Thursday Evening U.S. Open Round 2 Picks: How to Bet Taylor Fritz and Denis Shapovalov Matches (September 2)
Credit: Vaughn Ridley, Getty. Denis Shapovalov hits a forehand at the Canadian Open.
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The U.S. Open rolls on Thursday, and with it come two more plays that our staff is eyeing.
Match times are subject to change.
Jenson Brooksby (-115) vs. Taylor Fritz (-110)
5:30 p.m. ET
Kenny Ducey: This match is a pick ‘em for a reason, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Fritz close as the favorite. With that being said, I can’t fade Brooksby here. Not after Tuesday, anyway.
Tuesday saw Taylor Fritz prevail, at long last, against Alex De Minaur, who he had never beaten in four tries. The match was a testy one for Fritz, who needed a medical timeout for an injury in the third set and wound up dropping it before facing all sorts of pressure in the fourth. It was a match that felt like it was getting away from him, but just in the nick of time the 2021 version of De Minaur showed up to make errors everywhere.
This is a very similar matchup for Fritz. Brooksby, in his first full season, is already one of the craziest defenders on tour. He will chase down anything and get it back in play in a less-than-ideal location and tire you out with long points. His slice backhand and two-handed drop shot is also incredibly disguised and should force Fritz to test the fitness of his legs.
This isn’t a match which will be played back behind the baseline to Fritz’s strengths. He’s going to be made to work very hard here, and I just don’t see it working out for him. Brooksby won’t relent, and it will be the undoing of the older American.
Pick: Jenson Brooksby -115 (PointsBet)
Denis Shapovalov (-1600) vs. Roberto Carballes Baena (+750)
8:15 p.m. ET
Avery Zimmerman: The clay court specialist from Spain, Carballes Baena, doesn’t usually play well on hard courts. He would much rather be on a clay court, where he is comfortable and confident in his game. But he isn’t incapable on the surface, as evidenced by his win in the first round against Paul, and in the Australian Open against fellow clay-courter Attila Balazs.
Shapovalov, the big-hitter from Canada, is much more comfortable on hard, and he’ll back himself highly to progress, just as oddsmakers are doing. He looked incredibly impressive in his first round victory against Federico Delbonis, advancing without facing a break point.
But I’ll give you three reasons to believe that Carballes Baena won’t get wiped off of the court.
One is that Shapovalov is an unimpressive 8-8 on hard courts this year, lower than his 59% win rate on the surface throughout his career. He hasn’t been able to dominate in this scenario on many occasions in 2021.
Shapovalov has only hit 117 aces on the year in comparison to 83 double faults in hard court matches, and he hit an additional six doubles compared to 14 aces against Delbonis. If a yips-type occurrence happens in this match, the door opens for Carballes Baena to push Shapovalov.
Finally, in their only prior tour meeting at the French Open, Carballes Baena won in 5, showing can to compete with Shapovalov in a high-leverage match (though the circumstances of the French Open and U.S. Open are much different).
This is all to say, I don’t give RCB a significant chance of winning this battle. But there are a number of situations where he could find openings and thrive in short bursts. Back the consistent baseliner to display that.
Pick: Roberto Carballes Baena to win a set +120 (BetMGM)