Daniil Medvedev vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime Odds & Betting Pick: Is an Upset Likely in the US Open Semis?
Aurelien Morissard/Xinhua via Getty Images. Pictured: Daniil Medvedev.
- In the first US Open semifinal match on the men's side, Felix Auger-Aliassime will face World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev.
- Auger-Aliassime has been on a magical run in the tournament, but enters as a +425 underdog on Friday afternoon.
- Kenny Ducey details where he sees the best betting value in the matchup.
Daniil Medvedev vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime
|Time||Friday, 3 p.m. ET (subject to change)|
|Odds via DraftKings|
Our first semifinal match of the day will see young Felix Auger-Aliassime challenge World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev in what will ultimately be the biggest match of the Canadian’s career.
The 21-year-old has had a rather convincing run to this stage with wins over quality opponents, but Medvedev’s performance has been simply otherworldly, with four straight-set wins before a three sets-to-one win over Botic Van De Zandschulp in the quarterfinals.
Because of the way that match ended, it may seem hard to trust the Russian to revert back to the dominant form we saw through the first four rounds, but trusting Auger-Aliassime in the biggest match of his career may be even more difficult to swallow.
So, where does the value lie in this match? Let’s look at each man’s road to this stage and break down the matchup.
Speed bump, or cause for concern?
That’s the question we have to ask ourselves when looking at Medvedev’s quarterfinal win over Botic Van De Zandschulp, which started in rather academic fashion before getting all-too complicated. The Russian took the first two sets quickly, 6-3, 6-0 before losing the fourth 4-6 and waiting until the 12th game of the fourth set to steal it 7-5.
Perhaps Medvedev had been experiencing some mental fatigue in those sets, failing to get in many return games failing to generate a break point in the third set, or perhaps we need to give Van De Zandschulp some credit. He did an excellent job of holding and showcased a fearless forehand with his back against the wall.
The strange part about it was that after Medvedev landed 55% of first serves in the opening set and 44% in the second, he managed to serve much better in the next two sets with 68% in the third and 85% in the fourth.
Medvedev’s serve is one of the biggest on tour when it’s working for him, and landing more first serves has to be a point of emphasis when taking a look at this matchup against Auger-Aliassime, who is a great server in his own right.
The more telling stat from that third set, though, would be the 13 unforced errors. He made just 24 in the whole match, meaning over 50% of his errors came in that singular set. He responded with just two in the fourth set. Serving will certainly be a story in this match, but unforced errors will be a big storyline as well.
It’s also worth noting here that Medvedev had a similar type of match back in Australia this year, when he won the first two sets 6-3, 6-3 over Filip Krajinovic in the third round before dropping the next two and bageling Krajinovic in the fifth. That didn’t seem to affect him at all going forward with three straight-set wins, including two over top-10 players, en route to the final. It may be that Medvedev just let off for 30 minutes, and should be rearing to go after having two full days off.
How will Auger-Aliassime respond to the pressure?
We have to ask questions like this with Auger-Aliassime, because the 21-year-old already has a long history of getting tight on the biggest stages in his young career.
In a vacuum, Auger-Aliassime probably has one of the five best games on tour today. His forehand comes off the strings like a rocket, and his power groundstrokes can be simply relentless, reminiscent of Rafael Nadal at times. His speed is elite, making it impossible to take things to the net if you can’t find a way through FAA from the baseline. His serve is massive, helping him make his service games ironclad in the last two matches.
The one area of Auger-Aliassime’s game that has long been his Achilles heel is his mental game. He’s had big issues with double faults since choking away a lead against John Isner in the Miami semifinals two and a half years ago, and even though there’s been an improvement in that department he still hasn’t completely shaken them. He had eight in his win over Frances Tiafoe and four in just a set and a half of tennis against Carlos Alcaraz.
Auger-Aliassime also struggles big time with unforced errors, and can be goaded into going for giant winners which miss the mark more times than not. Spraying his forehand has become a staple of his game, and it’s gotten to the point where it’s a pleasant surprise when he can hit his targets even 75% of the time in a match.
Medvedev vs. Auger-Aliassime Pick
We have the model of consistency, Daniil Medvedev, going up against the big, all-or-nothing game of Felix Auger-Aliassime. It’s easy to see where I land on this one.
It’s simply too difficult to trust Auger-Aliassime’s game in this big of a moment, and the cracks have already shown themselves with errors and double faults piling up in the last two matches. It’s also very clear that he is a confidence-driven player, and while he came in expecting to beat an out-of-form Bautista Agut, a player ranked almost 40 spots lower than him and a teenager, he’s not going to come in very confident against the World No. 2, who has already beaten him once.
I think the near error-free game of Medvedev should be too much for Auger-Aliassime to handle, and the Canadian should blink first in many of these rallies. He also should have a very difficult time holding on to his serve without many free points available.
Medvedev’s deep return position makes him one of the hardest in the game to ace, and if he can make FAA play points almost every time he hits a serve, he’s going to win easily. That’s what I see happening.
Best Bet: Medvedev -2.5 Sets (+100)