Serena Williams v Naomi Osaka (9pm)
Jacob says: “The difference between the two players meeting in the Women’s US Open final could hardly be any bigger. One is competing in her 9thfinal here in New York and chasing her 24th Major title. The other is competing in her first Grand Slam-final.
The price on Serena to win currently stands at 1.37, but the only time these two have met previously Osaka won in straight sets, and considering the Wimbledon-final against Kerber, where Serena was also a big favourite and also lost in straight sets, it is hardly a price to get your juices flowing.
Serena is so much better now than back in March, where she was playing just her second tournament after giving birth and she is in much better for than at Wimbledon. Her leg-work during the past two weeks has been great, her serve is working immaculately, and she is starting to resemble her “old” self, even though she stated in the on-court interview after hammering Sevastova 6-3 6-0 in the semi-final that “she is only getting started”. A truly scary prospect for her opponents!
It is a huge task for Osaka, but she was cold as ice in her first ever semi-final, while she faced no less than 13 breakpoints, she never yielded. That is a huge achievement.
She declared a long time ago that Serena is her idol, so it is a big, big night for the Japanese. I doubt Serena will let this one slip but I think the price on both players is just about right, so I would rather look elsewhere for some value.
How about taking the match to be decided in straight sets for instance? 19 of the past 22 women’s finals at the US Open were over after two sets. It pays 1.50 on “under 2.5 sets”, so if you are looking for a bigger price, consider either of the players to win in straight sets. That pays 2.02 on Serena and 5.75 on Osaka.
I also like the bet on the aces-market. It pays odds 1.88 on Osaka with +5.5 aces from the outset. I am not sure Serena will find it easy to topple that handicap. She only won 4-1 against Sevastova in the semi-final on the aces, in a match where she only gave up three games.
Osaka is a great returner and kept a great server like Keys at three aces, while serving two herself. When they met in March Osaka won the aces 7-3.
The best bet though is the same that also landed in Serena’s semi. A second set with a limited amount of games. In the last 10 matches Serena played, beginning with the Wimbledon-final, she only once played a second set with more than nine games. Against Kanepi in the 4thround.
Of the remaining nine matches only once did the second set even reach nine games, which means seven times her second set had eight games or fewer. Now, the outcome on under 9.5 games paid out odds 1.63 before her match against Sevastova and Serena duly delivered with a bagel, winning 6-0 in the second set. Now the same outcome pays out even better at odds of 1.72.
Osaka won the second set against Keys in the semi-final by 6-4. That is the only time during this US Open that she has played a second set containing more than eight games! The second set these two played out in Miami finished 6-2 to Osaka.
Odds of 1.72 on no more than 9 games looks a great price, and one could also consider the 2.88 on under 8.5 games.