2019 US Open ATP Thursday Betting Preview: Will Chung Hyeon Continue His Run to Round 3?
Geoff Burke, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Hyeon Chung
- After rain washed out most of the matches on Wednesday, the US Open continues on Thursday with 25 matches.
- Sean Zerillo previews a marathon slate at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City.
Rainstorms delayed, and eventually canceled most of the scheduled matches for Wednesday’s second round – so virtually everyone will be in action on Thursday – in what amounts to an exciting and jam-packed day of tennis with 25 men’s singles matches on the schedule.
The slate kicks off at 11 a.m. ET and American Francis Tiafoe will face world No. 6 Alexander Zverev in Arthur Ashe Stadium at noon ET, so you will need to have your bets locked in and your popcorn ready by lunchtime.
What’s on the menu for Thursday?
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Thursday ATP Bets
Chung Hyeon (-135) vs. Fernando Verdasco | O/U: 39.5
- Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- Where: Court 10
- H2H: First meeting
Chung, a 2018 Australian Open semi-finalist and the 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals champion, recorded his first tour-level win since this year’s Australian Open on Tuesday – fighting back from 1-2 on sets after dropping a third-set tiebreak to American wildcard Ernesto Escobedo.
The South Korean missed the majority of 2019 with a back injury and had to fight through qualifying to make the main draw here – but he had a substantial contingent of supporters at Court 10 on Tuesday and refused to relent in the big moments – saving 12 of 15 breakpoints.
Chung was error-prone and tentative early in the match, rallying in the center of the court, hitting into the net, and shanking winners wide – but he found his form and began to hit with significantly more depth, consistently, as the match wore on.
Fernando Verdasco is always a tough out – having made the third round at the US Open in 2018 by way of a second-round upset over Andy Murray.
He has a terrific slice serve and powerful forehand, a 111-66 (62.7%) career record at Slams, and his hard-court stats over the past year best his career averages.
But Chung excels on the defensive end, so I expect him to keep sending Verdasco’s shots back, and a 13-11 career record against left-handed players only adds to my confidence in backing the younger man.
Kamil Majchrzak (+120) vs. Pablo Cuevas | O/U: 38.5
- Time: 11:00 a.m. ET
- Where: Court 11
- H2H: First meeting
Majchrzak, a lucky loser, was the No. 4 seed in qualifying but lost in his final match to Ilya Ivashka – who was eliminated in four sets on Tuesday.
He replaced Milos Raonic in the draw and was fortunate to get past Nicolas Jarry – saving eight out of 12 breakpoints and winning two out of three tiebreaks.
This is the first time that the 23-year-old has made it to the second round at a Slam, and he has a big opportunity here to advance to the third round against the clay-court specialist Pablo Cuevas – who has never reached the third round at the US Open, Australian Open, or Wimbledon.
At the 2019 Australian Open, Majchrzak pushed Kei Nishikori to the limit, taking the first two sets off of the Japanese before cramps set in and he was forced to retire.
This is an ideal spot for a breakthrough at an underdog price – against a player generally who avoids playing on hard surfaces.
Majchrzak will need his backhand to be sharp to help guide him to victory over the consistent Cuevas.
I would also consider the over as I’m expecting both players to grind through games and to trade sets at some point
Other Matches to Watch
In terms of the matches which were initially scheduled for Wednesday, I’m most intrigued by Daniel Evans vs. Lucas Pouille.
The Frenchman opened as a sizable favorite (-160) but has been bet down to around -120 as of writing. His combined hold/break number on hard courts over the past year is 96.5, thanks to a brutal 14% rate of return games won.
But Pouille has looked to be in good form of late, has made runs in Slams before, and Evans’ level drops from moment to moment. The over on games looks to be a solid wager here.
Jenson Brooksby (+300) remains the only American male qualifier in the field, and though many are picking him to win, he will likely have a tough time against Nikolz Basilashvili. I’m staying away entirely.
Pablo Carreno Busta looks to be a significant public favorite, but Ričardas Berankis just won the Vancouver Open and will be coming in confident. I’ll pass on playing that match.
As for players whom I bet, I selected Alex de Minaur and Yoshihito Nishioka for a parlay.
In my Monday preview, I mentioned both players as potential breakout candidates for this tournament. The Australian has the fifth-best hold/break numbers on tour, and Nishioka looked to be in fine form after dropping his first set against Marcus Giron. His combined hold/break rate is also 11 points higher than that of Feliciano Lopez.
I also need de Minaur to close out a parlay with Nick Kyrgios from Tuesday night – and I was also considering pairing him with Stan Wawrinka. The 2016 US Open champion hasn’t lost to Jeremy Chardy in five meetings – only dropping one set in a tiebreak in 2012.
Looking to the matches which were initially scheduled for Thursday, I see three matchups where I think the line might be a slightly off:
Matteo Berrettini should probably be a favorite of greater than -200 against Jordan Thompson. The Italian has significantly more weapons than the Australian and dismantled an in-form Richard Gasquet in the first round. Thompson is extremely solid, but Berrettini looks to be past the ankle injury that limited him after Wimbledon and should be able to pick apart Thompson on a day where both are at their best
Tennys Sandgren and Vasek Pospisil are each coming off of monster first-round upsets, against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Karen Khachanov respectively. Sandgren is the favorite and should have the home crowd on his side, but it’s the Canadian who has the 2-0 head-to-head record and owns the better hold/break numbers; besting Sandgren by a couple of points (100.2 vs. 98.2).
I might look to back Pospisil to win the first set.
Jan-Lennard Struff is in a similar situation as Pospisil, as an underdog to an American in their home event, when he could arguably be favored with a combined hold/break number two points higher than John Isner’s (103.1 vs. 101.3).
Unlike the Sandgren-Pospisil matchup, Isner has the advantage in the head-to-head here, with a 3-0 record against the German (all three sets, including the 2014 US Open).
Bets (So Far) for August 29
Odds, especially live odds, swing quicker in tennis than in any other sport, so stay tuned on Twitter for my entire Tennis betting card for Tuesday, August 28.
- Matteo Berrettini (-175)
- Kamil Majchrzak (+137)
- Vasek Pospisil, 1st Set (+114)
- Parlay (-120): Alex de Minaur / Yoshihito Nishioka