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After a long, winding season, we’ve arrived at the final Grand Slam on the calendar. The U.S. Open kicks off Monday in Flushing Meadows, bringing together almost every one of the best names this sport has to offer. We’ll miss Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal this year, but the void should be filled by plenty of talented young stars.
Without further ado, let me run through the two bets I like the most on Monday’s card.
Pierre-Hugues Herbert (-230) vs. Adrian Mannarino (+175)
Let’s get one thing straight: If Adrian Mannarino had no health concerns, he’d be the one listed as the -230 favorite. Alas, we haven’t seen him since he was forced to retire at Wimbledon after giving Federer a scare, hence this price.
At these odds, however, Mannarino is a must-bet. His pushing style which features an incredibly flat backhand makes him a master of hardcourts and one of the best players of the world on the surface. He has years and years of big-match experience and seems to turn up for these bigger events, playing some fantastic tennis after the re-start last year.
Even if he’s not 100%, I think Mannarino should have more than a puncher’s chance here. Herbert hasn’t played many hardcourt matches since his run back in France earlier this year, which came indoors. He fell in qualifying last week in North Carolina then lost in the second round to Marcos Giron. He’s well out of form and at the very least should be around a pick ’em against a player who’s better, but enters with health concerns. I’m more than willing to take this shot.
Edge: Mannarino +175
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Roberto Bautista-Agut (-230) vs. Nick Kyrgios (+175)
Regardless of his current form (or lack thereof), Kyrgios needs to be bet at this price.
The main concerns when backing Nick Kyrgios are motivation and fitness. We know the former won’t be much of an issue, judging by the incredible bouts Kyrgios has had at Grand Slams in years past and his general love of the spotlight. The fitness shouldn’t be an issue here either, and should present a challenge around the third round.
Kyrgios came out at Wimbledon and beat one of the most in-form players on tour in Ugo Humbert in a dogfight of a match, stunning everyone who’d counted him out thanks to absolutely no match preparation in the lead-up. We know this is an incredible talent, and we know he is capable of taking down almost anyone early in slams.
Not only does he always show up to slams and play well historically at the U.S. Open, his opponent couldn’t be in shakier form. Bautista-Agut has lost two straight and didn’t have the most convincing wins leading into that losing streak, either. He was broken a bunch by Tommy Paul and had to save match points against an out-of-form Diego Schwartzman.
His serving has always been relatively shaky, but it’s been particularly weak over the last few weeks. Against someone with a huge serve like Kyrgios, that could be rather dangerous. I think he’s well worth a shot here at these odds.
Edge: Kyrgios +175
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