US Open Men's Singles Day Eight Tips: Rublev a false underdog for Berrettini clash

Serbian Tennis Player Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic's default has opened up the outright market...

The defaulting of Novak Djokovic has shaken up the US Open betting and is a huge discussion point for our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, who discusses its impact and also has a tip for today's action...

"Last year at this venue in the US Open, Berrettini got the win but Rublev was a 1.501/2 favourite, and their hard court numbers since then don’t really suggest why Berrettini should be favourite now. "

Djokovic default opens up outright market

It was all looking so easy for Novak Djokovic. The world number one had seen his two main traditional rivals, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer, not enter the tournament, and then eased into the fourth round and had been backed in to just over 1.501/2 on the outright market.

However, then came his fourth round clash with Pablo Carreno-Busta. I'm sure you don't need me to explain what happened, but the effect on the outright market has been huge. Essentially around a 65% implied chance needs to be redistributed, and the main beneficiaries have been Daniil Medvedev - now the 3.211/5 tournament favourite, Dominic Thiem, at 5.59/2, and Alexander Zverev, at 5.69/2. In addition, most long-shots are no longer long-shots, with the likes of Borna Coric, Andrey Rublev, Alex De Minaur and the aforementioned Carreno-Busta now far shorter than 50.049/1.

Thiem and Medvedev both in action as favourites

Of those at the top of the outright market, both Thiem and Medvedev are in action on Monday evening, with matches scheduled to start at 16:00 UK time. Thiem faces Felix Auger-Aliassime, who only dropped five games in thrashing Corentin Moutet in round three, and who has only dropped a single set so far in the tournament. The market has the Austrian as a 1.4840/85 favourite, and that doesn't look too far out of line, in my view.

As for Medvedev, he faces Frances Tiafoe in the night match and looks accurately priced as the 1.132/15 favourite. The Russian simply enjoys a huge serve and return advantage over Tiafoe and looks justifiably an overwhelming favourite to progress to the quarter-finals.

De Minaur justifiably favourite over Pospisil

The other two matches on the schedule feature larger-priced favourites, with Alex De Minaur getting proceedings underway this afternoon with a clash against Vasek Pospisil. The Australian is 1.625/8, which looks a little big, but not dramatically so, even when taking into account Pospisil's improved numbers over the last year so after a long-term injury. There can be no doubt that Pospisil has done well to get to this stage, with underdog victories over both Roberto Bautista-Agut and countryman Milos Raonic, but nine sets in two matches as a heavy underdog could potentially be an issue. While De Minaur also played the same number of sets in the last two rounds, he's had almost an hour less court time in those matches.

Rublev a false underdog against Berrettini

This leaves one further match to discuss, and in which to find today's recommendation - Matteo Berrettini versus Andrey Rublev. Berrettini is the higher ranked player, and the pre-match favourite at 1.794/5, but I like Rublev here to get the win.

The pair met in this event last year, Berrettini got the win that day but Rublev was a 1.501/2 favourite, and their hard court numbers since then don't really suggest why Berrettini should be favourite now. Yes, he's won a higher percentage of service points, but Rublev has better return numbers, and to a greater extent than Berrettini has on serve.

Both players are yet to drop a set to get to this stage, so something has to give, but I think it is Rublev who offers the value as an underdog here, with my numbers indicating he should be a marginal favourite to progress to the quarter-finals on Wednesday.


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