10 Favourites for the US Open Tennis
The 2013 US Open gets underway later this month and in both the men’s and women’s draws the field is wide open. We could be about to witness history as Andy Murray looks to defend the Grand Slam title he won last year, while Serena Williams will aim for her 17th career Slam.
Here are our top 10 favourites for the US Open:
Andy Murray: 2/1
As US, Wimbledon and Olympic champion, Murray is the man to beat and he is a good bet to win this tournament on his favoured hard surface. Fans shouldn’t worry about an early Rogers Cup exit last week – he suffered awful form before winning in New York last year – and buoyed by his Wimbledon triumph should make the semis with ease. His toughest test will be in the semis – most probably against Juan Martin del Potro or David Ferrer – and if he bypasses this danger Murray will have the momentum to overcome Novak Djokovic.
Novak Djokovic: 7/4 favourite
At 7/4 Djokovic is a good price to lift the title, especially considering he already has a hard Slam to his name this year. The 2013 Australian Open champ beat Murray in the Melbourne final and has his mind focussed on winning a second Slam this season. Djokovic has suffered indifferent form of late, however, which makes a bet on him on somewhat unreliable. Although his price is good on www.betfair.com, the Serb may crash out in the quarters this year and should be avoided.
Rafael Nadal: 9/2
Alongside his domination on clay, Nadal showed he is capable of playing on hard after clinching the Rogers Cup last weekend. The Spaniard now has two hard titles to his name (he won the Indian Wells Masters this spring) and will look to grind out results in New York. His knees, of course, are always a problem and betting on Nadal is a risk because of this. Yet there is no reason why Nadal shouldn’t clinch this title.
Juan Martin del Potro: 8/1
Another man to fall early in the Rogers Cup, Del Potro needs time to get over a knee injury that plagued him at Wimbledon yet should be fit for the US Open this month. The Argentine has the potential to upset both Murray and Djokovic, but is most likely to reach the quarters and no further.
Roger Federer: 10/1
There is concern Federer will never win another Grand Slam and this performance at Flushing Meadows will certainly shine some light on the possibility of that outcome. Federer is bang out of form for the first time in a decade and needs to at least make the final to show he’s still in the game.
Serena Williams: 4/5 favourite
As clear favourite and defending champion, many would think all Serena has to do is turn up and play her game. Sadly, she struggled to achieve even that at Wimbledon and it cost her an early exit. Serena is always going to be favourite and has the class to power through yet don’t back her too heavily this year.
Victoria Azarenka: 9/2
The hard-court specialist, Azarenka is the best punt on the market after proving herself no one-hit wonder at the Australian Open this year. The Belarusian still has a point to prove after meek performances at Wimbledon and Roland Garros and will come out steeled for the challenge ahead. Punters are advised to back Azarenka heavily.
Maria Sharapova: 7/1
Although you’d be folly to write off Sharapova the fact her season has taken a huge blip means she is best avoided at New York this month. The Russian has form on hard (reaching the Miami Masters final) but that isn’t enough against far more adept players on this surface.
Li Na: 20/1
If Azarenka doesn’t threaten Serena then Na will. The Chinese superstar came agonisingly close to the Australian Open crown this year and is ready to go one step further on the Flushing Meadows hard. The world number five proved her mettle making the Canada Open semis and with that sort of form can push on to a final place at the US.
Sloane Stephens: 40/1
The new kid on the block, Stephens is developing every tournament and is now at a stage in her career to challenge for Grand Slam titles. A semi-final berth in Melbourne proved her doubters wrong – Stephens will make the last-eight in New York and with a bit of luck in the draw could even reach the final.