serena Williams sets victory didn’t land on Saturday night, but who cares if you had Naomi Osaka at 33/1 to win outright like I did, and hopefully you did too.
It was a dramatic match in which Serena grabbed the headlines for the wrong reasons with a petulant and aggressive display of gamesmanship that thankfully backfired. Whilst the match was based on each player’s tennis it was clear that Osaka was the far better player.
Such a performance was deserving of a big moment at the end and it was heartbreaking to watch the 20-year-old Japanese player look as sad as she did in the midst of a hostile pro-Serena New York crowd.
It’s been a very profitable two weeks for this column – even before considering the 33/1 Osaka outright – and let’s hope to go out with a bang.
Sunday night is men’s final day, and like Saturday I have a horse in the race and believe it is best to have our angles covered.
Novak Djokovic v Juan Martin del Potro | Sunday 9th September 2018, 21:00 | Amazon Prime
I believe that this could be the best chance Juan Martin del Potro may have in the rest of his career to win a second Grand Slam.
However, the odds in Sunday night's match reflect how difficult it is for a player outwith the Big 3 of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to win one of these titles.
A win for Djokovic would take him to 14 Grand Slam titles, only six behind Federer who holds 20. All but 8 of the past 54 Grand Slams have been won by the aforementioned trio.
Furthermore, del Potro trails the head-to-head 14 matches to four. Since his comeback from injury Djokovic leads the head to head 3-1 overall, and 2-1 on a hard court.
Del Potro has faced the tougher opponents to earn his place in the final, including Borna Coric, John Isner and Rafael Nadal. However, del Potro mixed good tennis in those matches with some extreme mental dips – most notably versus Nadal where he made heavy weather of an opponent clearly struggling to move at his fluid best.
Djokovic hasn’t been tested as of yet having not had to face a top 20 ranked opponent to make the final. Furthermore, he hasn’t faced a player of del Potro’s profile having comfortably beaten three players in Joao Sousa, John Millman and Kei Nishikori that play a similar brand of physical baseline tennis as Djokovic, but obviously to a much lower degree than the Serbian.
The betting angle
I believe that there is a lot of sense to be made by using stats as indicators for tennis betting angles. All of the bets I’ve suggested during this week have been based on some form or combination of statistical data.
However, a warning to readers of this article – there is a high profile tennis rater that writes stats-led previews focussing on combined hold and break percentages as a measure of indicating who should be the betting value in this match – but how can you read so strongly into convincing data in wins over the likes of Millman, Sousa or Tennys Sandgren?
It doesn’t make sense to do so. Tread carefully with such articles.
This final should be treated as a special match. WeLoveBetting bettors currently have del Potro at 13/1 outright. Whilst I think that has a chance of success – it is not as likely as a Djokovic victory.
I therefore think it is best to cover our bases and taste some success in the event of a Djokovic win. I would be disappointed if del Potro doesn’t make a match of this and I believe we could see a long and competitive match.
Djokovic’s wins over del Potro on a hard court have both gone the distance in the three set format. The Argentine should win a set at the least and possibly even two. Therefore, I encourage two small stake bets on scoreline bets to cover us slightly in the event of del Potro failing to land the title.