Will the monopoly continue or will Murray finally ‘pass go’ and collect?
On Monday the 27th August the US Open will commence in grand old New York as the players aim to win the final tennis slam of the year. As per usual will offer a massive selection of pre match bets as well as a comprehensive amount of live markets on every match. Alongside this, for the first time ever at the US Open will be streamed in every major European country covering 250 matches, so not only can you bet on your favourite star with Unibet, you can also watch them triumph at the same time – happy days.
The indication that the USA production line of male tennis stars is almost defunct is almost as far-fetched as Joey Barton becoming the ambassador for a charity helping troubled kids. Yet, one of them is true – and we are not talking about the wannabe twitter academic. There was a stage in the 80’s and the 90’s when an American grand slam winner was never far away – the American Men have won 51 grand slams in the open era, followed by Sweden with 25 and Australia with 20. Connors, McEnroe, Agassi, Courier and Sampras were all multi time winners, but now the plethora of talent has dissipated – with John Isner the lowest priced American to triumph this year at 80.00. You have to look way down the list for the next American in Mardi Fish at 200.00, then Andy Roddick at 250.00 – who is the only man from the States to win a major since 2003, although that was at the US Open. Before the collective mockery of the USA’s talent pool begins it is worth remembering how dominant they are in the female game, although that stronghold is gradually weakening and somewhat due to one player (but we’ll come to that later). USA are not alone in their dwindling tennis resources. Former powerhouses Sweden and Australia have won big in the past and are both now struggling – Sweden’s only hope being the injury prone Robin Söderling at 400.00, whilst Australia relies on young gun Bernard Tomic at 300.00 and the ageing Leyton Hewitt at 500.00. So why are these former great tennis producing countries struggling to win majors? The answer lies in Basel, Switzerland and Mallorca, Spain – with a little bit of Serbia on the side.
Over the past 9 years Swiss master Roger Federer and Spanish wizard Rafael Nadal have won 28 majors between them, with Serb Novak Djokovic winning 5 of his own (including 4 of the last 7), which would normally make them favourites. However this US Open things have changed – Nadal won’t be there due to his perpetually injured body, meaning Federer (3.20) and Djokovic (2.50) are even shorter than they would normally be to win the trophy. Djokovic is the holder and has won the last 3 slams on hard courts so is understandable favourite, although Roger Federer has shown signs that he is returning to his best with his victory at Wimbledon and is a 5 time winner at the US Open – and the new world number 1. However, he could only claim silver in the Olympic final losing convincingly to the man he beat at Wimbledon, Andy Murray. With no Nadal, Murray has probably his best chance for a while to break his major duck, and is 5.00 to do so, whilst 2009 US Open champion Martin Del Potro can be backed at 11.00 (the only man to interrupt the Federer/Nadal/Djokovic monopoly on slams since May 2005).
If the men’s game is dominated by few, the women’s game is the opposite – and trying to pick the favourite for this tournament is as tough as finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. The last seven slams have produced 7 different winners from seven different countries but the last two have been won by multi time winners – and they figure heavily at the top of the betting. Serena Williams is by far the most successful player currently in the women’s game, with 14 majors (including 3 US Open’s) and is favourite this year at 2.00. Serena won the last major at Wimbledon, as well as Olympic gold at the same venue and it is tough to see her being beaten, althoughSharapova is now a winner of all four slams and is a big threat at 6.50. World Number 1 Victoria Azarenka is 2nd favourite at 5.50 and she won the last slam played on a hard court earlier this year in Melbourne – so cannot be ruled out. Kvitova (12.00) and Li Na (18.00) have both won majors in the last year and can’t be discounted whilst last year’s champion Sam Stosur is backable at 18.00, although she hasn’t enjoyed the best of seasons. One interesting bet is three time US Open winner Kim Clijsters from Belgium who is retiring after this year’s event, and can be backed at 22.00 to sign off in style.
“As per usual Djokovic and Federer are seeing most of the money, with around 75% between them and the rest primarily on Murray and Del Potro. Like the punters I can’t see past 1 of these 4 winning the men’s draw – but I like the look of Murray who may have gained some much needed confidence from his Olympic gold a few weeks back” says head of Unibet’s Sportsbook Erik Bäcklund.
“In the women’s draw it is so hard to call, but the punters seem to be siding with Serena Williams and I would have to agree as she looks in imperious form. However, I could see Clijsters triumphing and finish her wonderful career with panache.”
Check the Unibet website for all the latest US Open tennis odds here.