ROUND three of the men’s singles at the US Open begins today, with 16 matches on the card at Flushing Meadows on day five.

We didn’t get any luck go our way on Thursday in New York when a bizarre match between Gael Monfils and Donald Young went the way of the Frenchman late in the fifth set.

There were plenty of opportunities to make a profit on our 4.10 shot in-play, most notably when Young was as short as 1.38 when Monfils went for his first off-court MTO, but it’s a match Young should have won.

Indeed, Monfils said he was about to retire, but the umpire kept him in it by riling Lamonf with a time violation, but Young should be embarrassed by Gael’s post-match observations.

“It's a complete miracle that I won,” he said. “I couldn't do anything at times, but Donald was not very bright. He didn't attack me. He kept in the match.”

One of the two 2.75 ‘no tiebreaks’ wagers came in easily, but typically it was the one that I didn’t choose as a best bet, but hopefully a few were on that anyway, and the other one (Mayer vs Sugita) was unlucky, with one breaker in a set that featured 10 break points (one a set point).

Looking at the five-year results here between 2011 and 2016 we see that in rounds three and four the frequency of matches involving tie breaks increases, with on average 47% of matches featuring one in round three and 58% in round four.

The number of underdog winners continues to be low in rounds three and four, with 24% of betting underdogs winning in round three on average and only 20% in round four over the last five years.

Mischa Zverev v John Isner

This has proven a very tricky match-up for Isner in recent times, with the American having lost his last two meetings with Zverev the elder and broken the German only twice in 10 sets of tennis against him.

Those three meetings were on outdoor hard, indoor hard and clay and all were played within the last 10 months, so on the face of it appears that Isner has his work cut out winning this one with anything to spare.

He might get lucky in that the notoriously injury-prone Zverev has played back-to-back five setters, but neither were that long really, with his clash against Benoit Paire taking less than three hours and his first round match less than three-and-a-half.

Isner’s faced little so far in rounds one and two, with Pierre-Hugues Herbert serving poorly and Hyeon Chung unable to hold his weakish serve often enough under pressure, but this should be a good test for Isner.

Zverev didn’t play well at all in round one, but he was much happier with his round two display against the erratic Paire. “I feel like today I played much better [than last round], thank God,” he said after beating the Frenchman.

Isner’s price is shorter than it was in either Melbourne or Geneva and having shown that he can’t break the Zverev serve we’re likely to see tiebreaks here and over 10.5 games in set one is decent at 2.05.

Isner has won five of the six tiebreaks they’ve played against each other, so Isner to win set one 7-6 is a fairly obvious option, but unless Zverev is fatigued after those two five setters Isner will do well to cover a -4.5 games handicap.

In their four career clashes it’s Zverev that’s held serve more often at 94.4% to Isner’s 91.6, so a 4.5 game start for the German or set one overs look the bets here.

For those that fancy going a step further, Isner has lost as favourite four times in the last five years at the US Open, and three of those were at a similar price he’s at today.

Of the underdogs today, I am tempted to take a chance on Diego Schwartzman in some way against Marin Cilic, who hasn’t been tested yet in his two matches since Wimbledon and if the Croat is not at his best the Argentine will make life tough for the former champion.

Despite his lack of height and a fairly weak serve Schwartzman has beaten the likes of Sam Querrey, Gilles Muller, Reilly Opelka and Jerzy Janowicz on outdoor hard and it’s actually Schwartzman that leads the hold/break stats on this surface in the last 12 months at main level.

Cilic is only on a total of 104.1 in his 17 matches, while Schwartzman is on an impressive 107.6 in his 19 matches, thanks largely to a superb 32.7% break of serve mark.

If Cilic finds his 2014 US Open game he could sweep Schwartzman aside, but with just two matches under his belt since Wimbledon that does seem unlikely and 2.50 about +1.5 sets on Schwartzman is an option here.

But I prefer the generous 2.60 about no tie breaks in the clash between one of our remaining outrights, Sam Querrey, and Radu Albot.

Querrey is now down at 0.10 tie breaks per set in his last 26 matches on outdoor hard and he should have too much power for Albot, whose serve is weak and who played a very tough four-hour five-setter in the last round on top of three hours in round one plus qualies.

Querrey, meanwhile, is now up to a break of serve mark of 26.8%, and his lifetime mark at main level on outdoor hard is 18.2%, so he’s improved hugely in that regard of late.

Others to consider for that bet today are the matches involving Cilic (0.02 tie breaks per set in his last 17 matches on outdoor hard/Schwartzman 0.08 in his last 19), Nicolas Mahut (surely fatigued after 18 sets in a week), and possibly Kevin Anderson.

The South African takes on Borna Coric, who said after his gutsy win over Alexander Zverev: “I just wanted to make my first serves, because I was struggling physically,”

The Croat has a right foot/heel injury and in any case his record against big servers is poor, with a win over an exhausted John Isner in Winston-Salem only his second in 12 matches on outdoor hard versus the big servers in my database.

Isner was on fumes in that match, so that doesn’t really count for much, and Coric has only made it to a tie break in seven of the 21 matches (5-16) on all surfaces versus big servers.

That one is obviously a bit of a risk and at the same price as the Querrey match I much prefer the Querrey one for no breakers, but I’ve seen 3.0 around, which might be worth the risk.

Perhaps a more sensible bet in that one would be the -4.5 games on Anderson at 2.10, but we are gambling a bit on Coric’s fitness in that match.

Denis Shapovalov v Kyle Edmund

Surely Shapovalov is too short now at a very skinny-looking 1.57 against Edmund, who now looks a bit of value at these prices, and this looks like a market over-reaction to the recent impressive form of the Canadian.

Shapovalov is seemingly set for a very bright future in the game, but for me it’s a little too soon to be putting him in at this sort of price against a more experienced and equally hard-hitting opponent in Edmund.

The Canadian’s straight sets wins over Daniil Medvedev and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, combined with a run to the semi finals in Montreal are the reason for his price today, but both Medevev and Tsonga are very much out of form and of course Shapovalov should have lost in straight sets in round one to Rogerio Dutra Silva in Canada.

The week before that he lost in straight sets to Peter Polansky in a Challenger and it’s asking a lot of the 18-year-old to keep playing at this level indefinitely.

I don’t place much relevance on Edmund’s loss to Shapovalov on grass at Queen’s earlier this summer, as that was the Brit’s first match on the surface for a year and he’s not good on grass anyway, to put it kindly.

It’s Edmund that leads the service hold/break stats by a small margin (104.8 versus 102.9) based on Shapovalov’s 10 career matches on outdoor hard at main level and Edmund’s 35 in the past 12 months.

This price on Shapovalov is too short for me in what seems a pretty even match and Edmund has to be the bet, with the Brit also in fine form at the moment, and having won five of his seven main level matches on hard courts against lefties.

Finally, we’ve also got Lucas Pouille batting for us today in the outrights, and my worry with him is that he wasted two sets worth of energy (and wear and tear to his suspect knee) by failing to see off Jared Donaldson from two sets and 3-0 up.

He faces a tricky test in Mikhail Kukushkin on Friday and Pouille will need to cut out the dips in his game if he wants to progress in New York.

Recommended Bets

  • 1.5 points win over 10.5 games in set one of Isner/Zverev – 2.05 Unibet
  • 1.5 points win no tiebreaks in Querrey/Albot – 2.60 Unibet
  • 1.5 points win Edmund to beat Shapovalov – 2.40 Unibet
  1. davros 5 years ago

    After inexplicably receiving a £100 free bet (Tennis only) from Betfair, I was looking for inspiration as I’m usually a football bettor, so have taken the following £100 treble after reading your comments and adding my own (uninformed) take :-
    Pouille win (banana skin?)
    Edmund game over 3.5 sets
    Cilic game over 3.5 sets
    Treble – Returns £390 from £100 free bet…..

    • davros 5 years ago

      2 wins, one void due to Edmund’s retirement after injury, so good payout, but annoying as they were 1 game into 4th set when Edmund retired so effectively all picks did win!!

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