US Open Previews & Predictions: Alcaraz to Keep Cruising Into Quarters (September 5)
Quality Sport Images/Getty. Pictured: Carlos Alcaraz.
The fourth round of play at the US Open concludes on Monday, and two of the brightest young stars are in action against some seasoned veterans.
Let's break down both enticing contests and get into the most actionable lines in each.
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing US Open matches.
Jannik Sinner (-375) vs. Ilya Ivashka (+275)
3:30 p.m. ET
Jannik Sinner has made a meal out of all three of his wins here at the US Open. He started slow against Brandon Nakashima, dropped his level in the second set against Chris Eubanks and had to save three break points in the fifth set of his opening-round win over Daniel Altmaier.
While he has brought his level up in all three of the matches to secure victory, the fact remains that he is not burying his opponents. Because of that, I'm having a look at the spread here.
Ilya Ivashka is a ruthless competitor and he should have a strong mental advantage against Sinner, who's still trying to find his killer instinct on court. He will come at the young Italian with a brutal assault of groundstrokes, and I do not expect him to go quietly.
This is a guy who just beat Hubert Hurkacz, a top-10 player, earlier this week. Not only that, he did it convincingly!
I'm not going to call a straight upset, because Sinner has made a habit of finding a way out of trouble, but I have a hard time believing this will be easy with the mental lapses we've seen from Sinner.
Pick: Ivashka +5.5 games (-115 via FanDuel)
Carlos Alcaraz (-477) vs. Marin Cilic (+340)
8:15 p.m. ET
These two just met a couple of weeks ago in Cincinnati, with Cilic clawing back in the first set but ultimately losing 7-6, 6-1. The former US Open champion's lone win against Alcaraz in Estoril last season seems like it was long ago, and it's hard to envision Cilic coming out on top.
Cilic played redline tennis for a couple of sets against Dan Evans in the third round, painting lines and acing his way out of every hole. While that level can rear its head once again here against Alcaraz, it has to be said that the brand of tennis played by the Croat is an unsustainable one.
It's going to be very hard for Cilic to return to that level at the start of Monday's meeting, and just as hard to maintain it for a best-of-five match. Meanwhile, Alcaraz seems to raising the bar even higher and growing as this tournament goes on.
The Spaniard won six straight points to take his last match against a tough out in Jenson Brooksby, and he should be able to get the better of Cilic in most of the baseline exchanges with his incredible speed and shotmaking.
I'd favor him from the ground and his serve has gotten so good to the point where it's almost on the same plane as Cilic's.
I'm going to grab the young prodigy to cover the 5.5 games, thinking he gets a lead and dusts the 33-year-old as he tires later in the match.
Pick: Alcaraz -5.5 Games (-110 via DraftKings)