US Open Picks: Medvedev vs Balazs, Draper vs Albot Best Bets
Grant Halverson/Getty. Pictured: Jack Draper.
Day two of first round matches at the US Open is set to be a thrilling one. In my opinion, the top half of the men's draw is much more difficult than the bottom half, and I am looking forward to see how it plays out.
I'll be looking at matches in which Daniil Medvedev takes on the near-retired Attila Balazs while the healing Jack Draper battles veteran Radu Albot. These are the two matches where I see the most betting value on Tuesday.
Read on to find out why in my US Open picks.
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing US Open matches.
Medvedev (-10000) vs Balazs (+2500)
12 p.m. ET
The US Open is poised for yet another intriguing day, but the clash between Medvedev and Balazs stands out for its glaring contrast. While Balazs isn't officially retired, his sporadic appearances tell a different story. With a mere eight games won across three matches in the past year, one might wonder if he's just here for the paycheck.
On the other end we have Medvedev, a titan in the ATP world known for his impeccable defensive tennis. Given Balazs's recent track record, it's difficult to envision him finding a way past Medvedev's defenses.
With the over/under resting at an almost unprecedented 24.5 games – implying Medvedev giving up about just two games per set – it’s a telling forecast. Going under would be a bold prediction for a Grand Slam, but considering the form of both players, it seems more than plausible. Betting on the former champion to cover this ground feels like the right call at this US Open.
Let's not overthink this. An essentially retired clay court specialist who never broke the top 70 is coming to take on one of the best hard court players in the world who rarely gifts a free point.
Pick: Under 24.5 games (-136 via FanDuel)
Draper (-400) vs Albot (+310)
3 p.m. ET
Draper's journey over the past year paints a picture of promise hindered by injuries. From his US Open setback last year, these physical challenges have obstructed the full display of his undeniable talent on court. Yet, when we delve into the Universal Tennis Rankings (UTR), Draper's potential shines bright, ranking him at an impressive 13th globally.
His game, marked by robust groundstrokes and a lethal lefty serve, can be overpowering for opponents. Despite recent setbacks, including a match retirement, Draper's first-round prowess is notable. Expect him to bring that vigor into this matchup.
In contrast, Albot appears to be a player in decline. With a lukewarm 10-14 record on hard courts this year, his best days seem behind him. Against Draper's relentless power, Albot will likely find himself scrambling, gasping for moments of respite.
Given the circumstances and Draper's notable first-round consistency, I think Draper will find his way through without dropping a set. He will be motivated to keep his time on court to a minimum and I expect him to come out fresh and firing.
Pick: Draper 3 – 0 (+145 via FanDuel)