US Open Picks Today | Tommy Paul vs Ben Shelton, Rinky Hijikata vs Frances Tiafoe (September 3)

US Open Picks Today | Tommy Paul vs Ben Shelton, Rinky Hijikata vs Frances Tiafoe (September 3) article feature image

Pictured: Rinky Hijikata. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

The fourth round of the US Open is upon us, and with it we'll see three rising stars take the court.

Let's get into how to bet Tommy Paul vs. Ben Shelton and Rinky Hijikata vs. Frances Tiafoe. Here are my Sunday US Open picks.

Match times are subject to change. Read here for advice on viewing US Open matches.

US Open Picks Today

Tommy Paul (-295) vs Ben Shelton (+235)

12 p.m. ET

The most anticipated match of the day is surely the between rising American stars Tommy Paul and Ben Shelton. I want this to be a thrilling, competitive affair that goes the distance, but I think Paul will win somewhat easily.

Shelton's serve is, without a doubt, one of the biggest in the world. That's won him a lot of matches at the Challenger level, but at the main ATP level, he's really struggled to hold his own. At just 15-21, Shelton's first year as a pro has been a roller coaster ride as he's attempted to prove he belongs with the big boys.

I have no doubts Shelton will one day be a top-10 player as his talent is undeniable. However, he's still trying to round out his game and his lack of a good return has made it difficult to win matches against good servers. He's broken at just a 13.7% rate this year, and that is not going to cut it against Paul.

Aslan Karatsev had a poor showing on serve in the third round, something that's really been an issue for him at times since his breakthrough at the Australian Open. Karatsev landed just 52% of his first serves and showcases no sort of disguise on his second serve whatsoever, which gifted Shelton a lot of chances to break. Paul is an incredibly consistent server who has landed 64% or more of his first serves in two of his three US Open matches.

I expect Paul to hold serve many times throughout this match — much like he did in their meeting at the Australian Open earlier this year — and his return has only gotten better since. He should be able to run up the score on Shelton.

I'm comfortable laying games with Paul here.

Pick: Paul -4.5 Games (-105 via DraftKings)

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Rinky Hijikata (+550) vs Frances Tiafoe (-800)

1:30 p.m. ET (estimated)

One of the most impressive performances I've witnessed at the US Open took place in a sparsely-watched Friday match between Rinky Hijikata and Zhizhen Zhang. Hijikata dealt with some serious heat coming at him from the other end of the net, turning around some huge forehands and redirecting them for winners.

I think he's ready to make some noise in the biggest match of his career. Frances Tiafoe won't play all that differently from Zhang, blasting groundstrokes deep into the court. Tiafoe will probably come to the net a bit more, but Hijikata's great hands will keep him in some of those points.

Tiafoe looked excellent through the first two rounds, but he was facing rather poor competition. His third-round win over Adrian Mannarino was a much tougher test, and while it seemed like a clean enough win as he won in four sets, he lost focus in that fourth set and not only gave back a break lead, but fell behind by a break before ultimately pulling it back.

Tiafoe's experienced several level drops in his matches, and I have a hard time seeing this being a tidy, straight-set win to cash the under. Hijikata has some serious game, and I think he's going to impress a lot of people in this match.

Pick: Over 34.5 (-105 via DraftKings)

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