We’re wrapping up the third round at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., and it’s about time for the real contenders to separate themselves. Some of the tournament’s top seeds are facing their first real tests, while others in the middle of the pack are battling in some of the best matchups of the week. I’ve picked out the four matches I see the most value in on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Alex De Minaur vs. Karen Khachanov
We’ve seen how difficult it is to rate form at this tournament, with not much to go off, and that’s especially the case with De Minaur. At times, he’s looked like one of the 10 hardest players to beat, getting to almost every shot with his top-line speed. During the ATP Cup, playing in his come country, that was especially the case. Then, he was overpowered by the serve and forehand of Jan-Lennard Struff last week but followed that up with two very solid wins at the US Open. Which guy will we get on Saturday?
I’m willing to bet we continue to get the good De Minaur, for a couple of reasons. One, he matches up very well with Karen Khachanov, who won’t have one weapon to overpower him. De Minaur should be able to extend rallies and dare Khachanov to hit winners down the line, where he has been less than consistent. Two, he had only eight (eight!) unforced errors in his four-setter against Richard Gasquet, which tells re-asserts my read that he’ll be making Khachanov beat him, and not beating himself. The Russian, to his credit, was nearly as good at limiting his errors in his second-round match, but his competition was far weaker than ADM. I suspect he will feel the pressure a lot more in this one.
Marton Fucsovics v. Frances Tiafoe
Both players struggled for most of their previous match but I’m looking to the pair’s previous history instead of recent form. I remember their meeting earlier this season in Doha, with Tiafoe looking poised to come through as a winner before he choked the lead away to Fucsovics. The unforced errors aren’t going to fly against Fucsovics, who is very solid in service points (68% on 1st, 60% on 2nd against Dimitrov). Tiafoe, who is wildly inconsistent in service games, thrives in matches against baseline players. He can win enough rallies to get back into a match when he goes down a break. He showed in Doha he plays poorly from behind Fucsovics and I think that in combination with tired legs is reason enough for me to hit Fucso here.
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Andrey Rublev vs. Salvatore Caruso
This is an incredible matchup for Andrey Rublev, coming in against a soft baseliner in Salvatore Caruso. I am not sure how he’s survived this long in the US Open but I think two weak opponents have a lot to do with it. Rublev’s firepower will hit right through Caruso and I don’t expect the Italian to win many games. Rublev should roll.
Vasek Pospisil vs. Roberto Bautista-Agut
RBA has played a lot of tennis lately, nearly going to the final last week right here in New York before a monster comeback from Novak Djokovic. In the match, he looked exhausted and now he’s played seven sets this week. He is naturally a player that plays long rallies and covers a lot of ground, so match fatigue can catch up to him much more quickly than other players. I’m betting fatigue sets in and the uber-talented Pospisil, who works his opponents around the court and tires them out with his speed, takes two sets.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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