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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 Wednesday’s card.
Marcos Giron (+100) vs. Daniel Evans (-125)
It’s sad for fans of the British No. 1, but Dan Evans simply isn’t the same player he was just a few months ago. After a bout with COVID-19, Evans has seemed to lose all momentum he had been building over the last couple of years and is strangely unsure of himself out on the court. As the player entering with worse form in this match by a wide margin, I do not believe he should be the favorite.
Evans isn’t hitting that one-handed backhand slice with confidence, instead trading it in for a flatter, deeper swinging backhand at times. While this can be effective, it’s not the game that got him to this point, and it illustrates how he’s lost trust in his best shot. His point construction has also been rather elementary and as a result he’s failed to get wins. He entered the US Open with five losses in six matches — which is hard for a top-30 player to do — before taking down a clay-court specialist in Thiago Monteiro and dropping a set along the way.
Enter Giron, who is having yet another stellar season on the hardcourts. After battling various injuries, the 28-year-old is finally playing some great tennis and utilizing his big game to perfection. While he’s not the most imposing figure and isn’t topping the charts with forehand speed, Giron hits flat, heavy shots to the baseline which won’t allow Evans to go on the offensive much in this match. I think he is ready for the moment, and ready to back up his second-round run in 2020 with a third-round run in 2021.
Edge: Giron +100
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Roberto Bautista-Agut (-230) vs. Emil Ruusuvuori (+175)
Take nothing away from the season Emil Ruusuvuori has had. It’s been a great run, which included an upset win in Miami over Alex Zverev, and it was capped by a semifinal appearance in Winston-Salem last week. The Fin has risen to No. 66 in the world, and will one day be inside the top 20 with his prowess on the hardcourts.
Well, one man he shouldn’t be able to beat is Roberto Bautista-Agut. The Spaniard is simply on a different level than the opponents Ruusuvuori has been dispatching, bringing masterful groundstroking and precision to the US Open.
I wrote it that way on purpose; RBA had been out of whack over the last month, but after a week off he looks refreshed and back to normal. One thing that was shocking was the way he was able to serve against Nick Kyrgios, considering that’s usually the one weakness in his game. If he can get free points off of his serve, it’s not only over for Ruusuvuori but for the rest of the field.
RBA should roll here against a player that is simply error prone and will wilt in the face of so much consistency. I expect him to tire the youngster out after the first set and begin to really put him away, and those matches last week just may catch up to Ruusuvuori. Take the set spread where you can, and if you don’t have it the under probably works too.
Edge: Bautista-Agut -1.5 Sets (-110)
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