The final major of the season is set to begin on Monday in New York and it looks like we're set for one of those hot and steamy late summer weeks at Flushing Meadows.
The forecast says to expect more of the same 30C (in the shade) temperatures and that should warm up the Laykold outdoor hard surface that they use here and make it play on the quicker side of medium.
Last year here there were 80% holds of serve and the year before there were 79% holds, which suggests that it's a touch quicker than in the days of Decoturf court here, in which it averaged around the 77% mark.
Historically, the men's singles at the US Open has been one of the better majors in which to back underdogs, but it still only averages 26% underdog winners in the last 10 editions (28% in the last three years).
In round one alone, the average over the last 10 editions is 27% and last year in the first round a very big 37% of the betting underdogs won.
Average tie break matches here works out at 47% in the last decade and 50% in the last three years only, while in round one alone the average for tie break matches is 46% in the last decade and 50% in the last three years.
Monday's play at Flushing Meadows features the top half of the men's draw and for my daily double today there are plenty of contenders, but I'll side with Cristian Garin as my first leg as slight underdog against Jiri Lehecka.
We enjoyed a nice 3.3512/5 winner last week with Peter Gojowczyk over Lehecka in Winston-Salem, with Lehecka all at sea on the quicker hard court surface there after playing on clay for the previous two months.
And while I'd expect some sort of improvement from Lehecka I'm not sure his movement and feel for the quicker surfaces is where it needs to be at the moment.
He was really poor against a Gojowczyk that wasn't in great form and if Garin's wrist issue has cleared up sufficiently I'd expect him to be too good for Lehecka in these conditions.
Garin showed once again at Wimbledon that he often saves his best tennis for majors and he's now won 11 of his last 12 round one matches at slams.
The only loss came to Andrey Rublev at Wimbledon 2019 and after making the last eight at this year's Wimbledon I thought Garin might kick on, but it turns out that he incurred a wrist issue at the All England Club.
The gamble is whether or not Garin is okay, but at 2.1011/10 I'm happy to take that chance.
Cachin vulnerable to Bedene power on hard courts
The second wager also has an element of risk to it and that's to take Aljaz Bedene to win the first set against another player who's very much at home on clay, Pedro Cachin.
Rarely does Cachin stray away from the red dirt and when he does he's usually on the losing side, with a 12-21 win/loss record on hard at Challenger and Futures level - he's never made the main draw of a hard court tournament until now.
And he's made this one on ranking after a stellar season on the clay in which he's reached seven Challenger finals, winning four of them, so he's now inside the top-70 in the world.
But I'm happy to oppose him early against Bedene, who's playing the last tournament of his career at this US Open before retiring after Davis Cup.
Bedene has had fitness problems for a while now, but he's not going to roll over against Cachin and his first serve will be the biggest weapon in this match and it should zip through well in quick conditions.
I don't trust Bedene's fitness in these steamy conditions enough to back him to win the match, but I'm happy to take him to win set one at 2.111/10.
Short priced favourites could be made to work hard
Other options for Monday include taking over games in three matches where I feel the favourites will at least be challenged and those are: Karen Khachanov, Alex De Mianur and Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Khachanov has struggled again this year and looks some way off the player that was so effective about four years ago and Denis Kudla has the quality on his day to take this one past the over games mark.
Similarly, Filip Krajinovic should enjoy the quick conditions against De Minaur, but I'd expect the Aussie to be the fitter man in the heat and overs appeals there, too, as it does in Auger-Aliassime's clash with Alexander Ritschard.
FAA rarely plays quick matches at majors and only twice in his 13 round one matches at majors has he won in straight sets, so against the big-serving Swiss player over 29.5 games looks decent.
But today's half point double is on Garin and Bedene (first set) at 4.41.