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Thursday, 5 September 2019

US Open Day 11 Tennis Picks 2019 (September 5th)

The final four have been set in both the men's and women's tournaments at the US Open and you have to believe the two multiple time Champions in each draw are now clear favourites to add to the Grand Slams they have won before.

Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal are going to be difficult to stop, but they are not going to have things going plain-sailing in their direction with some talented players left in the draws. Daniil Medvedev, Matteo Berrettini, Bianca Andreescu, Belinda Bencic are all making this Round of a Grand Slam for the first time, while Elina Svitolina and Grigor Dimitrov will be hoping past experiences can guide them forward.

While I would be surprised if the only two Grand Slam Champions left in the tournament are not picking up more trophies on Saturday and Sunday, I also think there are some doubts about them which just adds an element of intrigue to the event. Rafael Nadal had some work done on his forearm in his Quarter Final win so may not be at 100%, while Serena Williams has come up short in Grand Slam Finals with three losses at that stage in the last fourteen months. The pressure of winning Number 24 can't be ignored, but everyone will be feeling things at this stage of the final Grand Slam of the 2019 season.

The Tennis Picks went 1-1 on Wednesday and I have updated the US Open totals below. You can also read my selections from the Women's Semi Final matches that are both being played on Thursday.

Serena Williams - 4.5 games v Elina Svitolina: This has the makings of a good US Open Semi Final, but even then I can't help but think Serena Williams will end up proving too strong for the surging Elina Svitolina. For as well as Svitolina has played in this tournament, Williams has looked like a woman on a mission and she has rarely been pushed to break a sweat as she has crushed five opponents in a row.

Only one has managed to take a set and Serena went on to win the next two for the loss of just four games. Qiang Wang was dismantled in the Quarter Final for the loss of a single game and Serena Williams is producing some of her very best serving which is opening the door for her to take a few risks on the return of serve.

Elina Svitolina will be confident having had two good months on the Tour which saw her reach the Wimbledon Semi Final in July. That experience should hold her in good stead ahead of this one, but Svitolina is someone who can dwell on past misfortunes and the heavy loss handed to her by Simona Halep in that Semi Final might be difficult for her to ignore.

The Ukrainian is going to have to try and do that and she did look solid enough in her win over Johanna Konta in the Quarter Final. The match was quite close to be honest and Svitolina will be the first to admit that her level needs to go up a couple of notches if she is going to reach a maiden Grand Slam Final at the expense of the heavy favourite.

In this tournament Elina Svitolina has been decent, but not spectacular, on the serve and the key for her successes has been the very strong return game. It was only in the win over Madison Keys that Svitolina had to rely on a big serve having struggled to make a real impact on the return and I think that has to be a concern when you think of how Serena Williams has been serving in this tournament so far.

In all but one match Williams has won at least 70% of the points behind serve while she is going to be very aggressive on the return and has broken in 50% of return games played in the tournament so far. Serena Williams has long proven to be a very strong returner as she can power through opponents when seeing second serves and even the first serve of most isn't safe from a bludgeoning return.

When serving as she has been, Serena Williams has to be feeling confident in knowing she can afford to take an aggressive approach as all the pressure is on opponents that might not feel they can recover if they fall behind. I don't think Elina Svitolina is going to be one of those opponents considering how effective she can be at returning, but she might need to be a little more positive than bumping the ball back into play and hoping Williams misses.

So far the Ukrainian has held herself together at key moments when serving, but in this one I would expect the favourite's pressure to tell. When these two last met, Elina Svitolina stunned Serena Williams at the Rio Olympics in 2016, but I give the American a significant enough edge to believe she can win the match and cover the handicap too.

Bianca Andreescu - 1.5 games v Belinda Bencic: If ever I take a quick glance at the screen I am not always sure whether I am watching Belinda Bencic or Bianca Andreescu, but one of them is going to make a massive name for themselves if they can go on and reach the US Open Final. Both are super talented players and I don't think this is going to be a one-off occasion in seeing these two at the business end of major tournaments in the years ahead, but I also think there is some pressure in knowing that the opportunity in front of them is as big as it is.

I think both Bencic and Andreescu would have signed up to playing each other in the Semi Final and whoever wins would be an underdog if Serena Williams is able to see off Elina Svitolina in the other Semi Final being played. Even then, the chance to reach a Grand Slam Final could be the kickstart to their careers with Bencic at 22 years old and Andreescu at 19 years old.

Injuries have prevented Bencic from really picking up some momentum over the last couple of years and she could have been a forgotten face on the Tour with other youngsters stepping up. One of those is Bianca Andreescu who has won huge titles in Indian Wells and Toronto on the hard courts in 2019 and who deserves her spot as the favourite in this Semi Final despite needing three sets to win her last two matches.

In that time Andreescu has spent almost an hour longer on the court than Bencic who also benefited from only having to win four matches compared with the five for the Canadian to make this stage. Both have beaten former Grand Slam Champions on their way to the Semi Final and I have to say both are playing at a very good level and I do think that makes this a very good match to watch (although it is likely taking place at the same time as the NFL season begins).

Things are going to be pretty simple on the day though- Belinda Bencic has been serving very well throughout the tournament and Bianca Andreescu has been returning incredibly too. Something is going to have to give and a look at their 2019 numbers on the hard courts, as well as a further look at their twelve month performances, suggests that the Canadian is more likely to maintain her level than Bencic.

Momentum can be difficult to stop in Grand Slams and we have seen many keep their level high throughout the two weeks compared with their overall numbers, but I do think Andreescu is going to have Bencic under more pressure than she has faced for much of the tournament.

The strengths go up against each other here, and so do the weaknesses with the younger player not the strongest server on the Tour. However I also think Belinda Bencic can have a few issues when it comes to the return and how to be most effective and again I would give a narrow edge to Bianca Andreescu when considering her overall performances on the hard courts in 2019 as well as the results she has produced at the US Open.

I would not at all be surprised if we need three sets to separate them again and it could be a long match that potentially takes something away from the winner when you consider the Final is to come. However I think on this day it will be Bianca Andreescu continuing her fine form on the hard courts and she will be the one in position to play for the biggest title yet on this surface having won those events in Indian Wells and Toronto.

MY PICKS: Serena Williams - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet365 (2 Units)
Bianca Andreescu - 1.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Victor (2 Units)

US Open Update: 23-17, + 3.78 Units (80 Units Staked, + 4.73% Yield)


  1. I love the football writeups dav. Great. I like the saints to win it all but my buddy put a huge wager on chiefs. I love andreeescu and over. Great job! Cheers

  2. I hope I haven't jinxed him mate. Like the Chiefs, but wouldn't be surprised if they are beaten in Week 1. Saints will be close as long as Drew Brees has still got it, but high on the Eagles.

    Good luck with your picks.