2007 US Open Tennis Odds and Predictions

2007 US Open Tennis Odds and Predictions

2007 US Open Tennis Odds and Predictions
by T.O. Whenham

Tennis doesn't get the attention in North America that it probably deserves, and it certainly doesn't get as much attention as it used to back in the glory days. The next two weeks, though, are the one time when the American public pays attention to the little green ball. The US Open starts in Flushing Meadows, New York on Monday, and for two weeks tennis takes center stage. Even casual fans probably know that this is the fourth Grand Slam tournament of the year, and it doesn't take an expert to figure what has happened in the first three, either. The freakishly good Roger Federer cruised to victories on the hard court in Australia and the grass of Wimbledon, and he lost to his nemesis Rafael Nadal on the clay of the French. That's predictable because those two players have combined to win the last 10 Grand Slam tournaments.

Besides good drama and excellent people watching, the U.S. Open can provide betting opportunities even for people who don't regularly bet on tennis. The men's draw in particular shapes up as an interesting one with several compelling matchups.

If you are going to bet on this tournament, though, the first thing you have to do is figure out what you are going to do with Roger Federer. As long as he's not on clay, Federer is clearly the best player in the world, and the margin isn't particularly close. His preparations for this tournament haven't been perfect, but they would be amazing for any other payer - he was runner-up in the Tennis Masters Series in Montreal, losing to Novak Djokovic in the final, and then rebounded the next week to win the TMS event in Cincinnati by beating James Blake in the final. Despite that, though, there are critics out there that suggest that Federer is ripe for an upset. Since he is a lousy 2/5 to win according to US Open tennis odds, it may be tempting to see if there is anything to that theory.

Federer has, at times, looked human recently. He needed a miraculous fifth set comeback to beat Nadal and win Wimbledon. He has looked distracted and even disinterested at times throughout the season. I'm not willing to bet that he will be upset, but there are certainly some interesting potential spots in the draw for the upset. A potential second round match-up against Ramesh Krishnan is a trendy spot for Federer to have a bad game and end up going home early. If you don't favor that Cinderella option, then the potential of a fourth round showdown with Richard Gasquet could be more compelling. Gasquet is immensely talented, and he took Federer the distance twice last year, so he has the game to match-up if all goes exactly right. If Federer survives that threat then he could have to go up against fourth seeded Andy Roddick. Roddick often rises to the occasion in front of the home crowd, and at some point you would think that his pride and determination would help him rebound from all of the ugly beatings that Federer has laid on him over the years. On the other hand, Roddick played Federer in the final last year, and it wasn't pretty for the American.

If not Federer, then who? The obvious first place to look is the second seed and co-second choice at 6/1, Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard is not coming into the tournament in top form He lost in the semifinal in Montreal, and then withdrew from Cincinnati complaining of illness and a sore arm. It would be tempting to discount Nadal entirely if he were anyone else. He's made the final of the last two Slams, though, and he has put together a season that has been remarkable and would be even more so if not for Federer. It would not be a surprise at all to see Nadal reach the final again in New York.

If you are looking for someone outside the dominant two, the obvious and popular choice will be Novak Djokovic, who joins Nadal at 6/1. The young player has had a phenomenal season, amassing four ATP wins (compared to five for Federer and six for Nadal). Three of those wins have come on North American soil, and he beat both of the top two to win Montreal. He's certainly got the game, and he is really the only current player who looks like he could challenge the dominance of Nadal and Federer in the near future. He's got some interesting potential match-ups - Mario Ancic and Mikhail Youzhny - but it seems as if a Nadal-Djokovic semi-final is likely and perhaps even inevitable.

I know I mentioned Andy Roddick (20/1) earlier, but don't get seduced by what he offers. He showed he wasn't good enough last year, and he looks like he has taken a few steps back in recent months. He doesn't have the game or the killer instinct to get it done here unless two or more of the top three falter badly.

Other players with odds set to win are Lleyton Hewitt (50/1), Marcos Baghdatis (60/1), Nikolay Davydenko (70/1), and James Blake (50/1). Though all of those men are certainly capable of a deep run, and any one of them could beat one of the top seeds on any given day, there is certainly a reason that they are at the prices they are at, and it is hard to see any value in backing them unless you have a solid reason to do so. The rest of the field can be had as a group at 10/1. Though the ability to bet on 120 players with one bet is tempting, you would have to be a much bigger gambler than I am to give this option serious consideration. In this top heavy draw, the chances of someone we haven't talked about by name pulling off at least two huge upsets to hoist the hardware are much smaller than they would need to be to make this bet attractive.

www.docsports.com

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Re: 2007 US Open Tennis Odds and Predictions

Federer cruises to start chase for fourth straight Open crown
August 27th, 2007

Flushing Meadows, NY (Sports Network) - Roger Federer began his quest for a fourth straight U.S. Open title with an easy straight-set win on Monday.

Federer, the top seed and world's top-ranked player, posted a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 victory over American qualifier Scoville Jenkins. He needed just 92 minutes and faced only two break points -- saving both -- against his powerful serve.

The Swiss superstar is trying to become the first player to win four straight U.S. Open crowns since the Open Era began in 1968 and the first to accomplish the feat since Bill Tilden won six in a row from 1920-25.

Other winners on the first day of play at the USTA National Tennis Center included fourth-seeded Russian Nikolay Davydenko, ninth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych and 13th-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet.

Gasquet, a 7-5, 6-1, 6-2 winner over Argentina's Sergio Roitman, could be a fourth-round opponent for Federer. Others in the 11-time Grand Slam champ's half of the draw are fifth-seeded American Andy Roddick, whom he vanquished in last year's Open final, Davydenko, Berdych and sixth-seeded American James Blake. Roddick or Berdych could be quarterfinal foes.

The 26-year-old Federer enters this fortnight off a title at the Cincinnati Masters and again is the reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champ. The only blemish on his Grand Slam resume remains the French Open.

Another title at Flushing Meadows would give Federer three of the season's four major crowns for a second year in a row and would mark the third such accomplishment in the last four years.

Davydenko moved into the second round fairly easily with a 6-4, 6-0, 6-1 rout of American Jesse Levine, while Berdych claimed a 6-3, 7-6 (7-0), 6-2 victory over France's Marc Gicquel.

There were a couple of minor upsets early Monday, as Max Mirnyi of Belarus eliminated 18th-seeded Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in four sets and Feliciano Lopez won a battle of Spaniards with a three-set triumph against 21st-seeded Juan Carlos Ferrero. Ferrero was the 2003 Open runner-up to Roddick.

Also winning Monday was 19th-seeded Brit Andy Murray in straight sets against Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas, while 18-year-old American Donald Young proved his worth as a wild card entry with a four-set win over Australia's Chris Guccione.

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Re: 2007 US Open Tennis Odds and Predictions

U.S. Open Tennis Odds: Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick on Court Tuesday

The queen takes the court Tuesday night in New York - and she has reason to have a chip on her shoulder.

Despite being the defending champion and No. 2 seed, Maria Sharapova holds U.S. Open odds of only 5/1, making her the third choice among the betting public. The 20-year-old beauty has battled a shoulder injury this year, but says she's healthy heading into the final grand slam event of the tennis season.

She meets Italian Roberta Vinci in one of the matches featured at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. Sharapova will be a heavy favorite to advance to the second round. Her chief rivals for the title, Justine Henin and Serena and Venus Williams, all won on opening day.

In the men's draw, a battle between Americans highlights the night matches as No. 5 Andy Roddick takes on once promising Justin Gimelstob. Roddick beat Gimelstob in the first round at Wimbledon two months ago.

Roddick is an intriguing player for tennis bettors. His U.S. Open odds make him a fairly long shot at 20/1, but he has 33 wins on hard-court surfaces this year, a total that leads the ATP. He's also a fan favorite and won the tournament in 2003.

How he fares against Gimelstob could give a prelude to what he will do the rest of the way.

For U.S. Open odds for the men's and women's draw throughout the tournament, visit the Bodog Sportsbook every day. And read a preview of the women's draw in Bodog Nation, the popular online magazine.

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Re: 2007 US Open Tennis Odds and Predictions

Roddick, Djokovic, Blake win openers at U.S. Open
August 28th, 2007

Flushing Meadows, NY (Sports Network) - Fifth-seeded Andy Roddick rebounded from a tough first set and downed fellow American Justin Gimelstob 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, 6-3, in the nightcap Tuesday evening of first-round play at the U.S. Open.

Roddick, the 2003 open champ and the runner-up to Roger Federer last year, outlasted his countryman under the lights at Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Third-seeded Serbian star Novak Djokovic and sixth-seeded American James Blake were also among the first-round winners Tuesday at the 2007 U.S. Open.

The French Open and Wimbledon semifinalist Djokovic handled Dutchman Robin Haase 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 on Day 2 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

"It's always good to get the first matches done in the fastest possible way. It's good to win the first round in straight sets," said Djokovic. "I was a bit nervous on the start. I didn't play my game. But then I managed to take over the control and finish in straight sets."

Djokovic recently captured a Masters Series tournament in Montreal, where he topped the top-three players in the world at the time -- Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick -- to prevail.

Blake, fresh off his title in New Haven last week, held off his tough fellow American Michael Russell 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) at Ashe Stadium. The fierce competitor Russell pushed Blake for 2 hours, 41 minutes in a very well played tennis match.

The 27-year-old Blake, who popped 13 aces on Tuesday, reached the quarterfinals here the last two years. He'll face crafty Frenchman Fabrice Santoro in the round of 64.

"I'm playing some of my best tennis, yeah," said Blake. "I definitely think I'm coming in here very confident. It's one of those things where for me, when I'm winning a lot of matches the way I have been, I get to 4-all, 5-all, 6-all in sets, I just feel like I'm gonna win 'em. I just have that confidence."

Former U.S. Open champion Lleyton Hewitt was also an easy winner, as the former world No. 1 Aussie leveled helpless American Amer Delic 6-2, 6-4, 6-2. The 16th-seeded Hewitt captured the Open in 2001 and was the Wimbledon champ in 2002.

Hewitt has reached at least the quarterfinals here for seven straight years and was the 2004 runner-up to Federer.

In other action involving winning top-20 seeds, No. 12 Croat Ivan Ljubicic toyed with Belgian Kristof Vliegen 6-1, 7-6 (7-1), 6-1; No. 15 David Ferrer breezed past Germany's Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-2, 6-3; No. 20 Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina got past American Michael McClune 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (7-0); No. 23 Argentine Juan Monaco topped Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, 7-5; No. 24 David Nalbandian of Argentina downed Spain's Ivan Navarro Pastor 7-5, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (8-6); and No. 31 Austrian Jurgen Melzer bested Argentine Diego Hartfield 6-4, 7-5, 7-5.

French doubles specialist Michael Llodra took out 29th-seeded Italian Filippo Volandri 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, while speedy French veteran Arnaud Clement ousted 32nd-seeded Croat Ivo Karlovic 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 4-6, 6-7 (6-8), 6-4 in a marathon 4-hour, 8-minute affair. The 6-foot-10 Karlovic exited the draw despite firing 38 aces among 89 winners.

Additional wins came for Swede Thomas Johansson, the aforementioned Santoro, Austrian Stefan Koubek, American Wayne Odesnik, Romanian Andrei Pavel, Israeli Dudi Sela and Argentine Juan Martin del Potro. The pesky Koubek went on to dismiss Sam Querrey 7-6 (7-1), 6-1, 6-1 after the American blew six set points in the opening stanza, while Odesnik outlasted Thai Danai Udomchoke in a grueling five-setter.

Wednesday's first-round action will include Spain's Rafael Nadal, the second seed, who will face Australian Alun Jones and Russian Marat Safin, the last man to win a major other than Nadal or Roger Federer, when he won the Australian Open in 2005.

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Re: 2007 US Open Tennis Odds and Predictions

Federer breezes into third round; Nadal advances at U.S. Open
August 29th, 2007

Flushing Meadows, NY (Sports Network) - Roger Federer continued his quest for a fourth consecutive U.S. Open title with a straight-set win on Wednesday, setting up an intriguing third-round match against towering American John Isner.

Federer, the top seed and world's top-ranked player, beat Chilean Paul Capdeville, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 in the night session.

The Swiss superstar is trying to become the first player to win four straight U.S. Open crowns since the Open Era began in 1968 and the first to accomplish the feat since Bill Tilden won six in a row from 1920-25.

Up next for Federer will be the 6-foot-9 Isner, who topped South African Rik De Voest, 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).

"If I go in that match not believing I'm gonna win, just happy to be out there, you know, he's going to smell that, he's going to smell that blood and just attack," Isner said of Federer. "But I'm going to go out there and just play my game. Most importantly, have a lot of fun. I'm gonna believe. I'm not saying I'm gonna win, but I'm gonna believe. That's what I have to do."

The 26-year-old Federer enters this fortnight off a title at the Cincinnati Masters and again is the reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champ. The only blemish on his Grand Slam resume remains the French Open.

Another title at Flushing Meadows would give Federer three of the season's four major crowns for a second year in a row and would mark the third such accomplishment in the last four years.

The matches involving Federer and Isner were the lone ones from the second round on Wednesday.

Second-seeded Rafael Nadal battled some sore knees in his opening-round victory Wednesday. The reigning three-time French Open champion and two-time Wimbledon runner-up Nadal was tested in a 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory over 27- year-old Aussie wild card Alun Jones. The gritty Nadal ultimately advanced after twice receiving treatment for tendinitis in his aching left knee. His right knee was also wrapped-up for his Day-3 match.

Nadal lost to Russian Mikhail Youzhny in last year's quarterfinals here.

There was a big upset on Wednesday as Russian Teimuraz Gabashvili ousted seventh-seeded Chilean Fernando Gonzalez, 6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 5-7, 6-4.

Eighth-seeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo reached the second round by handling American Bobby Reynolds 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 on the hardcourts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

An 11th-seeded Youzhny destroyed helpless Frenchman Nicolas Devilder 6-0, 6-1, 6-2 for his sixth win here in seven tries. Youzhny soared all the way into the semifinals here a year ago.

Former champion Marat Safin, seeded 25th at this fortnight, was tested in a 7-5, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (9-7) decision against rising Canadian Frank Dancevic. The former world No. 1 and two-time major titlist Safin, who captured the U.S. Open in 2000, fired 19 aces at a game Dancevic.

Up next for the big Safin will be dangerous Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, who snuck past promising Russian Evgeny Korolev in five sets.

Seventeenth-seeded Spaniard Carlos Moya cruised into the second round by dousing speedy German Bjorn Phau 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. The former world No. 1 Moya captured a French Open title back in 1998.

Tim Henman, who will officially cap his career with a Davis Cup match next month, upset 27th-seeded Russian Dmitry Tursunov, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

A mild upset came when Latvian Ernests Gulbis took out 30th-seeded Italian Potito Starace 7-5, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.

Capable Americans Robby Ginepri and Mardy Fish reached the round of 64, as Ginepri leveled diminutive Belgian Olivier Rochus 6-0, 6-3, 6-1, while Fish drilled Mexican Bruno Echagaray 6-4, 6-1, 6-2. Ginepri reached the U.S. Open semis two years ago, while Fish was last week's runner-up to his compatriot James Blake in New Haven. Fish will face Robredo in his next outing.

Additional first-round wins came for Germans Philipp Kohlschreiber and Michael Berrer, Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Russian Igor Kunitsyn and Serbian Janko Tipsarevic.

Americans Andy Roddick and James Blake return to the court for their second- round matches Thursday. Roddick, seeded fifth, will play Argentine Jose Acasuso, while a sixth-seeded Blake takes on France's Fabrice Santoto in the final night match. Fourth seed Nikolay Davydenko of Russia plays Germany's Nicolas Kiefer.

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Re: 2007 US Open Tennis Odds and Predictions

Roddick, Davydenko, Blake move on at the Open
August 30th, 2007

Flushing Meadows, NY (Sports Network) - Birthday boy Andy Roddick, fourth- seeded Russian Nikolay Davydenko and sixth-seeded American James Blake were among Thursday's second-round winners at the 2007 U.S. Open.

Celebrating his 25th birthday, the fifth-seeded Roddick got past an injured Jose Acasuso 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 in 90 minutes at Ashe Stadium, as the Argentine quit after three sets due to a left leg injury that required treatment on a few occasions on Day 4. A hobbled Acasuso uncorked 27 unforced errors before his exit.

"I don't think you like winning matches like that," Roddick said. "Especially I felt like I was starting to play okay and make returns and react. But at the end of the day, your goal is to get through and to give yourself a chance to play in the third round."

Roddick, who fired 12 aces in his three sets against Acasuso, was last year's U.S. Open runner-up to Roger Federer and captured his lone major title here in New York four years ago.

The French Open semifinalist Davydenko dispatched oft-injured German Nicolas Kiefer 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 in 1 hour, 45 minutes. The gritty Russian broke Kiefer's serve a whopping six times and will now meet Spaniard Nicolas Almagro here on Saturday.

Blake, meanwhile, survived a grueling five-set match with Frenchman Fabrice Santoro, winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 after over three hours of action.

At 4-4 in the fifth set, Blake saved two break points and then broke Santoro to record his first-career five set win. Blake finally put away the 34-year- old Santoro with a cross-court backhand as Santoro threw his racquet helplessly in the air.

Blake, who is coming off a Pilot Pen title this past weekend, overcame 71 errors that kept Santoro, who was battling left leg injuries, in the match.

Ninth-seeded Czech slugger Tomas Berdych breezed into the third round with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Italian Simone Bolelli, while an upset came when Korean Hyung-Taik Lee took out 14th-seeded Argentine Guillermo Canas 7-5, 7-5, 6-3 on the grounds at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Tenth-seeded German Tommy Haas dropped the first set to fellow countryman Philipp Petzschner before taking the next three to win, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5.

American Donald Young advanced to the round of 32 when his scheduled opponent, 13th-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet, pulled out of their match due to a fever and sore throat. The promising 18-year-old Young, who received a wild card for this particular fortnight, recorded his first career Grand Slam event victory here on Monday. The talented Gasquet was a Wimbledon semifinalist last month.

Nineteenth-seeded Brit Andy Murray needed all five sets to overcome 35-year- old Swede Jonas Bjorkman 5-7, 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 on the Grandstand court, while a 28th-seeded Almagro defeated Luis Horna 6-4, 6-2, 2-1, as the Peruvian retired in the third set. Murray recently returned to the tour after being sidelined for several weeks with a wrist injury.

Other winners included Spain's Fernando Verdasco, France's Sebastien Grosjean, Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, Sweden's Thomas Johansson and Austria's Stefan Koubek.

In second round action on Friday, second seed Rafael Nadal, who is battling a left knee injury, will take on Janko Tipsarevic and third seed Novak Djokovic will square off with Radek Stepanek.

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Re: 2007 US Open Tennis Odds and Predictions

Weary Djokovic sneaks into third round in New York
August 31st, 2007

Flushing Meadows, NY (Sports Network) - In the best match of the tournament thus far, third-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic outlasted dangerous Czech Radek Stepanek on Friday to reach the third round at the U.S. Open.

Djokovic needed a whopping 4 hours, 44 minutes to stave off the former top-10 performer Stepanek 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (7-2) at Armstrong Stadium. The gritty Stepanek battled Djokovic every step of the way in one of the closest matches that you could ever see.

The 20-year-old Djokovic, who required treatment for his back and legs on several occasions on Day 5, used 69 winners, including 18 aces, to get past a game Stepanek, who was ranked inside the men's top 10 last year before plummeting outside the top 100 because of neck and back injuries.

The two players combined for 88 unforced errors in the epic encounter, including 45 by the Czech loser. Stepanek also required some treatment during the marathon match, as he was bothered by a left leg problem at one point.

Djokovic ultimately moved into the round of 32 by floating a backhand winner to close out Stepanek.

The world No. 3 Djokovic will meet promising Argentine Juan Martin del Potro here on Sunday.

A flat Marat Safin was ousted from the draw by capable Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, as the 25th-seeded big Russian suffered a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 setback. The former world No. 1 and two-time major titlist Safin captured the U.S. Open back in 2000 by pasting the legendary Pete Sampras in the final.

Another former No. 1 avoided an upset, as 17th-seeded Spaniard Carlos Moya handled Russian Igor Kunitsyn 6-4, 6-4, 7-5. The veteran Moya is a two-time major finalist, including a French Open title in 1998.

Twentieth-seeded Argentine slugger Juan Ignacio Chela dismissed American Wayne Odesnik 6-3, 6-1, 7-5, while the 6-foot-5 del Potro knocked out 31st-seeded Austrian lefty Jurgen Melzer 6-3, 6-1, 6-4.

One other second-round win came for Latvian Ernests Gulbis.

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