US Open Final Betting Preview: Djokovic vs. del Potro for All the Marbles
Danielle Parhizkaran, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Novak Djokovic
US Open Men’s Final Betting Odds
- Novak Djokovic: -215
- Juan Martin del Potro: +180
- Game spread: Djokovic -4
- Over/Under: 39.5 games (-115/-105)
- Time: 4 p.m. ET
- Channel: ESPN
For the second straight year, the US Open final falls on opening Sunday of the NFL season, so it may get overlooked here in the States.
Nevertheless, I’m expecting a high-quality tennis match when Juan Martin del Potro and Novak Djokovic square off in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
Djokovic, looking for his second consecutive slam (after winning Wimbledon in July), has fared well against the Tower of Tandil in the past, owning an impressive 14-4 H2H record against the big-hitting Argentine.
And this is good news to anyone who backed our recommended Djokovic future from pre-tournament, at +250. If you find yourself in that boat and would like to hedge your risk — you could put .55 units at +180 and secure yourself a free crack at Djokovic to win 1.95 units (not too shabby).
But let’s get into some X’s and O’s.
I was sitting in Arthur Ashe for both men’s semifinal matches — and was able to watch both players firsthand, ahead of this final match.
And while I was surely more engaged in JMDP’s (shortened) match against Rafa Nadal, truth be told I was more impressed with how Djokovic looked.
The Serbian just looked so strong from the baseline — impenetrable from a defensive perspective, and ridiculously dangerous from an offensive standpoint. The one shot that I keyed in on was his forehand — with which he was counterpunching with a ton of venom (like the Djokovic of old). For me, this is what separated the “invincible” Djokovic we saw from 2014-16 from the version of 2017 and parts of 2018.
Djokovic has always been able to defend well, even when he struggled. However, his forehand (and backhand to a degree, as well) from defensive positions tended to sit short in the court and lack pace.
But when Djokovic is in form, his forehand replies from defensive spots always seem to end close to the baseline — and that consistent depth and pace of shot is what hurts his opponents.
With how slowly center court on Arthur Ashe has been playing, Djokovic has enough time to flag down almost every ball and that is why I’m fading del Potro.
No matter how powerful the Tower of Tandil’s game is, these courts are simply too hard to hit through. Del Po’s forehand will, once again, be the biggest shot on the court Sunday. The question is, will it be big enough to repeatedly hurt Djokovic?
The other thing that worries me about del Potro is his serve. On Friday I noticed two distinct serve types from the 2009 champion.
There was his “regular” serve, which came in at around 110 mph. Then there was the “big point” serve for which he seemed to pick his spots — and delivered at 130 mph.
If del Potro wants to win this match, I expect to see him lean on that 130 mph serve much more regularly than he did against Nadal. Otherwise, the supreme return of Djokovic will be able to neutralize a lot of points from the get-go and put the pressure on Tandil.
Ultimately, I see Djokovic continuing his fine resume against del Potro and winning this in three or four sets. If del Potro serves big and feeds off the energy of the NYC crowd (which adores him) I could see him pulling out the first set. But as the match progresses, I expect Djokovic to grind del Potro down and win his 14th Grand Slam.
The Bet: Novak Djokovic -215