Monday U.S. Open Round 1 Afternoon & Night Session Odds & Picks: Back Kyrgios to Notch an Upset (Aug. 30)
Credit: Vaughn Ridley, Getty Images. Nick Kyrgios eyes a forehand he hit.
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In the afternoon session at the first day of tennis in Queens, there’s a number of matches that offer betting value.
Here’s how we’re betting the second slate of U.S. Open tennis on Monday.
Match times are subject to change, and may be pushed back several hours from the approximate start times.
Carlos Alcaraz vs. Cameron Norrie
3:30 p.m. ET
Avery Zimmerman: There are plenty of reasons to like this mid-day matchup.
Spanish teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz is largely making a name for himself through his performance on clay, drawing obvious comparisons to Rafa Nadal in the process. But his 6-6 ATP main draw record on hard courts is nothing to scoff at, and he’s progressed twice out of the two qualifying draws he’s had to play on the surface.
His victory in qualifying for Cincinnati against Ilya Ivashka looks like a phenomenal win in hindsight, after seeing what the Belarusian did in the ensuing Winston-Salem Open.
His British opponent is having his best year thus far in 2021, breaking through for his first title and collecting a number of other achievements. In recent tournaments, however, the same story hasn’t followed. Norrie is 6-4 in the summer hard court swing, and doesn’t have any particularly impressive wins.
Alcaraz is a player that is going to thrive on the environment in New York, and his punishing easy power from all over the court gives me confidence that he’ll be able to break down the Brit’s solid game.
The two have nearly identical percentages of service points won behind both their first and second serves, though Norrie has a slight edge in the former. The match plays as a tossup, so go with Alcaraz getting great value.
Pick: Carlos Alcaraz +144 (PointsBet)
Guido Pella vs. Filip Krajinovic
3:30 p.m. ET
Avery Zimmerman: In a match between two veterans of the tour, the Argentinian is severely undervalued.
It’s been a frustrating year for the lefty Pella, who has dealt with some frustrating results and nagging injuries, but it appears that he’s finally found a bit of form to round out the year, earning a couple of big wins in Cincinnati before falling to an unplayable Alexander Zverev.
Krajinovic aimed to take advantage of extra clay tournaments for as long as he could, returning to the surface after Wimbledon and only playing one match on hard prior to the Open, a disappointing loss to an out of form Alex de Minaur.
Both players are 3-4 on hard courts generally this year, though Krajinovic has had more success on clay, but more telling was Pella’s ability to hit consistent strokes throughout points in Cincinnati. If he’s able to continue to find that form, he could be in for a shocking upset. If he can find form similar to that level, he’ll make it a battle.
Pick: Guido Pella +5.5 -110 (PointsBet)
Arthur Rinderknech vs. Miomir Kecmanovic
4:25 p.m. ET
Kenny Ducey: I’ll say this: Arthur Rinderknech has had a fantastic season. He burst onto the main-draw scene earlier this year after dominating the challenger circuit, found some big wins in smaller indoor tournaments and never looked back. He’s got a giant serve and is a bit of a Jeremy Chardy lite, hailing from the same country and possessing the power to dictate a lot of matches.
I’m not sure this will be one of them. The talent gap here between Rinderknech and Kecmanovic, a promising young talent and former Orange Bowl champion, is pretty steep. The World No. 63 may be on a four-match losing streak, but he’s at least fallen to four pretty good players and taken a set in his last two matches.
I see Kecmanovic prevailing here on the back of his supreme variety. He should be able to bring this match to the net and win a bunch of points there, and expose Rinderknech’s lack of touch. I also believe in him as a skilled returner. Above all else, though, the experience Kecmanovic has in five-set matches should really make a difference.
Pick: Kecmanovic -130 (DraftKings)
Nick Kyrgios vs. Roberto Bautista-Agut
8:15 p.m. ET
Kenny Ducey: I get it. Kyrgios has hardly played since he was forced to retire due to a fitness issue at Wimbledon, and went just 1-3 on the North American hardcourt swing heading into this tournament. Roberto Bautista-Agut is a world-class player who does have wins under his belt recently, going to the quarterfinals in Toronto. With that said, this line is a little off.
We’ve learned this year at the Australian Open and Wimbledon not to doubt Kyrgios in Grand Slams. He’s entered both tournaments with absolutely no sort of form whatsoever and put on impressive displays against some of the sport’s best or most in-form players. He feeds off the spotlight and seems to elevate his game for these moments, and playing at night in front of a packed crowd in New York, at one of his favorite tournaments, should bring the best tennis out of him.
Speaking of one’s best tennis, that’s not what we’ve seen from RBA lately. He seems to be a bit lost and unsure of himself on the court, losing five out of his last seven, and has recently been dealing with some blister issues on top of all that. This just isn’t the same guy we’ve seen bother Novak Djokovic in years past and take down some of the biggest names in the game.
The only other thing I’ll say is that RBA has never had a strong serve, but it’s been especially weak of late. Falling behind someone with a serve like Kyrgios’ will be tough to recover from.
When you put that all together, Kyrgios is a must-bet in this spot. He’s got a far better chance of advancing than these odds would indicate.
Pick: Kyrgios +180 (FanDuel)