Thursday US Open Odds, Predictions: Target These Americans in the Second Round
Minas Panagiotakis, Matthew Stockman/Getty. Pictured: Brandon Nakashima and Jenson Brooksby.
I’m still recovering from one of the most disappointing pushes you will see, as Jack Sock was forced to retire in the fourth set against Diego Schwartzman on Tuesday evening.
But there’s no time to cry with the second round of the US Open continuing on Thursday.
Here are the two matches I’m eyeing.
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing US Open matches.
Jenson Brooksby (-125) vs. Borna Coric (+104)
11 a.m. ET
These two players have had their moments this summer.
Borna Coric had a magical week in Cincinnati, capturing his first-ever hard court and ATP 1000 title by defeating five players ranked in the top 20. Not only did Coric win this event, but he dominated, winning five of the six matches in straight sets.
His level of play was surprising, but let’s remember, Coric is a former top-15 player who has dealt with injury issues throughout his career.
His opponent for this second-round match, Jenson Brooksby, made a run to his own final in Atlanta before losing to Alex de Minaur. This was only a 250 event, but Brooksby defeated Frances Tiafoe and John Isner on his way to the championship match.
Coric is actually seeded coming into this tournament despite playing five Challenger Tour events this year. And honestly, he didn’t perform up to expectations in his first-round matchup.
The Croatian struggled with Enzo Coucacaud, showing issues on his second serve and converting only 6-of-14 break points.
Coric takes a step up when he faces Brooksby on Thursday.
Brooksby will likely be fresh as a daisy after playing just over an hour on Tuesday. There’s not much to take away from that match vs. Dusan Lajovic, but I do believe Brooksby has an edge here.
When the American is on, he can pick his spots with his groundstrokes better than most. Coric hit 81 unforced errors in his first-round match, which could be a bad sign for things to come if this turns into a battle from the baseline.
Coric has an advantage on serve — especially if he’s serving like he did in Cincinnati — but I’m confident in Brooksby’s return game. He’s seventh on the ATP Tour on hard courts in Return Rating and 11th overall on all surfaces.
The American will have the crowd behind him as well, so expect him to pull out a victory.
Pick: Jenson Brooksby (-125 via FanDuel) | Play to -130
Grigor Dimitrov (-150) vs. Brandon Nakashima (+122)
1:30 p.m. ET
I am backing another American in this one via Brandon Nakashima.
The 21-year-old came into this event in poor form, as he lost three straight matches in straight sets and didn’t have any notable results during the hard-court season.
He looked better in his opening-round match in this event, however, cruising past qualifier Pavel Kotov. He’s also had a strong overall season by reaching a career-high ranking of 49 in July and earning a Round of 16 appearance at Wimbledon.
Nakashima has also shown flashes at the US Open in the past. In 2021, he defeated John Isner and in 2020, he took a set off of Alexander Zverev.
Meanwhile, you never know what you’re going to get from Dimitrov, especially in a Grand Slam. He was superb in his opening-round match vs. Steve Johnson, as he didn’t face a single break point, won 92% of his first-serve points and was never in any real danger of losing a set, nevermind the match.
In the other three Grand Slams this year, he didn’t make it out of the third round. He also retired from his Round of 32 match last week at Winston-Salem.
Nakashima will have to serve effectively to win this match, but I’m comfortable backing him based on his level-headed mindset and his typically efficient game plans.
While Dimitrov beat the American on clay in straight sets this year, Nakashima is much more comfortable on hard courts.
Also, I’ve said this at numerous points this week, but this is such a critical event for men’s American tennis. That seems obvious to say, but the young players — like Nakashima — have shown incredible progress, and this Grand Slam on their home turf is the true test to see how real the revival is.
That motivation also factors in.
Pick: Brandon Nakashima (+122 via FanDuel) | Play anything plus-money
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