Redemption For Roger At Flushing Meadows
2014 US Open
After a cracking Wimbledon, the majors move to New York and the US Open where Rafa Nadal won’t get the chance to defend his title.
Founded in 1881, this is the second oldest of the four big tournaments, and as the last in the calendar year, it’s the final chance for players to grab some Grand Slam glory. Three men share the record of seven wins in the Open era, and if Roger Federer were to win the tournament for the sixth time this year, he’d overtake Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras who are also currently on five titles.
Hard Court, Hard for Punters
Some players are at their best on clay or on grass, but at a hard court venue like Flushing Meadow, it is difficult to rule anyone out purely on conditions underfoot. Though hard courts definitely suit an aggressive style, the high and consistent bounce means that clay specialists are able to adjust their game to cope, whilst the speed of the surface can also be useful to big servers and even to grass-court serve-volleyers.
Who To Avoid
In the absence of defending champion Rafael Nadal, the top of the antepost market is dominated by the remaining members of the big four.
Novak Djokovic dug deep to win his second Wimbledon title this summer, but since his return to action, he has looked short of his best, losing in the last sixteen in successive Masters tournaments. Of all the Grand Slam events, this is his least successful and he can be opposed at very short odds of 7/5.
You should also be against Andy Murray at Flushing Meadow. He has a good record in this tournament, but it’s hard to overlook his poor form since returning from back surgery. He hasn’t reached a final all year and isn’t much value even at 6/1
Roger Federer may be past his best, but he’s the only one of the big four in any sort of form and he still has the ability to win a Grand Slam event.
He returned from his post-Wimbledon break to reach two more finals, losing out in Toronto, but beating David Ferrer in Cincinnati. It has been six years since he last won the US Open, but with his main market rivals looking weak he’s a solid bet at 9/4.
Australian Open winner Stanislas Wawrinka is best placed of the rest to capitalise on the weakness of the big four. He won’t fear facing Federer, Djokovic or Murray and as the number three seed, he could have an easy path to the semi-finals.
Back him at 14/1, and consider backing Grigor Dimitrov at 16/1. The stage could be set for the next generation of tennis greats to break through and Dimitrov is the most talented of the bunch.