US Open Best Bets & Predictions: Nadal to Return to Form Against Gasquet (September 3)
Julian Finney/Getty. Pictured: Rafael Nadal.
As the weekend comes around, we have the second day of round three awaiting us on Saturday. With a mix of veterans and up and comers to take the court, who will prevail and reach the second week?
Let's dive in to a couple of matches, including Rafael Nadal vs. Richard Gasquet.
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing US Open matches.
Rafael Nadal (-2100) vs. Richard Gasquet (+1000)
7 p.m. ET
The 18th meeting on the ATP tour between these two veterans is set to take place Saturday night on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
To say this head-to-head has been one sided would be an understatement. as Nadal is 17-0 against Gasquet.
In their past 12 meetings, Gasquet has failed to claim a set and has forced a tiebreak only twice. Nadal has imposed his heavy lefty forehand on Gasquet time and time again and clearly this is not a style matchup Gasquet enjoys.
Nadal has looked extremely vulnerable at points in his first two matches. Dropping the opening set to the world No. 198 and looking extremely uncomfortable against Fognini for the first set and a half, Nadal has needed to dig deep consistently.
Gasquet has scored two excellent wins over Taro Daniel and Miomir Kecmanovic. The Frenchman seems to have remarkable longevity and he continues to distinguish himself as a threat on tour at 36 years old.
Nadal does have three matches under his belt since his return from injury. After shaking off the rust against Fognini, Nadal returned to his seemingly unbeatable form. I will trust that that Nadal has now had enough "warm-ups" to come out firing in his third-round match.
Given the dominance over Gasquet and his form at the end of his previous round, Nadal should breeze through the Frenchman.
Pick: Nadal -8.5 games (+105 via FanDuel)
Ilya Ivashka (-188) vs. Lorenzo Musetti (+152)
2:50 p.m. ET
Ilya Ivashka takes on Lorenzo Musetti in a third-round match that few would have predicted.
Coming through the No. 10 player in the world, Ivashka has served excellently this week and played consistent powerful tennis from the baseline. He has had a poor year with a sub .500 record prior to the US Open, but he has turned it around this week.
Ivashka advanced past through two big servers in four sets. After failing to defend his Winston Salem title last week, Ivashka arrived in need of points. He has a great opportunity to satisfy that need further tomorrow.
Musetti faced a 2-5 double break deficit in the fifth set against David Goffin, yet the Italian finds himself in the third round and has a chance to match his career best fourth round appearance in a Slam. He is showing his potential this year, already earning his first ATP title in Hamburg over Alcaraz.
With both players already surpassing their expectations for this tournament, both will be ready to jump on the opportunity of reaching the next round.
However, Ivashka possesses the much bigger serve and shows less dips in consistency throughout the match. He should come through and reach the fourth round of a slam for the second time in his career.
Pick: Ivashka -3.5 games (-112 via FanDuel)