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 2019
In an era of men’s tennis which has been dominated by the same four players, the US Open presents something of an opportunity for those who have not had much of a look in at the other Grand Slams. The last 10 years of this great tournament have produced six different winners and there hasn’t been a successful title defence of the men’s singles at Flushing Meadows since Roger Federer won his fifth US Open in a row in 2008.
Obviously, the strength of the collective grip of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer over the Grand Slam titles is still incredibly strong. They have won the last 11 Slams in a row and are the top three in the betting for the US Open. This is a tournament that can produce some shocks though and the supporting cast of upcoming youngsters is only growing in size and improving in quality which makes the 2019 US Open a fascinating edition.
Novak Djokovic (5/4)
Novak Djokovic is the most likely of the big three to win the US Open. Rafael Nadal has rarely felt totally comfortable on the hard courts at Flushing Meadows whilst Roger Federer hasn’t won this title since that incredible streak that ended in 2008. Djokovic, meanwhile, is arguably playing the best tennis of his career right now and always manages to find something extra at the biggest tournaments.
Powered by a desire to break Roger Federer’s all time Grand Slam record and to make up for the time he lost due to injury, Djokovic is in the midst of an incredible hot streak. The Serb has won four of the last five Slams, missing out only at Roland Garros. He heads into the US Open on the back of some good work at the Cincinnati Masters even if he was a little surprised by the quality of Daniil Medvedev showed when he lost their semi final.
The biggest plus for Djokovic at the US Open is the love that he has for this tournament. His game is very well matched to the Pro DecoTurf hard courts at Flushing Meadows and completely buys into the rowdy New York atmosphere. He is the clear favourite for very good reason and should justify his position at the head of the market with a fourth US Open win at 5/4 with Ladbrokes.
Daniil Medvedev (16/1)
Casual tennis fans are used to seeing a player come from seeming obscurity to make a major impact at the Grand Slams in the women’s singles. It’s much tougher for that to happen in the men’s game but Daniil Medvedev is very well placed to introduce himself to those who only tend to watch the Slams.
The 23 year old Russian made it to the third round of last year’s US Open and won a few matches at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year. However, it wasn’t until his victory over Djokovic and subsequent win at the Cincinnati Masters that people really started sitting up and taking notice.
Numerous former players and pundits have picked Medvedev out as the man the favourites really need to worry about at the US Open. He has a game that is very well suited to the hard courts and will have picked out Flushing Meadows as the most likely scene for his first Grand Slam victory for some time.
Will this year come too soon for Medvedev? Probably. But if he hits top form in the first week and engineers another huge win over Djokovic in the quarter finals his price of 16/1 with Betfair will quickly look very big indeed.
Stefanos Tsitsipas (33/1)
Before Medvedev’s win in Cincinnati it was Stefanos Tsitsipas who looked the most likely of the bright young things of tennis to make the break through at the US Open. The Greek 21 year old has been winning fans all around the world for his swashbuckling style which actually masks the quality of his all-round game.
Tsisipas had already caught the attention of tennis fans for his results on the ATP Tour and his Next Gen Finals title in 2018. Then came his run to the semi finals of the Australian Open. Tsitsipas has shown the sort of match management issues that you would expect of one so young of the course of the season but he has been working hard on that aspect of his game. Providing he can keep a cool head in the heat and noise of New York, he should make it through to the latter stages. Anything can happen from there and the 33/1 that Betfair are quoting certainly looks a generous price.
Women’s Singles Betting Tips for 2019
Tennis is a global sport. The best players put in a huge amount of travel to compete in the biggest tournaments and they have come from all over to converge on New York for the US Open. A large number of those heading to Flushing Meadows to compete in the women’s singles will believe they have a real chance of doing something special. The women’s game remains incredibly open and you can go a long way down the betting before finding a no hoper.
Serena Williams, the woman who used to dominate the US Open, is the bookies’ favourite for her seventh Grand Slam on home soil. However, her form and fitness of late doesn’t suggest that she represents value at a general 5/1. The four US Opens since Serena’s last win have all been won by different players and the 2019 edition could well see a continuation of that trend.
Ashleigh Barty (10/1)
Ashleigh Barty is the most recent first time winner of a Grand Slam. She picked up her maiden Slam at the French Open but is way more than just a clay court specialist. The 23 year old Australian is an incredibly gifted sportsperson and took time out of her tennis career to play professional cricket. She wasted little time working her way up the world rankings following her return to tennis and had been widely tipped as a Grand Slam champion before getting over the line in Paris.
The challenge for Barty, as with everybody towards the top of women’s tennis, is to keep turning in high quality performances and turn one Grand Slam into several. That is a huge ask on its own but it’s even tougher when you add the weight of expectation onto her shoulders. Barty is level headed and very hard working though. Add those qualities to her brilliance on the court and you have a woman who should be a major challenger for years to come including in New York over the coming fortnight where she is well priced at 10/1 with Ladbrokes.
Bianca Andreescu (14/1)
There are many warm up tournaments in the weeks leading up to the US Open. The Rogers Cup is one of the most prestigious of these and was the choice of Serena Williams. She made it through to the final but was forced to retire due to back spasms. That handed the title to home favourite, Bianca Andreescu.
The 19 year old was incredibly gracious in victory. She commiserated Williams and her celebrations were muted but anybody who claims she was undeserving of the title is badly mistaken. She was made to work incredibly hard in wins over Kiki Bertens and Karolina Pliskova and was on court for the best part of 11 hours before the title.
That Andreescu was up in the final before Williams’ retirement says a great deal about her fitness and her ability to compete at the top level. She is sure to claim more big scalps in New York and could just go all the way at a very tempting price of 14/1 with Betfred.
Madison Keys (16/1)
American tennis fans would dearly love to see Serena Williams make history at the 2019 US Open. A victory in New York would break the tournament record of wins which she currently shares with Chris Evert and see her draw level with Margaret Court on the highest number of Grand Slam wins in history. Breaking those records looks a tall ask for Serena but that does not necessarily mean that American fans will be left disappointed.
Madison Keys came agonisingly close to winning the US Open in 2017. She was beaten by her fellow American, Sloane Stephens, but could be the best placed of the home players in the women’s singles. She’s certainly a very tempting option in the betting with Betfair going 16/1 about her chances.
Keys has shown her prowess on hard courts multiple times in her career, most recently at the Cincinnati Masters. She was good enough in winning her first Premier 5 title to talk up her chances at Flushing Meadows, saying “it’s anyone’s game.” She is right about that and right to be confident.
US Open 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, 2nd seed 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
|1||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||Rafael Nadal|
|2||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer||Andy Murray|
|3||Roger Federer||Juan Martin Del Potro||Roger Federer|
|4||Dominic Thiem||Alexander Zverev||Alexander Zverev|
|5||Daniil Medvedev||Kevin Anderson||Marin Cilic|
|6||Alexander Zverev||Novak Djokovic||Dominic Thiem|
|7||Kei Nishikori||Marin Cilic||Grigor Dimitrov|
|8||Stefanos Tsitsipas||Grigor Dimitrov||Jo-Wilfred Tsonga|
Top 8 Women’s Seeds – Last 3 Years
|1||Naomi Osaka||Simona Halep||Karolina Pliskova|
|2||Ashleigh Barty||Caroline Wozniacki||Simona Halep|
|3||Karolina Pliskova||Sloane Stephens||Garbine Muguruza|
|4||Simona Halep||Angelique Kerber||Elina Svitolina|
|5||Elina Svitolina||Petra Kvitova||Caroline Wozniacki|
|6||Petra Kvitova||Caroline Garcia||Angelique Kerber|
|7||Kiki Bertens||Elina Svitolina||Johanna Konta|
|8||Serena Williams||Karolina Pliskova||Svetlana Kuznetzova|
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
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”.
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.
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 in 2019
|Qualifying (Third Round)||$32,000||N/A||N/A|
|Qualifying (Second Round)||$18,000||N/A||N/A|
|Qualifying (First Round)||$11,000||N/A||N/A|
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.
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.
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
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 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.