It was about as rough a start to the U.S. Open as you could imagine. Not only did Stefanos Tsitsipas and Taylor Fritz fail to convert my picks, but they both lost in shocking fashion.
That being said, the show must go on. We started out slow in Wimbledon and recovered effectively, so it’s time to move on a focus on a new slate of matches. I’ve picked out three bets I see the most value in on DraftKings Sportsbook for Day 2 of the tournament.
Carlos Alcaraz vs. Sebastian Baez
What do you do when two heavy favorites lose in the opening round in embarrassing fashion?
You stick with the strategy, because the proof is in my Grand Slam picks record this year.
Kicking off my @dklive picks for the #USOpen2022 today. Here’s my current record for the year:— Jeff Pratt (@ByJeffPratt) August 29, 2022
Australian Open: 12-4
French Open: 12-5
Total record: 34/50 (68%)
First article coming in a few hours pic.twitter.com/xEGPuzLvTT
We’re going right back to a top seed on Day 2 of the tournament. Now, if both Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal — who will appear later in this article — flounder today, we’ll pivot. I don’t expect that to be the case though.
While Carlos’ best surface is clay, his game is well-suited for hard courts too. Alcaraz moves incredibly well, possessing the necessary tools to keep points alive long enough to either outlast his opponents or put them away. That type of endurance is necessary when playing on this type of surface.
It’s worth noting that the 19-year-old is entering this tournament in strong form, while Sebastian Baez has dropped five straight matches. Alcaraz should cruise here.
Borna Coric vs. Enzo Couacaud
Speaking of players who are entering this tournament in great form, Borna Coric has been on quite the tear lately.
The 25-year-old just went on an incredible run to win the Cincinnati Open, defeating Rafael Nadal, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Cam Norrie and Stefanos Tsistipas en route to the title.
What’s even more impressive is that Coric dropped just one set throughout the entire tournament. Couacaud enters the U.S. Open in decent form as well, but Coric is arguably the hottest player in the field right now.
We’re not messing around with spreads or game totals in this match. Coric should win in straight sets and continue his dominant play.
Rafael Nadal vs. Rinky Hijikata
Rafa hasn’t even played yet and his path to a record 23rd Grand Slam is already considerably easier after multiple top seeds bowed out yesterday.
While Nadal is notoriously impenetrable on clay, the 36-year-old has put together a fantastic hardcourt season as well, boasting a record of 21-2 entering the U.S. Open. His opponent, Rinky Hijikata, has actually put together a solid hardcourt campaign as well.
Unfortunately for Rinky, he’s about to run into a buzzsaw. Hijikata will likely put up a respectable fight, but winning enough to surpass the 28.5 game total seems unlikely.
Nadal hasn’t actually played in the U.S. Open for a few years. However, the last time he did was in 2019, and he won it all. Assuming Rafa can stay healthy, this match should be the beginning of a very deep run in New York City.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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