US Open: Betting Tips, Stats & History

USA Flag at the US Open Tennis Tournament

The US Open is one the 4 majors in tennis. As a result, it makes it one of the pinnacles of the sport. The competition has been running since 1881 and with it comes a prize pool of over $50million, making it one of the most lucrative sporting events on the planet. 

The tournament lasts for 2 weeks and is played in the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre in New York, United States. The US Open is the final major of the years, coming after the French Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon. It’s the last chance for a player to win a major, so is often targeted by the bigger names as chance to round off their season. 

Men's Singles Betting Tips for 2018

Djokovic to Keep Moving Up the Rankings

The final Grand Slam of 2018 is about to get underway in New York. Thousands upon thousands of tennis fans will be making the trip to Flushing Meadows for what promises to be an open and unpredictable fortnight.

Wimbledon saw the end of the duopoly enjoyed by Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in the men’s game. After sharing the last six Grand Slams, neither of the world’s top two made it to the final of Wimbledon which was won by a resurgent Novak Djokovic. The Serb has very much put the cat among the pigeons and there will be more shock results during the men’s tournament in New York.

Novak Djokovic (5/2)

It has been a very tough couple of years for former world number one Djokovic. He’s fallen out with coaches, lost his form, suffered rumours of issues in his marriage and had all sorts of problems with an elbow injury. Djokovic did not want to go under the knife and tried very hard to manage his elbow problems but eventually decided to seek surgical intervention. That decision has certainly paid off as he is now playing tennis without any pain in his elbow which has freed him up to get back to the sort of levels that we all know he’s capable of.

Although he would have preferred for things to carry on going swimmingly, Djokovic is the sort of man who can use his recent struggles as motivation. He is determined to make the very most of his ability and his current run of form is what almost feels like a second crack of the whip. He’s always loved the buzz of playing at Flushing Meadows and playing in front of the New York fans. Having warmed up by winning the Cincinnati Masters (where he beat Roger Federer in the final) Djokovic is going to be very tough to stop at 5/1 with Ladbrokes. That victory made him the only man to win all nine Masters 1000 tournaments and more history awaits here.

Marin Cilic (16/1)

Marin Cilic was one of the few players to really worry Djokovic during the Serb’s run to the title in Cincinnati. Cilic took Djokovic to three sets during their semi final but eventually found his opponent too good. Far from putting punters off, Cilic’s performances in Cincinnati have helped to make him a very popular bet at nice each way odds of 16/1 with Betfred.

The 2014 US Open champion has been talking positively about his game, even going as far as to say that he has a good chance of winning the tournament. The Croatian is delighted with his preparations and loves the court conditions at Flushing Meadows so an each way bet very much looks in order. It’s worth noting that whilst Federer and Nadal have dominated the Slams for a while, neither made the final at Wimbledon, adding further appeal to an each way punt here.

Nick Kyrgios (28/1)

Nick Kyrgios is one of those players who cannot help but be in the press. The build up to every Grand Slam sees pundits and former players talk about the need for Kyrgios to fulfil his potential. That must get annoying for the Australian but much of the criticism comes from those who believe he is one of the most naturally talented players in the game at the moment.

Kyrgios has said before that he enjoys the atmosphere of the US Open and yet he hasn’t made it past the third round here. That should change this time around so Kyrgios may well be worth an each way bet at longer odds of 28/1 with Coral.

Women's Singles Betting Tips for 2018

Halep to Assert Herself at the Top of the Game

Women’s tennis is one of the most competitive sports in the world. The amount of talent at the top level of the game is simply mind boggling which means there are a number of options for punters each time a Grand Slam rolls around. That’s certainly the case with the upcoming US Open where as many as 20 women have a realistic chance of winning the title with their best tennis and a little bit of luck.

The depth of talent in the women’s game was clear for all to see at Wimbledon. It was little short of a blood bath for the top players, with a huge number of seeds falling in the early stages. Angelique Kerber eventually outlasted the field, ending a run of six Grand Slams without a repeat winner. It’s the woman who lost to Kerber in the Wimbledon final though, Serena Williams, who is the favourite in New York with the bookies but there are more tempting options available as we see it.

Simona Halep (6/1)

After ending 2017 as the number one ranked woman in the world, Simona Halep had one main goal for 2018. After a number of near misses, she was desperate to claim her maiden Grand Slam and finally got over the line at Roland Garros. It wasn’t just the calibre of her play in Paris that caught the eye but the way she fought back from losing the first set against Sloane Stephens to put worries about her mental fragility to bed in fine style.

Halep is now aiming to be the dominant force in the game. That’s likely to be beyond her given the quality of the competition she faces each and every week but Halep does look a good bet to win her second Slam at the US Open. Her aggressive game is well suited to the hard courts at Flushing Meadows so Halep looks to be a fair price at 7/1 with bet365.

Kiki Bertens (25/1)

Now that Halep has reached the top of the game her focus is very much on the biggest tournaments. She’ll be happy to have reached the final of the Cincinnati Masters therefore even though she lost to Kiki Bertens. Things are different for Bertens who is desperate for every little bit of success as she puts her all into improving on an already impressive season.

The win in Cincinnati took Bertens up to 13 in the world and will give her the confidence to know that she is good enough to compete with anybody when she’s on top of her game. Punters haven’t exactly fallen over themselves to back Bertens but that means she represents very good each way value at 28/1 with Betfair. She’s confident, in great form and despite her recent win will fly under the radar a little.

Ashleigh Barty (50/1)

If you’re looking for an even longer odds option to try and take advantage of this very open women’s tournament, look no further than Ashleigh Barty. The 22-year-old has been seeded 18 and hopes are high among Australian fans that she can make a real impact at the US Open. Barty made the third round at Flushing Meadows 12 months ago and is well placed to go even further this year so back her each way for small stakes at 66/1 with Betfred.

Format & Draw

The men’s and the women’s game is the biggest attraction at the US Open, with each hosting 128 players in total. Each round is plated as a knockout format, with the winner progressing to the next stage. 

Of the 128 players in each draw, there are 32 seeds that are ranked based on WTA and ATP points, respectively. If a player within these seeds is unable to play for whatever reason, then the next highest ranked player will take their place. For example, in 2017, 2ndseed Andy Murray withdrew prior to the tournament starting, which meant that 33 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber took is spot as the final seed. 

Top 8 Men's Seeds – Last 3 Years

Seeding201820172016
1 Rafael Nadal Rafael Nadal Novak Djokovic
2 Roger Federer Andy Murray Andy Murray
3 Juan Martin Del Potro Roger Federer Stan Wawrinka
4 Alexander Zverev Alexander Zverev Rafael Nadal
5 Kevin Anderson Marin Cilic Milos Raonic
6 Novak Djokovic Dominic Thiem Kei Nishikori
7 Marin Cilic Grigor Dimitrov Marin Cilic
8 Grigor Dimitrov Jo-Wilfred Tsonga Dominic Thiem

Top 8 Women's Seeds – Last 3 Years

Seeding201820172016
1 Simona Halep Karolina Pliskova Serena Williams
2 Caroline Wozniacki Simona Halep Angelique Kerber
3 Sloane Stephens Garbine Muguruza Garbine Muguruza
4 Angelique Kerber Elina Svitolina Agnieszka Radwanska
5 Petra Kvitova Caroline Wozniacki Simona Halep
6 Caroline Garcia Angelique Kerber Venus Williams
7 Elina Svitolina Johanna Konta Roberta Vinci
8 Karolina Pliskova Svetlana Kuznetzova Madison Keys

Along with the seeds, there are also 16 qualifying spots that can be obtained by winning any of the qualifying tournaments that are hosted throughout the year. Players who often have a very low world ranking see this as an opportunity to gain entry. Along with these qualifiers are what are known as “lucky losers” who are players that have lost in the final of the events. These are chosen by the committee of the US Open prior to the start of the tournament. 

On top of the men’s and the women’s games, there are also a host of categories as well. These include, men’s and women’s doubles, mixed doubles, boys and girls singles, boys and girls doubles, men’s champion invitational, women’s champion invitational, wheelchair men’s and women’s, wheelchair quad singles, wheelchair men’s and women’s doubles and wheelchair quad singles. 

Courts & Surfaces

Arthur Ashe Tennis Stadium

The courts that are played on throughout the US Open are that of hard courts. But, the hard courts at the tournament are made up from Pro Deco Turf, which is a certain type of court. Basically, the court plays on the slower side to most hard courts, but it’s designed this way in order to be able to function at consistent pace throughout the event considering the extreme heat that can be apparent. The court produces a little less friction, meaning the bounce is a little lower than you usually might find. 

The courts are painted blue in colour, with a green outline, mainly to make it easier on the eye for viewers on TV and within the arena. 

The Billie Jean King Tennis Centre is pretty substantial, especially considering it’s location within New York. The area includes 22 courts in total, with 4 of those considered as show courts, meaning that they have substantial seating areas for fans. The show courts are named the Arthur Ashe, Louis Armstrong, Grandstand and Court 17. 

The Arthur Ashe is the biggest of the four courts, with a seating capacity of 22,547, making it one of the biggest tennis courts in the world. It first opened in 1997 and seen significant expansion and improvement since then, most notably a roof being added.

The Louis Armstrong court is next largest with a capacity of 10,200, although this was reduced from its original amount 18,000 due to the opening of the Arthur Ashe. The Grandstand seats 6,000 and Court 17, the newest of the 4 courts, holds 3,000 and is sunk into the ground, gaining the nickname, “the pit”. 

Conditions

Arthur Ashe Tennis Court During Rainstorm
Image Credit: Leonard Zhukovsky, Bigstockphoto.com

The heat at the US Open is often the thing that the players have to work hardest again. It’s not uncommon for temperatures on court to reach upwards of 40C. But, the tournament is also susceptible to rain, with each tournament from 2007 through to 2012 seeing postponements, meaning that the finals were then played on a Monday due to lost time. 

Whilst many players are used to the heat and often train in hot climates, the toll it takes on the body, especially in later rounds often means that it can be a huge factor and often affects performances. 

Prize Money

In total there just over $50 million on offer for the US Open. The prizemoney on offer means that it’s the richest major of the year, and by a fair distance. Although exchange rates do come into factor when deciding this, but even then, it’s still a healthy amount over the other 3 majors. 

Prize money is split evenly between the men’s and women’s games. The prize money for each round continues to rise the further you get, with the winners picking up cheques for $3.7million, also the most of any of the four majors. 

Prize Money by Event

 SinglesDoublesMixed Doubles
Winner $3,700,000 $675,000 $150,000
Finalist $1,825,000 $340,000 $70,000
Semi Finalist $920,000 $160,000 $30,000
Quarter Finalist $470,000 $82,000 $15,000
Fourth Round $253,625 $44,000 $10,000
Third Round $144,000 $26,500 $5,000
Second Round $86,000 $16,500 N/A
First Round $50,000 N/A N/A
Qualifying (Third Round) $16,350 N/A N/A
Qualifying (Second Round) $10,900 N/A N/A
Qualifying (First Round) $5,606 N/A N/A

Statistics

In the last few years, the men’s game has seen a real mix of players step up to win the US Open. Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic and Marin Cilic are the last four winners. But, what you often find, before this streak, is that one or two players have dominated. 

Roger Federer has been the driving force in the modern-day history, winning 5 times in a row from 2004 to 2008. Other notable winners have been that of Pete Sampras, Andy Murray, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe. 

In the Open era, there are 3 players that are tied for most men’s titles, including Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, each winning 5 titles each. 

Graph Showing Most Successful US Open Men's Singles Players

But, whilst the US have previously had strong showings at the US Open, there hasn’t been a male winner of the event since Andy Roddick in 2003. This is probably one of the reasons why numbers are down in terms of visitors from the early 2000 period. 

The Women’s game follows a similar ilk to the men’s game to be honest. Serena Williams has been the best the game has seen for many a year and has won 6 times in total, with three of those victories coming in 2012 to 2014. But, the last 3 winners have been that of Flavia Pennetta, Angelique Kerber and US-based, Sloane Stephens, all of which you would consider to be outsiders coming into the tournament. 

It’s Chris Evert and Serena Williams that are tied at the top of the most single titles ever, with 6 each. Every dominated through the seventies and early eighties, whilst Williams’ form came in the late nineties, through the mid two thousands. 

Graph Showing Most Successful US Open Women's Singles Players

History

US Open Semi Final 1890 Between Oliver Campbell and Bob Huntingdon
Image Credit: International Tennis Hall of Fame: Tennis and the Newport Casino. Arcadia 2011, via Wikimedia Commons

The first US Open was actually held on grass courts at the Newport Casino in Rhode Island. The tournament was pretty much an instant hit and each year they were finding they were oversubscribed with players for the next event. 

It was for this reason why, in 1911, a host of players, led by that of Karl Behr, proposed the move into New York City, where they would be able to accommodate more players and more fans. The first few years the tournament was men only, and it wasn’t until 1887 when the women finally got their own version of the US Open set up, located out of Philadelphia Cricket Club. 

By 1915 traction was building to make the move into New York City and with it they managed to get 100 signatures of players who all agreed that the move made sense. But, there was still a good number of people opposing the move, including 8 former singles champions. However, a vote was called in 1915, with a decision of 128 votes in favour of the move and 119 against. 

The tournament was played out at Germantown Cricket Club, before moving to Forrest Hills following expansion to 14,000 seat concrete stadium. 

The Open era started in 1968, when all 5 tournaments were merged into what we now recognise as the US Open. The tournament was open to professionals for the first time, with 96 men and 63 women competing. 

By 1975 the tournament was switched from grass to clay, mainly because of the cost to maintain the grass in the extreme New York climate. But, the move from Forrest Hills to Flushing Meadows, its current home, saw another surface change from the clay to the hard courts that we see today. 

Billie Jean King 

Former Tennis Player Billie Jean King
Image: Gage Skidmore, flickr

Billie Jean King is probably the most iconic women in the history of female tennis. Not only did she win 12 major singles titles, with 4 US Opens, plus 16 doubles majors and 11 mixed doubles titles, but she was also the driving force behind the equality when it came to distribution of prize money.

In fact, whilst the titles were amazing and she will go down as one of the all-time greats on the court, her push for equal pay in tennis and gender equality is arguably her greatest victory. She was able to start her campaign at the peak of her career in 1971 and by 1973 the US Open was the first of the four majors to offer equal pay for both men and women tennis players.

Her efforts both on and off the courts deemed appropriate for the USTA to name the New York stadium after her in a fitting tribute. 

Arthur Ashe

Tennis Player Arthur Ashe Playing Match
Image: Nationaal Archief Fotocollectie Anefo

Arthur Ashe was a pretty remarkable tennis player in his own right, winning the US Open, French Open and Wimbledon. In fact, he still remains to this day the only black player to do so, which is a pretty staggering feat. He was also the first black player to be selected for the United States Davis Cup team for which he won on four occasions.

Ashe sadly passed away in 1993, aged just 49 from AIDS related pneumonia. But, his legacy still lives on at the US Open, with the main stadium being named after him in his honour for work he did both within tennis and outside of the game after his retirement, mainly in educating people about AIDS and HIV. 

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