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Labor Day US Open Predictions: Tiafoe to Test Nadal on Ashe (September 5)

Labor Day US Open Predictions: Tiafoe to Test Nadal on Ashe (September 5) article feature image
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Frey, Matthew Stockman/Getty. Pictured: Rafael Nadal and Frances Tiafoe.

  • Rafael Nadal carries on at the US Open with a bout against American Frances Tiafoe.
  • Does Tiafoe have a shot at pulling the upset?
  • Luke Holmberg issues his best bet and analysis.

The Round of 16 continues at the US Open on Labor day with big names in action.

Cameron Norrie and Andrey Rublev meet for the opening match of the day while Rafael Nadal plays his first day-time match against the American Frances Tiafoe.

Let’s dive in to where we can find value in the first two men’s matches on Monday.

Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing US Open matches.

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Rafael Nadal (-610) vs. Frances Tiafoe (+400)

1:15 p.m. ET

A thrilling match is set to take place for all tennis fans, but this is a big one from an American perspective.

Tiafoe is the last American man remaining in the draw, with Taylor Fritz, Tommy Paul and others bowing out already.

There are two previous meetings between the duo, and Tiafoe is yet to claim a set.

Nadal showed no mercy in his match against Gasquet. He dropped only one game across the first two sets, as he was locked in and firing winners. Even though he faced some pressure on serve, he managed to get through the match only being broken once and handling any sticky situation with relative comfort.

Tiafoe came through a remarkable match against Diego Schwartzman in a rollercoaster three sets. Facing a 2-5 double break deficit in the first, he erased that, breaking Schwartzman serving for the set three times and reaching the tiebreak.

He then was down 3-6 and rallied back to claim the first set 9-7 in the tiebreaker. Although it was not particularly easy, he out-hit the struggling Schwartzman from the baseline and found his was to a 7-6 6-4 6-4 victory.

Tiafoe loves getting the crowd involved and he performs well when he does so. Reaching the fourth round of the US Open for the third consecutive year, he will be looking for an upset to reach his first quarterfinal here.

The American will arrive with remarkable energy and have high hopes for this match. When he is on, his serve and powerful game can hit through almost anyone.

Although defeating Nadal in Arthur Ashe Stadium may be too difficult of an ask, I believe Tiafoe will ride the crowd’s energy to grabbing his first set against the all-time great.

Pick: Total Sets Over 3.5 (-132 via FanDuel)

Cameron Norrie (-164) vs. Andrey Rublev (+136)

11 a.m. ET

Two top 10 seeds face off as the opening match on Louis Armstrong. With their third meeting on the way, both will be looking to take the lead in their 1-1 tie.

Rublev battled past Shapovalov in an instant classic last time out. Facing a 2-1 set deficit, Rublev rallied and was serving for the match up 5-4 in the fifth and 40-15. He then failed to close and eventually came through 10-7 in a deciding tiebreaker.

He faces another lefty in Norrie, but the play style of the Brit will be vastly different. Norrie plays a more consistent and grinding type of tennis compared to Shapovalov. He will make you work for every single point and refuse to miss.

Norrie has yet to drop a set at the US Open. Playing some excellent tennis recently, he will be fresh and ready for a grueling match. Having played four less sets than his opponent and already having the fitness edge. If this match goes beyond the required three sets, Norrie should have a major advantage.

For Rublev to find his way through Norrie, he will have to produce flawless tennis without many drops in level. Any time Rublev begins to leak errors, Norrie will jump on the opportunity.

I can’t see Rublev playing steady-enough tennis to get through Norrie here, especially after their routes to arrive in the fourth round. Although Rublev can beat anyone when he is on, I will count on that not being the case tomorrow.

Pick: Norrie -2.5 Games (-120 via DraftKings)

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