The remaining 16 matches in the US Open men’s second round are on the schedule today, kicking off at around 4pm UK time.
A really disappointing start from Roberto Bautista Agut put paid to my opening wager on Thursday when he fell apart after breaking in the very first game of the match. The Spaniard did well to refocus and win the second set before his legs went.
My second wager was really unfortunate, as Dan Evans won every set apart from the one I needed him to, in a victory over Bernard Tomic. Feliciano Lopez recovered matters by going over the total games mark in the opening set of his match with Bradley Klahn, for a winner there.
Today sees Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Juan Martin Del Potro in action amongst others and I’ll start with the world number one.
Novak Djokovic vs Benjamin Becker
The former champion and last year’s runner-up doesn’t mess around in the opening stages of majors if he can avoid it and Becker looks a lamb to the slaughter here, with little in his locker other than a big serve and often wild forehand with which to damage opponents. That was enough against the woefully out of touch Lukas Rosol in round one, but it won’t be today and I fancy the Serb to get this done quickly and efficiently. Nole disposed of Ricardas Berankis very easily in round one and last year here his first four matches were all done in less than 25 games. Today’s total games mark is set at 26.5 and I’m struggling to see any way that Becker can take this match over that mark unless he has the day of his life on serve. Under 26.5 games at 1.85 looks solid here in this 6pm UK time match.
Jarkko Nieminen vs Joao Sousa
I’m not too sure why Nieminen is quite so short here at 1.27 given his appalling Grand Slam record of late and Sousa’s very good level in his match against Grigor Dimitrov. Of course, Nieminen has far more experience at this level, but Sousa is improving on hard courts and has had success in Challengers of late – and we’ve seen with Dan Evans what that can do for your confidence. Nieminen is never good under weight of expectation and although he will probably win this match I have to side with the Portuguese with a 2.5 set start here at 1.60.
Julien Benneteau vs Jeremy Chardy
This all-French affair could well be a long one, but a big worry for Chardy backers has to be his injury status in which he’s struggled with a knee problem and cramped up badly after his five set win over Sergiy Stakhovsky in the first round. Benny did his best to make his match with Michal Przysiezny harder than it should have been, but he’s the fresher of the two and Chardy is not known for his battling qualities. Chardy is unlikely to be able to keep up his attacking game for the duration here and Benny can take advantage and ease through to the last 32. Over the full distance, I can see Benny covering a -2.5 game handicap at 1.77.
Back under 26.5 games in Djokovic vs Becker at 1.85
Back Sousa +2.5 sets to beat Nieminen at 1.60
Back Benneteau -2.5 games to beat Chardy at 1.77
Follow Sean Calvert's US Open betting tips every day