The US Open wraps up the first round on the Men’s side on Tuesday, which means there are a plethora of matches for your wagering pleasure. I’ve picked out the five matches I see the most value in on DraftKings Sportsbook.
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Vasek Pospisil vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber
This match started around a pick ‘em before heading decidedly in Pospisil’s favor. The Canadian was playing fantastic tennis before the shutdown, getting past Denis Shapovalov, Richard Gasquet and David Goffin to make the final in Montpellier and then picking up several quality wins afterwards, including one over Daniil Medvedev. The opening line surely respected the fact that Pospisil will be trying to shake off the rust, while the grizzled Kohlschreiber was playing plenty of exhibitions over the summer, but that doesn’t cause too much worry. Pospisil should be able to work the court incredibly well against the aging German. He outlasted the tough Karen Khachanov in five sets in last year’s first round, and I expect more good fortune this time around.
Guido Pella vs. J.J. Wolf
Pella managed to spark a movement among players (#FreeGuido) during last week’s Cincinnati Masters (in the NYC bubble) when tournament officials wouldn’t let him play due to a coach’s positive COVID-19 test. He has been itching to play and should come out fired up against the young J.J. Wolf, who has been stellar at the ATP Challenger level over the past year or so, but not favorite-at-a-major stellar. I saw him up to -175 at one point, which is bonkers.
While he’s absolutely a clay player through and through, Pella has proven he can be a difficult opponent on all surfaces, reaching the quarters at Wimbledon last year and picking up two wins at this year’s Australian Open. I love the value here on a guy who rose to No. 20 in the world last season and is going up against a player who will have jitters in his first Grand Slam main draw match.
Jannik Sinner vs. Karen Khachanov
This is where it gets fun. Sinner, just 19, has drawn comparisons to Djokovic with his skiing background and balance on the court when playing defense. It is not a question of if, but when, he has his breakout performance at a Grand Slam. Khachanov’s inconsistency makes him one of the most upset-prone players on tour, losing his first round match at the Open last year to the aforementioned Pospisil, which makes this a fantastic spot to ride Sinner. He has shown he is not afraid of big matches, beating Gael Monfils last year en route to his first ATP Semifinal at the age of 18 and taking down the heavily favored Alex De Minaur in the highly-anticipated Next Gen ATP Final last season. His poor luck in the slam draws continues with Khachanov, but I think he prevails in this one.
Norbert Gombos vs. Radu Albot
Radu Albot was one of my favorite players to back last season, bringing nothing but consistency to the table in what was a career year for him, but he has faded hard since last summer. Albot hasn’t won in his past nine tries dating back to last October, while Gombos continues to prove himself as one of the top-level hardcourt players on the Challenger tour. He also flashes power that Albot simply does not have, and which has been important on these new surfaces in New York. The two have met twice, with Gombos taking their most recent matchup 7-6, 6-2 in 2016. He should roll once again in this one.
Emil Ruusuvuori vs. Aljaž Bedene
The moneyline is priced absolutely correct — I have no idea who will take this one — but the close nature of this matchup, coupled with two capable servers on a fast surface, makes the over a good play in my book. Ruusuvuori’s career hardcourt record, while against some weak opponents, speaks for itself at 60-19. The 21-year-old has ascended up the ranks fast in just two short years, rocketing to 92 in the world, and showed how dangerous he was last week nearly beating eighth-ranked Matteo Berrettini in a thrilling third set.
He boasts a good serve, and so does Bedene, who was incredibly tough to break last week, beating Taylor Fritz in straight sets with ease. I don’t expect a ton of breaks in this one, and think it will go at least four sets. That’s a recipe for the over if I’ve ever seen one.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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