Saturday U.S. Open Odds & Picks: 1 Men’s Play & 1 Women’s Play, Including Berrettini vs. Ivashka
Credit: Al Bello, Getty. Matteo Berrettini stretches for a backhand at the 2021 U.S. Open.
Just when you think it can’t get any better, the U.S. Open got even more wild on Friday.
Two 18 year-olds picked up massive wins, with Carlos Alcaraz taking out Stefanos Tsitsipas as a +350 dog, and Leylah Fernandez taking out Naomi Osaka at a very similar number. The night capped off at 2:30 in the morning Eastern Time, as Frances Tiafoe pulled off another big upset, this one at +260 against Andrey Rublev.
Saturday could provide similar entertainment, and because it’s the first college football Saturday of the year, get warmed up with a little morning action from Flushing, N.Y.
Let’s get into it.
Match times are subject to change.
Matteo Berrettini (-250) vs. Ilya Ivashka (+190)
11:00 a.m. ET
The hottest under the radar player on tour meets one of the early summer’s hottest players in this one.
Ilya Ivashka has been on an absolute tear in the last week and a half, dominating the competition at the Winston-Salem Open and sailing through his opponents in New York thus far. The Belarusian hasn’t dropped a set in New York through the first two rounds and dropped a lone set in six matches last week. His ball striking has been consistent and powerful, and his serve has matched it.
While impressive, Matteo Berrettini was on a run earlier this summer that would trump Ivashka’s significantly. The Italian reached the quarters of the French Open before winning the Queen’s Club Championships in England and reaching the Wimbledon final.
Now, the two are primed for a compelling third round. Both players will want to take the initiative and exert take control of points, but I believe it will be defense that proves to be the key. Ivashka has shown in recent matches that he’s willing to stand behind the baseline and engage in long exchanges, particularly against Carreno Busta in the Winston-Salem final. By no means was Carreno Busta playing poorly, Ivashka simply out-dueled a dueler.
Berrettini, who hasn’t played many matches since Wimbledon due to a thigh injury — only two in Cincinnati and two thus far in Queens — will be made to be uncomfortable by Ivashka’s willingness to sit there and hit deep balls over and over again.
There is no question that Berrettini is still the more talented player in the matchup, and in normal circumstances his price would be reasonable. But in this instance, taking a shot on Ivashka is worth it.
Pick: Ilya Ivashka +190 (PointsBet)
Sara Sorribes Tormo (-125) vs. Emma Raducanu (+100)
2 p.m. ET
On the women’s side, it’s a similar battle between two players who have really found their form, though not to the extent of the men’s pair detailed above.
The Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo’s solid summer is marked by a defeat of Ashleigh Barty in the Tokyo Olympics as well as consistent performances match in and match out. Emma Raducanu has had a bit of a revival after bowing out of an impressive Wimbledon run due to health issues, claiming a challenger title last week in Chicago and rolling through five opponents (including qualifiers) to arrive in the third round in New York.
With Sorribes Tormo, you know exactly what you’re going to get. Nothing flashy, nothing big, but the ball is going to get back to the other side of the court every time. With Raducanu, there is much more variance. She can go on good runs — such as her eight-game win streak against Sorana Cirstea at Wimbledon — or a bad run, like getting dominated over a six game period by Ajla Tomljanovic two days later.
The Brit is going to be given absolutely no time to ease off of the gas pedal, and I don’t think she’s going to be able to withstand the level of pressure that’s going to be put on her. As a player, you must up your level significantly against Sorribes Tormo, and I don’t think Raducanu will do that.
Pick: Sara Sorribes Tormo -125 (Caesars)
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