The fourth and final Grand Slam event in tennis each year is the U.S. Open, and for all intents and purposes it signals the end of the tennis season for casual fans and bettors on the sport. This year’s tournament begins on Monday in New York and concludes with the men’s singles final on September 9 – the women’s final is the night before.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
Each of the four majors in tennis has a different personality, so to speak. The Australian Open is the first of the year and known for the crazy heat in Melbourne. The French Open has the peculiar red clay that tends to benefit only certain players. Wimbledon has the most tradition and the grass courts. The U.S. Open, played on hard courts, is the rowdiest of the four majors. The fans get more involved in New York than anywhere else.
The favorite on the men’s side is No. 6 seed Novak Djokovic at +250. The Serb is a two-time champion, winning in 2011 and 2015. He also has lost in the final five times, most recently in 2016 to Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka. Djokovic entered this year in a big slump but broke out of that by winning Wimbledon for the fourth time. He also just won a U.S. Open warm-up event in Cincinnati by beating Roger Federer in the final.
In doing so, Djokovic became the first man to complete the “Career Golden Masters” – winning all nine Masters 1000 events on the ATP Tour in his career.
Federer had been a perfect 7-0 in previous finals in Cincinnati but was beaten 6-4, 6-4 in his first meeting with Djokovic since the 2016 Australian Open. Second-seeded Federer is +400 for the U.S. Open, which he has won five times, tied for most in the Open era. The last of the Big 3, top-seeded Rafael Nadal, is +350. He won his third career U.S. Open title last year with a straight-set win over surprise finalist Kevin Anderson of South Africa.
Per usual, the women’s side is all about Serena Williams, who is the +500 favorite. Serena has won this tournament six times, tied with Chris Evert for most in the Open era. Serena has had an up-and-down season back from pregnancy, and that’s why she’s seeded only 17th. She made the Wimbledon final but was upset and doesn’t have a singles title in 2018.
World No. 1 Simona Halep and No. 4 Angelique Kerber – both are seeded by their world rankings – are each +700. Halep hasn’t won the U.S. Open, while Kerber did in 2016. The 2017 U.S. Open women’s final was an all-American affair as Sloane Stephens beat Madison Keys. Third-seeded Stephens is +1000 to repeat. Serena was the last to do so on the women’s side in 2014, and that’s the last time she made the final (didn’t play last year).