TENNIS analyst Gavin Mair (@gavinnightmair) has been in fine form. He takes a look at Saturday's US Open action from Flushing Meadows.
Day 5 saw a continuation of the hot streak as Serena Williams overwhelmed sister Venus to win in straight sets at 11/10. Serena was impressive in her 6-1 6-2 victory but Venus was every bit as useless as Serena was good.
The other bet didn’t come through as Barbora Strycova couldn’t get the job done against Elise Mertens. The Czech created a lot of opportunities but her decision making and execution on the big points was shocking. On set point Strycova had Mertens on the run and was positioned inside the court but for some unknown reason stopped the point. It was one of the strangest things I have ever seen in a tennis match and ultimately it cost us a winning bet. Strycova summarised her performance well saying, “It pisses me off. Maybe I didn’t believe in myself enough.” Anyway, rant over. On to day 6.
Nick Kyrgios v Roger Federer | Saturday 1st September, 18:30 | Amazon Prime
The temperamental Australian was the subject of controversy in his previous round against Pierre Hugues Herbert as he was set to fall behind two sets to love before umpire Mohamed Lahyani intervened by oddly offering some words of encouragement to him during a pause in play.
Kyrgios would go on to reverse his fortunes and turnaround his match against Herbert. Whether you believe it was the catalyst for Kyrgios winning the match or not, it certainly was unusual.
I am a big Nick Kyrgios fan and believe that he is unquestionably one of the most talented players in tennis today. However, he lacks the level-headed mindset that champions such as his opponent Roger Federer possess. Whether Kyrgios can improve this going forward remains to be seen.
The Aussie is a strange beast as evidenced by his struggle against Herbert. Kyrgios should not have any trouble in dispatching a player as limited as Herbert yet he can let his emotion get the better of him and often loses matches that he shouldn’t be losing.
On the other hand, put Kyrgios on court with one of the top-level players such as Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic and you see a player inspired by the challenge of defeating one of the all-time greats. Kyrgios has never dropped a set to Djokovic, and although he trails Federer in 2-1 in their series it has been determined each time by the slimmest of margins.
8 of the 9 sets played by Kyrgios and Federer in competitive matches have been decided by a tiebreak. Having checked the odds on a first set tiebreak I was a little surprised to see a price of 13/8 available for that outcome on Skybet.
Tiebreak set bets rely on each player producing a consistent level throughout a whole set of tennis and can be decided by a momentary lapse in concentration by either player so please be conservative with your stake on this one.
In Federer’s previous outing I backed over 9.5 games in the first set of his match against Benoit Paire. Kyrgios should be able to hold his level better than Paire and I think there is a better chance than the implied odds that we see the first set decided by a breaker.
Diego Schwartzman v Kei Nishikori | Saturday 1st September, 19:00 | Amazon Prime
This match features two baseline warriors who should in theory be well matched from the back of the court. Both relish extended rallies, and have a physical playing style where the level can rise and dip throughout the course of a match.
Nishikori leads the head to head 2/0, and both matches were settled in the final set. On this occasion Schwartzman, the tournament’s 13th seed, starts the match as the higher ranked player for the first time, and also as a decent priced underdog.
Schwartzman made the quarterfinals last year and is often underrated on hard court surfaces mainly, I believe, because of his diminutive stature – he stands at only 1m68. Although taller, Nishikori isn’t known for regularly blasting players off the court.
This match will likely be a grind and I see two decent bets in this one. The first is for this to be a long match. The match to be played over 5 sets is priced at 13/5 with Betway.
The second bet is for Schwartzman to win at 15/8 with Betbright – his price to win has already decreased in recent hours showing there is some support for Schwartzman today.