Round one completes and the second round begins on Wednesday in the men’s draw of the 2014 US Open at Flushing Meadows.
There are 16 first round matches yet to be completed and also we start off round two today in this peculiarly scheduled tournament.
The extra rest and delayed round one matches might benefit the likes of Jerzy Janowicz, who finished in Winston-Salem on Sunday and others who might have needed extra time to recover from various ailments include Steve Darcis, Marin Cilic and Marco Chiudinelli to name but three.
And some rest is what Yoshihito Nishioka will no doubt be getting today after the Japanese player saved my bacon by voiding my handicap wager on him when he retired against Paulo Lorenzi.
Nishioka looked to be struggling from the start and had medical attention in set two before quitting midway through set three.
Before all of that there was the galling result of Marcel Granollers winning his first grand slam match in straight sets for three years when the Spaniard took down Jurgen Melzer surprisingly quickly.
It’s set to be another hot and sunny day in New York on Wednesday, with the dial hitting 30C once more and this leads me to my first bet of the day.
Jerzy Janowicz vs Dusan Lajovic
This one could well be decided by fitness, with players who went deep in Winston-Salem last week suffering so far here in New York and I'm not sure the extra day will save JJ.
Yen Hsun Lu and Lukas Rosol were both tame straight sets losers yesterday and Janowicz, who, like Rosol, has never won a match at the US Open could be going home empty handed again.
Sam Querrey is the only semi finalist from Winston-Salem to have progressed here this week, but it took him five sets against Maxi Gonzalez, who hadn’t played on hard courts since beating Janowicz then losing to Jack Sock here a year ago.
It was very hot in North Carolina last week and the same again here is tough, but that should be okay for Lajovic, who has been out training in Majorca with Rafa Nadal after deciding to rest a minor back injury.
The Serb has a 2-0 career lead over Janowicz, but that isn’t too relevant today as both were on clay, and this is more about JJ being priced up far too short in the circumstances.
Lajovic should be by far the fresher and numerous bets appeal here, including the 3.40 about Lajovic, the +1.5 sets at 2.25 and the +5.5 games at 1.94.
That one is set for the heat of the midday sun on the televised Court 5 and indeed all bar five of the men’s matches are on TV courts today, with the exception of those involving Dominic Thiem, Steve Darcis, David Goffin, Evgeny Donskoy, and Marco Chiudinelli.
Pablo Cuevas vs Kevin Anderson
This encounter on Court 17 might be a fair bit tougher than the South African’s odds suggest against the confident Uruguayan.
Cuevas is not exactly great on hard courts, but he’s had some very notable results in patches, such as beating Andy Roddick in Miami, and he’s tested better players than Anderson in recent times on hard too.
He’ll be in a great frame of mind at the moment after coming back from serious injury and winning back-to-back tournaments on clay in Bastad and Umag, beating the likes of Fabio Fognini, Tommy Robredo, Fernando Verdasco, Andreas Seppi and Jeremy Chardy in the process.
Cuevas doesn’t play much on hard, but after several weeks off the tour to rest after those title runs he can give Anderson, who hasn’t been in great form, a match here in the sun.
Anderson may not have fully recovered from a monumental choke in Toronto against Grigor Dimitrov, as he’s won just one match since – and that was a tough one against Adrian Mannarino.
Kev will have to be in peak form to win this easily and the +6.5 games on Cuevas appeals here at 1.75, as does the over 33.5 total games at 1.77.
I’m not wildly convinced about Ernests Gulbis at 1.1 against Kenny de Schepper either, with the Latvian highly likely to combust in the heat if things don’t go his way.
He might be lucky with the scheduling though, as he’s last on Grandstand, but the over 35.5 total games appeals in that one, with the Frenchman’s huge serve likely to be tough to deal with today.
Back Lajovic +5.5 games to beat Janowicz at 1.94
Back Cuevas +6.5 games to beat Anderson at 1.75