US Open Betting Preview: All Eyes On Djokovic and Serena in New York

The defending champion isn't defending. Thanks to an injured wrist, Rafa Nadal won't be appearing at this year's US Open.

It's bad news for tennis fans. Nevertheless it does make for some intriguing possibilities next week in New York City.


Novak Djokovic - 2.30 to win (favourite)

Top seed Novak Djokovic must be chuffed to bits. He has appeared distracted ever since he got married in July, his mind on his wife Jelena Ristic rather than his ground strokes.

Look how he lost to Tommy Robredo in the third round in Cincinnati (yes, world No.18 Tommy Robredo). And in Toronto he was beaten at the same stage by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. (Admittedly not such an ignominy, but not expected all the same.)

Essentially, he needs to stop getting rustic with Ristic, and start getting urban in New York. If he wants his eighth Grand Slam title he'd better start applying his mind and body to his full-time job.

"Many, many, many things are not clicking these two weeks on hard courts," he admitted. "It's unfortunate but it's more than obvious I'm not playing even close to what I'm supposed to play."

It's also more than obvious that Nadal's no-show will hearten Nole substantially. That's one less big gun he needs to worry about.


Roger Federer - 4.25 (second favourite)

What about the tournament's second seed, then? Mr Roger Federer. Does anyone seriously believe this man has another Grand Slam title in him? He's 33 years old check, for pity's sake. And even for a champion of his mighty status, at 33 you're generally Rogered.

Hang on a minute, though. Look at his US Open series results over the last few weeks: won in Cincinnati; runner-up in Toronto. Would those results have been the same if Rafa had been in town?


John Isner - 151.00 (14th favourite)

The other American worthy of mention is the male US no.1, John Isner. Historically his track record on home soil is infinitely better than his track record on foreign soil. Yet, aside from a tournament win in Atlanta, where he faced no one ranked higher than 50 in the world, his US Open series has been fairly lacklustre. And his best ever performance in New York? The quarter-finals in 2011. Barring a miracle, he will disappoint again this year.


Serena Williams - 2.55 (favourite)

The US Open series has been kind to Serena Williams, too. She won in Cincinnati and won in Stanford. The only blemish was in Montreal where she lost in the semi-finals. But that was to her sister which, for various familial reasons doesn't count as a proper match.

"I'm not even thinking of it anymore," Serena said when asked about her US Open chances. "I haven't even been able to get to the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam this year. At this point, really I'm just looking forward to next year."

Don't believe a word of it. This is just reverse psychology from the American No.1. You can bet that she'll be champing at the bit to finally stamp her mark on 2014. And what better way than in front of her fellow Americans in the Big Apple?

Bet on the US open now.