TENNIS analyst Gavin Mair (@gavinnightmair) has been in fine form. He takes a look at Friday's US Open action from Flushing Meadows.
Yesterday was a successful day on WLB with winner after winner from regular contributors. The tennis bets followed suit as both selections won comfortably.
Mikhail Kukushkin is far from being the most glamorous player on tour but he outplayed a very negative Hyeon Chung who focused far too much on retrieving the ball at the back of the court than being assertive with his play. Kukushkin won at 12/5 for us.
The second play of yesterday was Benoit Paire to give the great Roger Federer something to think about, which he did throughout most of the match. The bet we selected was for Benoit Paire to take Federer to over 9.5 games in the first set at 11/10. Federer eventually secured the set but did so after the games total was reached winning it 7/5.
Let’s hope for another good day on WLB. There are a lot of bets that I like the look of and hopefully I suggest the winning ones!
Barbora Strycova v Elise Mertens | Friday 31st August, 16:00 | Amazon Prime
I was unimpressed by Barbora Strycova’s margin of victory in her first round contest against journeywoman Danielle Lao and had thought there was potential in her dropping a set to Lara Arruabarrena. The Czech was having none of it though and played one of the best matches I have ever seen her play.
Strycova plays with a lot of touch and intelligence and it is a very frustrating opponent when she is on form. The Czech will play Belgian player Elise Mertens, who has had a rapid rise up the rankings to be seeded 15th at this event.
Mertens is a very consistent player that loves to dictate from the baseline, but she will be given something different to think about by Strycova and I believe that the Czech can cause the upset.
The Belgian has played a lot of tennis this year and recently it appears to be taking a toll on her body with several little knocks that are evident with various appearances on the court wearing medical tape.
Strycova on the other hand has found some form and possessing fresher legs from a slow start this season she is ready to make a run at this event. Strycova said in her post match comments after Arruabarrena, “That everything went right for me. I’m playing my best tennis at the Slams this year.”
Ultimately I believe there is not a great deal between this pair, but I think Mertens has almost exhausted her potential this season whilst Strycova can still expect to have some good weeks between now and the end of the season. Let’s hope she starts here versus Mertens.
Strycova to win at 2/1 with BetVictor.
Serena Williams v Venus Williams | Friday 31st August, 23:00 | Amazon Prime
Whilst on paper this looks like an interesting contest given the great names and legacy of the Williams sisters I believe we will see a very comfortable victory for Serena.
I have not been impressed with Venus for several months as she has looked vulnerable to plenty of upsets and has been able to wriggle free on several occasions.
The fitness of Venus also has to be questioned given rather lethargic spells of effort in her last few matches. It is perhaps telling that after defeating Camila Giorgi in the last round that Venus said, “I will do my best to recover.”
Serena looks to have found her best form of the season and has come through her first two rounds in dominant fashion against Carina Witthoeft and Magda Linette. This is not unexpected, but given the form struggles for much of this season it is proof positive of Serena’s re-emergence as the player to beat in this event.
The pair have had some controversial matches over the years where they have been open to accusation of taking it easy against each other and almost pre-determining the result. Such a claim was partially the reason why the sisters refused to play Indian Wells for 14 years, albeit with the more worrisome element of racism part of the problem.
I don’t expect Serena to take it easy on Venus during this match as she must conserve her energy to be able to perform at her best in the latter rounds. Therefore I’m backing a 2/0 Sets victory for Serena Williams vs Venus Williams at a best price of 11/10 with Boylesports.
I can’t see Serena losing this one and if the bet I proposes loses, I will win it back by backing Serena in play if trailing by a set or before the final set unless an injury occurs.
Barbora Strycova v Elise Mertens – Strycova to win (2/1 Bet Victor)
Serena Williams v Venus Williams – Serena Williams to win 2-0 (11/10 Boylesports)