The US Open starts in a week’s time at Flushing Meadows, so what better time is there to run through the contenders for glory in the Men’s Singles?
With the Cincinnati Masters final having taken place yesterday, with Novak Djokovic just about edging Carlos Alcaraz in a thriller, many will feel that this is an accurate prediction of the outcome of the US Open final in a few weeks’ time in New York. Certainly, the current market here at Pinnacle suggests this is a strong possibility, with Djokovic chalked up at *2.230, and Alcaraz very slightly further back at *2.550.
Alcaraz was the pre-tournament favourite in Cincinnati. However, a really tricky week wherein he dropped sets in all his four wins before losing to Djokovic in the final - not to mention a struggle the week before in Toronto where he lost to Tommy Paul and could easily have been beaten by Hubert Hurkacz prior to that - has caused the market to be a little sceptical of the Spanish phenom’s chances.
It’s important to understand whether the market has a point here, and I do think that it does. The last two weeks have had a negative impact on Alcaraz’s year-long hard court numbers, while Djokovic’s straightforward progress to last week’s Cincinnati final (not dropping a set) has only reinforced the Serbian’s data. The market does look to have the duo the right way round in its pricing.
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The next tier of contenders features just two players - Daniil Medvedev *8.620 and Jannik Sinner *12.930 - and while Medvedev has the edge on 12-month hard court data, it’s not quite so straightforward. Sinner has the much better recent form after winning in Toronto, while Medvedev hasn’t impressed in the recent hard court Masters events, losing to the likes of Alex de Minaur and Alexander Zverev. The draw will be critical, but there’s a reasonable argument to suggest that Sinner should be similarly priced to former US Open champion Medvedev.
Sinner could be the value play outside of the top two.
Following this, all players are priced around 25.000 or greater, and there’s a mixed bag in terms of recent form. Stefanos Tsitsipas and Holger Rune, both at *27.990, don’t particularly inspire, with Tsitsipas going into the event on the back of some poor losses, and Rune still yet to convince on hard court and having an injury doubt as well. Casper Ruud and Taylor Fritz are slightly bigger-priced at *36.610, and Fritz looks to have the better chances with much better hard court form, while Ruud looks to be in a bit of a rut since his French Open final loss. Fritz could push for a quarterfinal or semifinal, but would have to find something against the market leaders.
This is also the case for players such as Alexander Zverev *24.770, Matteo Berrettini *44.130, and bigger-priced players who could easily push to that quarter/semifinal spot, such as Hubert Hurkacz *44.130 and Alex de Minaur *72.110. The latter two players in particular bring some decent form to New York, with Hurkacz coming close to defeating Alcaraz in Toronto, and de Minaur having been in several recent hard court finals.
However, it would be a real surprise to see any of these players make the final, which looks likely to be fought out between the top four in the market. The bigger-priced players will need to hope the draw opens up for them if they are to make significant progress over the next few weeks at the US Open. You can find Dan's Women's Singles tournament betting preview here.