U.S. Open Picks: Men's Final Odds and Matchup Analysis

U.S. Open Picks: Men's Final Odds and Matchup Analysis

U.S. Open Picks: Men's Final Odds and Matchup Analysis
By Ricky Dimon

NOVAK DJOKOVIC (-150) VS. RAFAEL NADAL (+120)

Roger Federer was one point away from setting up a U.S. Open final that would have featured one of the greatest rivalries in tennis history. What we’re left with should be just as good—if not better.

Djokovic and Nadal have already faced each other a whopping 28 times in their careers. Nadal leads the head-to-head series 16-12, but that’s just about where the good news ends when it comes to going up against Djokovic. The top two players in the world have squared off five times this season and Djokovic has won them all—all in finals.

Most concerning for Nadal is that the Serb has prevailed on every surface - hard (Indian Wells and Miami), clay (Madrid and Rome), and grass (Wimbledon).

Still, all is not lost for Nadal. He suddenly looks like a different player from the one that showed up at recent hard-court events in Montreal and Cincinnati. The case was the same last year, when Nadal lost early at those events then captured his first U.S. Open title. Included in his current run to the final are convincing wins over Andy Roddick and Andy Murray.

Djokovic has not been quite as dominant this fortnight as he had been the first seven months of 2011, but there is not much cause for concern. His shoulder issue is a thing of the past and he once again put his incredible mental strength on display by battling back from two sets down, saving two match points, and eventually overcoming Federer 7-5 in the fifth on Saturday.

Speaking of mental strength, that was once Nadal’s trump card on the entire rest of the field. Now, however, the tables have turned. The Spaniard cannot seem a find to a way to beat his nemesis, no matter the time, no matter the surface. He admitted after Wimbledon that he did not try hard enough to find “solutions” to get the best of Djokovic.

Nadal has a chance based on the way he is playing, but the clear edge goes to the world No. 1.

Pick: DJOKOVIC

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