Men’s US Open Final Preview

(1) Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs (28) Kevin Anderson (RSA)

After a crazy fortnight of tennis with big withdrawals and big names tumbling out early, it’s now down to the last two. It probably comes as little surprise to see Rafa in the final but it’s big South African Kevin Anderson who springs a big surprise in reaching his first Grand Slam final. Two players with contrasting styles and different weapons should provide the ingredients for an intriguing final.

How Rafael Nadal will win…

Nadal looked sensational in the second, third and fourth sets against Del Potro. After dropping the first set, Nadal became more aggressive and went after more on his forehand and stepped closer into the court to put the pressure on Del Potro. I expect a similar tactic against Kevin Anderson who like Del Potro is extremely tall. Rafa will have Anderson running all over the court and he will force the South African into multiple errors. The courts at Flushing Meadows this year look very slow which will play into Rafa’s hands and make it even hard for Anderson to hit winners past him.

How Kevin Anderson will win…

Anderson’s biggest strength is his massive serve. Anderson will need to serve extremely well all day and force the match into a few tie-breakers or even steal a set at 6-3 or 6-4. I expect Rafa to stand a long way behind the baseline on return of serve so Anderson will need to mix up power with sliders and kick serves to play the angles. On return he will need to take the ball early and hit it low and hard at Rafa to take his time away. Keeping the unforced error count down will be absolutely crucial to his success.

Prediction

Whilst it’s a great effort to see Kevin Anderson’s years of hard work pay off, I envisage a tough day at the office for him. Nadal will be relentless and I don’t expect him not to give Anderson an inch. Anderson could be doing a fair bit of running and will be forced into numerous errors – exactly how Nadal will want the match played.

I think Rafa will be far too strong and have little to no trouble claiming major title number 16.

Nadal in 3 sets

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Browny’s Tips – US Open Day 5

Safe Bets

Marin Čilić @ $1.25 – Čilić to have too much power and class for Diego Schwartzman of Argentina.

Garbiñe Muguruza @ $1.09 – Muguruza in career best form and I expect her to breeze through her 3rd round match against Rybarikova.

Worth a Punt

Mischa Zverev @ $3.90 – Great value here for Zverev against John Isner. I expect this match to go largely on serve and as such anything can happen if it gets to a few tie-breakers.

Viktor Troicki @ $3.27 – Great value for Troicki against Alexandr Dolgopolov. Troicki leads in head to head 2-1 and is the higher ranked of the two.

* PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE TIPS ARE NOT INTENDED AS ADVICE AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY FINANCIAL LOSSES OR OTHERWISE. ODDS ARE TAKEN FROM SPORTSBET.COM.AU AT THE TIME EACH BLOG ENTRY IS PUBLISHED. AS ALWAYS, PLEASE GAMBLE RESPONSIBLY.

Browny’s Tips – US Open Day 3

Safe Bets

Agnieszka Radwańska @ $1.20 – I expect the 10th seed to be too strong for 85th ranked Croatian Petra Martić.

Worth a Punt

Taro Daniel @ $3.01 – Good odds here for Daniel against his lower ranked opponent in Tommy Paul.

Thomas Fabbiano @ $3.32 – Plays Jordan Thompson who did have a great win over Jack Sock but I think Thompson’s odds are too short. Only 9 ranking spots between them. Value here for the Italian.

Borna Ćorić @ $5.20 – Faces a tough task against Alexander Zverev but Ćorić  is an extremely talented youngster. Ćorić defeated Zverev in their only previous encounter.

Brienne Minor @ $17.00 – Incredibly long odds for the American wildcard who plays 99 ranked Ons Jabeur from Tunisia. Surely worth a small wager at these odds.

 

* PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE TIPS ARE NOT INTENDED AS ADVICE AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY FINANCIAL LOSSES OR OTHERWISE. ODDS ARE TAKEN FROM SPORTSBET.COM.AU AT THE TIME EACH BLOG ENTRY IS PUBLISHED. AS ALWAYS, PLEASE GAMBLE RESPONSIBLY.

Browny’s Tips – US Open Day 2

Safe Bets

Angelique Kerber @ $1.30 – The defending champ should be too god for Naomi Osaka of Japan.

Worth a Punt

Taro Daniel @ $2.93 – Good odds here for Daniel against his lower ranked opponent in Tommy Paul.

Andreas Seppi @ $5.40 – I think this game between Seppi and Roberto Bautista Agut will be closer than the odds and their ranking positions suggest. Value for Seppi at $5.40.

 

* PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE TIPS ARE NOT INTENDED AS ADVICE AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY FINANCIAL LOSSES OR OTHERWISE. ODDS ARE TAKEN FROM SPORTSBET.COM.AU AT THE TIME EACH BLOG ENTRY IS PUBLISHED. AS ALWAYS, PLEASE GAMBLE RESPONSIBLY.

Browny’s Tips – US Open Day 1

Safe Bets

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga @ $1.10 – Tsonga to get his campaign off to a good start and defeat Marius Copil of Romania.

Jack Sock @ $1.31 – Sock should be too strong and too consistent for Jordan Thompson.

Johanna Konta @ $1.11 – Konta to be too strong for 78th ranked Aleksandra Krunić.

Worth a Punt

Dmitry Tursunov @ $3.45 – I reckon there’s a bit of value for the Russian here against 225th ranked Cameron Norrie. I think this should be closer than the odds suggest.

Gilles Simon @ $3.03 – Good value for Simon here against Sam Querrey. Simon has a 4-2 record over the American

Roberta Vinci @ $4.00 – Although I selected Sloane Stephens as the dark horse for this tournament, she faces a tough task against Roberta Vinci first up. Vinci was the finalist here only 2 years ago so $4 represents some good value for her I think.

Ana Konjuh @ $2.47 – Interestingly Konjuh who is the 21st seed goes in as the underdog to Aussie Ash Barty. Potential value for the Croatian.

Maria Sharapova @ $2.82 – Huge match first up for the number 2 seed Simona Halep against Sharapova. Can’t go past this one for value I don’t think.

* PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE TIPS ARE NOT INTENDED AS ADVICE AND I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY FINANCIAL LOSSES OR OTHERWISE. ODDS ARE TAKEN FROM SPORTSBET.COM.AU AT THE TIME EACH BLOG ENTRY IS PUBLISHED. AS ALWAYS, PLEASE GAMBLE RESPONSIBLY.

US Open 2017 Preview – Men’s Singles

There has been a high rate of attrition in men’s tennis over the past few months. This year’s US Open will be without Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic who are all absent with injury. Roger Federer comes into the tournament with an injury cloud as well. What this does however, is provides one of the most open major tournaments in many years.

Given the absentees and the caliber of some of the youngsters coming through the ranks, I think we could well see a first time major winner at Flushing Meadows this year. Here are the major players and how I think the draw may pan out.

The Top Seeds

  1. Rafael Nadal (ESP) –  A magnificent effort from Rafa to return to the number 1 ranking this year. This is a tournament that he has won twice, but his lead-up form has been anything but spectacular. A few of the big name absentees this year helps his cause and is a good chance, but questions remain over his ability to go all the way in the last major of a long season – especially with his history of injuries.
  2. Andy Murray (GBR) – Withdrawn from this year’s tournament.
  3. Roger Federer (SUI) – Federer has been in incredible form this year having only lost 3 matches and is undefeated in every grand slam match he has played in this year. He did pull out of the Cincinnati Masters with a back injury so it will be interesting to see how his fitness is. If he is over this injury and ready to go, he’ll be the one to beat in my opinion but time will tell.
  4. Alexander Zverev (GER) – Zverev is in career best form and has a huge opportunity with a top 4 seeeding for the US Open. Won the Rogers Cup in Canada where he defeated Federer in the lead-up so he is in form. Will be interesting to see how he has improved with the rigours of the best-of-5 format of the game. This could be his biggest challenge.
  5. Marin Čilić (CRO) – Won here in 2014 and was the finalist at Wimbledon last month. Having Murray and Djokovic out gives his chances a huge boost.
  6. Dominic Thiem (AUT) – Like Zverev, Thiem is one of the new breed of young stars who have climbed the ranks in the men’s game. He is super fit and a strong athlete so the hard courts at Flushing Meadows should suit his game well. Has drawn a good quarter so I expect him to go deep.
  7. Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) – This is Dimitrov’s best chance of claiming his first grand slam title. He has shown that he has the ability to match it with anyone in the game and also claimed the lead-up title at the Cincinnati Masters. He has produced some terrific tennis this year and if he keeps his head in check, he will be every chance.
  8. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) – Tsonga has been the beneficiary of several injuries to higher ranked players and as such claims a crucial top 8 seeding for this year’s tournament. Has been a consistent performer at all majors over a number of years and with a bit of luck could go very deep into the tournament.
  9. David Goffin (BEL) – Returns from injury to take the 9th seeding spot. He has never performed particularly well at Flushing Meadows but he is a strong competitor
  10. John Isner (USA) – The big American rounds out the top 10 seeds this year at his home major. Did reach the quarter finals here in 2011 but tends to struggle a little in the best-of-5 format of the game.

Top Aussies

Nick Kyrgios – Seeded 14th and looked good at the Cincinatti Masters where he was defeated in the final by Dimitrov. Questions remain over his fitness but when fit can beat anyone. Unfortunately is in Federer’s section of the draw which could make it tough for him.

Bernard Tomic – Unseeded at the US Open and has rapidly dropped to 146 in the world. Takes on big serving Gilles Müller in the first round. Tomic not in the best form at the moment and not sure how much damage he is capable of doing at this year’s tournament.

My Tips

Winner: Grigor Dimitrov

I think this year’s tournament will most likely produce a first time major winner given the openness and the absence of a number of top ranked players. Dimitrov, in my opinion has a number of factors in his favour. He won the lead-up tournament in Cincinnati, he is fit and has the weapons to beat nearly anyone on his day. Was extremely unlucky not to make the final of the Australian Open this year but I think he will be better off for that experience.

Runner-Up: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

The bottom half of this year’s draw is incredibly open and I’m picking Tsonga to get through to the final. He has a great record of making it to the second week of majors and with the way his half of the draw is looking, I think he will make it through to the final.

Tsonga

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Dark Horse: Tomáš Berdych

Berdych has a great record at major tournaments and the openness of the draw gives him a huge chance of going deep into the tournament. He is one of the physically strongest and fittest players on tour so won’t be afraid to get into long matches.

US Open 2017 Preview – Women’s Singles

The women’s rankings have undergone a major shuffle in the last month or two. As such, only 1 of the top 5 women’s seeds for the US Open has previously won a major tournament. The openness of the women’s game has produced some terrific grand slam results this year and with the absence of Serena Williams it has arguably not been as predictable as per normal.

The favourites generally have a very good record of going on to win the last major of the year so with such an even top end of the seedings, this will be interesting. Here are the main players.

 

The Top Seeds

  1. Karolína Plíšková (CZE) – Has her best chance of breaking her Grand Slam duck with the top seeding. Fell just short here last year and is very well placed to go one better.
  2. Simona Halep (ROM) – Always a contender at the grand slams and has reasonable form here. Definitely a chance. Can struggle right at the pointy end but she keeps giving herself a chance which is half the challenge.
  3. Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP) – Muguruza is in fantastic form at the moment and is the favourite with the bookies. Interestingly she has never progressed beyond the second round here but I expect that to change and I see no reason why she can’t contend on these courts and repeat her triumph at Wimbledon.
  4. Elina Svitolina (UKR) – With the exception of this year’s Australian Open, Svitolina hasn’t had a great deal of success at Grand Slam level. At the US Open she is yet to win a singles match. Im’ expecting more from her this year but not sure if she can go all the way.
  5. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) – Has been playing some great tennis this year and comes into her favourite major as the 5th seed. Wozniacki has twice been a finalist at Flushing Meadows and she is a definite contender in my mind.
  6. Angelique Kerber (GER) – Kerber has really struggled to recapture her brilliant form from last year. She has dropped from 1st to 6th in the world in the space of a few months but she does return to her favourite surface. Always a chance but she will need to play better than she has been.
  7. Johanna Konta (GBR) – Could go well here this year. Had a great Wimbledon and a seed inside the top 8 gives her a chance of bettering her 4th round result for the past two years.
  8. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) – A previous champion here at the US Open but this was back in 2004. She is playing some consistent tennis but has struggled to progress to the last few rounds of each of the majors this year. I expect to see her in the second week but not sure if she can beat some of the higher seeds in the draw in a semi or a final.
  9. Venus Williams (USA) – Is having a terrific year in the twilight of her career. A back-to-back winner here at the US Open but this was 16 years ago. Is playing well enough to challenge for the title though and is a big chance in my opinion.
  10. Agnieszka Radwańska (POL) – Hasn’t performed as well at the US Open as at other majors and has dropped down the rankings over the past year. Has also struggled to get to the second week of any majors for the past few seasons. Will need a considerable lift to challenge but she is capable of this on her day.

Top Aussies

Daria Gavrilova – Gavrilova is seeded 25 but comes into the US Open having claimed her maiden WTA title with victory in Connecticut. That win will give her a huge amount of confidence and I think she has been put in a favourable section of the draw.

Ash Barty – Runs into a seed first up which could prove difficult. Will look to eclipse her best result here which was the second round in 2013.

My Tips

Winner: Karolína Plíšková

Plíšková has just taken the number 1 ranking and I am selecting her to consolidate this by claiming her first major title. She has the game to go all the way and fell just short last year. The hard courts suit her and I’m backing her to take her first major here in NYC.

Runner-Up:Garbiñe Muguruza

Tough not to pick Muguruza as the winner this year given her form but I give Plíšková the edge due to her ranking as well as Muguruza’s poor record at Flushing Meadows.

Dark Horse: Sloane Stephens

Stephens is returning from injury but when fit is a definite contender at grand slam level. Tends to produce her best tennis on hard courts and being at her home major could give her a boost.

2017 Wimbledon Recap

Another sensational fortnight of tennis. It was some old names who lead the way this year. Roger Federer wound back the clock and produced some scintillating tennis for two weeks where he didn’t drop a single set. It a record 8th Wimbledon title for Federer who consolidates his claim to being the greatest player of all time.

Garbiñe Muguruza claimed her second grand slam title after a terrific fortnight. She was able to go one better than in 2015 where she lost to Serena Williams in the final. At just 23 she has a big future ahead of her. She defeated veteran Venus Williams who made a great run to the final but fell short on the final Saturday.

 

Who Impressed

Roger Federer – Just a phenomenal effort. Nobody came close. The tennis he is producing at 36 is incredible – and he doesn’t look like stopping anytime soon. Blitzed Marin Čilić in the final.

Gilles Müller – A great run. Defeated Nadal on the way to a quarter-final. Was unlucky not to progress further.

Sam Querrey – For the second straight year Querrey had a great run at Wimbledon. He bettered his quarter-final run of last year by reaching the semis.

Garbiñe Muguruza – Was absolutely sensational in the second week of the tournament. Took down number 1 Angelique Kerber and then cruised to the title

Venus Williams – Had a tough final but is playing some great tennis at 37. Wound back the clock to put in some great performances.

Magdaléna Rybáriková – Came into the tournament ranked outside the top 100 and made it all the way to the semi’s. Has now jumped into the top 40.

Who Disappointed

Stan Wawrinka – Another poor showing at Wimbledon this year from Stan the Man. Whilst grass is his least favourite surface, he would’ve expected a better performance than a Day 1 exit.

Juan Martín del Potro – Expected a bit better from big Delpo. Was defeated by Gulbis in the first round rather easily. He will be looking forward to the American hardcourt season.

Karolína Plíšková – Many predicted Plíšková to be one of the big favourites for the title this year. She would be disappointed by her second round exit.

 

Where to Next…

The summer hard-court season in North America commences within the next few weeks. The Rogers Cup in Canada and Cincinnati masters are the two major lead-up tournaments prior to the US Open which commences late next month.

Men’s Wimbledon Final Preview

(7) Marin Čilić (CRO) vs (3) Roger Federer (SUI)

It’s the biggest match of the year on the men’s calendar and it always produces two of the highest quality players in the world. This year is no exception with Marin Čilić to take on the great Roger Federer for the 2017 Wimbledon title.

Federer is chasing an incredible 8th Wimbledon title in a year where he has not only re-invented his game, but again, at almost 36 years of age, become the best player in the world. He has only lost two matches for the entire year and and already has 4 titles under his belt including the Australian Open despite skipping the entire clay season.

The Swiss Maestro’s opponent is also no stranger to grand slam glory. Having triumphed at the US Open in 2014, Čilić is aiming to add the Wimbledon silverware to his trophy cabinet and become the first man from his country to do so since Goran Ivanišević in 2001.

Federer holds a 6-1 record over Čilić but the Croatian has defeated Federer in a grand slam match and also pushed him to 5 sets in the quarters here last year. Like that match, this one also has the potential go the distance and I’m expecting exceptional quality in tonight’s final.

 

How Marin Čilić will win…

Čilić’s game is based around a big serve and powerful groundstrokes, particularly from the back of the court. He is a big underdog going into this match so he will have to play at an elite level for extended periods and not let Roger get a run on. I think the Croatian’s serve will be the key in this match if he is to have any chance of winning. He will need to be serving extremely well and forcing Federer into tie-breaks. Where he can, he will need to be as aggressive as possible with his groundstrokes and try and hit Federer off the court. Čilić was sensational in the first 2 sets of his quarter final against Federer here last year until Roger was able to reel him in. He will have to play at a similar level but for longer if he is to win tonight.

How Roger Federer will win…

After an extended period off last year, Federer has re-invented himself and come out in 2017 a new player. He is playing with a level of freedom that I have not seen for almost 10 years and now doesn’t seem to have any weaknesses in his game at all. His serve, volley and forehand have always been strong but this year it is his return of serve and particularly his backhand which he has been using to destroy opponents. He doesn’t seem to have lost much in the way of his footwork so his movement and fitness is not an issue. I expect Federer to serve extremely well and be aggressive against his taller opponent. If Roger can return well enough, particularly on the second serves of Čilić, he will be too good. His backhand return of serve in particular has been exceptional this year, he is taking the shot earlier the previously and is catching even the best opponents completely off-guard. In my mind, Federer would have to have quite an off day to fall short in this final.

Prediction

Federer is on the cusp of greatness as he looks to surpass Pete Sampras and become the sole record holder for the most Wimbledon titles won. Čilić is also having a great few years and I am not surprised to see him in the last match of a major once again. It is a big task for him tonight but I expect him to go down swinging and he certainly has the game to push Federer hard should he be on song.

Federer has been in devastating form this tournament having not dropped a single set. It’s also worth noting he didn’t drop a single set in the lead-up tournament in Halle either. As such, it’s hard to see Čilić get the better of him tonight. I expect Federer to be too strong and am tipping him to go through and claim an 8th Wimbledon title, this time without dropping a single set.

Federer in 3 sets