ATP Winston-Salem and U.S. Open Qualifier Tennis Odds & Picks, Including Alcaraz vs. Ymer (Friday, August 27)
Credit: Grant Halverson, Getty. Carlos Alcaraz eyes up a forehand in the Winston-Salem Open.
An underrated aspect of grand slam events is the qualifying draw that precedes the main draw. In the third round of qualifying matches, players are vying for an incredible opportunity to make the main draw, earning major points and much more money.
We've reached that point of the U.S. Open, in addition to the semifinals of the Winston-Salem Open, meaning Friday is a phenomenal day for tennis.
Read on to see where the opportunities can be found.
Cem Ilkel vs. Jiri Lehecka
11 a.m. ET
In a match that will see one player reach their first grand slam main draw, there's good reason to believe this could be a nail-biting affair.
Ilkel hasn't been able to break through on tour, but he's been consistent mainly on the challenger tour, where he's 12-7 on hard court this year.
Lehecka, on the other hand, is much more experienced on clay, playing over 75% of his 2021 matches on the surface. To his credit, he saved multiple match points and displayed grit far beyond his age to take out Iilya Marchenko in the second round of qualifying, but there's no reason to give the Czech a massive edge in this one.
This is arguably the most important match of each player's career thus far, and the tennis will likely display that. If Lehecka can't find the same toughness he had against Marchenko, he'll have an incredibly tough time with Ilkel.
Pick: Ilkel +3.5 games -120 (PointsBet)
Carlos Alcaraz vs. Mikael Ymer
8:20 p.m. ET
In another contest that will feature two young talents, this Winston-Salem Open semifinal match comes with a considerable amount of intrigue.
Teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz played at an incredible level Thursday against Marcos Giron, flying all over the court with ease and reminding everyone why he's often compared to Rafa Nadal.
Ymer, on the other hand, showed poise in a three-set victory over Frances Tiafoe, who has an abundance of power at his disposal, much like Alcaraz. He'll be ready for the style he's about to face and he got a great taste of it in Australia, where he was able to defeat Alcaraz in their only matchup.
The Swede might not be able to get the same result today, but with a consistent game on hard court and a history to back it up, he'll serve as a major test in Alcaraz's push for his second title, and you can take advantage of that.
Pick: Ymer to win over 11.5 games -126 (FanDuel)