Friday Afternoon/Evening U.S. Open Picks: How to Bet Naomi Osaka and Sloane Stephens Matches (September 3)
Credit: TPN, Getty. Naomi Osaka hits a serve at the 2021 U.S. Open.
The stars are out on Friday on the women’s side of the US Open, as a number of former slam champions and current stars try to get to the fourth round.
Two-time slam champions Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza and Victoria Azarenka, as well as recent French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova will all get going in the morning, but the afternoon features even more firepower with great betting opportunities.
Here are two matches to take a look at this afternoon.
Match time are subject to change.
Angelique Kerber (-150) vs. Sloane Stephens (+120)
4:00 p.m. ET
When Sloane Stephens is feeling it, she can be incredibly dangerous. With a counter-attacking style that can trouble the best players in the world, Stephens is a threat from any position on the court. The American has easy power and can find winners in uncomfortable positions at a consistent rate.
Importantly for Stephens, she seems to be moving well and is mentally locked in, which are two caveats that are relevant to her success. We’ve seen what she’s capable of doing in the past when that has been the case, with Stephens winning the U.S. Open and holding a substantial lead in the French Open final in quick succession between 2017 and 2018. She’s not in that kind of form at this year’s U.S. Open, but she’s approaching it.
In her round two match against Coco Gauff, Stephens was vicious, winning 83% of her points behind her first serve and 75% of her points behind her second serve. Her one-two combinations are firing, and she’s playing with excellent depth. With that type of level, she would back herself against anyone in the world.
Kerber has had an impressive stretch of tournaments as well, falling only to Ashleigh Barty, the world No. 1, in back-to-back tournaments. The former US Open and Wimbledon champion is also throwing it back to one of her older strategies — utilizing a forehand that can control and dictate points in an efficient manner.
Both players are playing at a high level, so what separates the two? Their history. In six prior matchups, Stephens is 5-1, and hasn’t dropped a set in their last three meetings. Tennis can be a severely mental sport, and the American has the track record to irritate the German.
With a dominant H2H record, Stephens will be coming into the match a more confident player, and Kerber will have to adjust her game to find solutions to overcome her opponent. That’s going to be quite difficult with the way Stephens is playing.
Trust history and back Stephens to keep rolling.
Pick: Sloane Stephens +120 (Caesars)
Naomi Osaka (-700) vs. Leylah Fernandez (+450)
7:00 p.m. ET
Naomi Osaka loves New York. There’s no other way to put it than that. When she arrives in Queens, she has a confidence about her that elevates her game and takes pressure off of her shoulders. The US Open is the only tournament where Osaka has five consecutive third round appearances, and she has two titles to go along with that.
Young Canadian Leylah Fernandez has weapons to compete with Osaka, though. The 18 year-old is one of the most promising teenagers on tour, and has shown that she can compete on a big stage, with six grand slam main draw victories to her name. Fernandez has consistent groundstrokes that will hold up against Osaka, and hasn’t shown an issue with nerves thus far.
It will be the first meeting between the duo, and I believe Fernandez will be eager to get out to a quick start early, and with Osaka not having played in four days due to Olga Danilovic’s second round withdrawal, Fernandez could find success.
As the match moves on and Osaka gets more comfortable, the pendulum swings more into her favor, but it becomes a question as to how long it will take until the Japanese superstar gets into a groove.
You can be comfortable thinking that it won’t be instant.
Pick: Over 19.5 games -105 (DraftKings)
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