THE FINAL Grand Slam tournament of the 2023 season, the US Open, is almost upon us.
The world’s best tennis players will gather at Flushing Meadows in New York in a bid to win one of the four biggest prizes in the sport.
With Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz’s rivalry getting better all the time and women’s world number one Iga Swiatek bidding to fend off challenges from the likes of rising star and home hope Coco Gauff, the US Open tennis betting markets offer real interest this year.
Let’s take a look at the title contenders, their latest title odds, the best places to bet and much more ahead of Monday’s start.
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🎾Why should I bet on the US Open?
The US Open tennis championships have delivered more than their fair share of big-priced winners in recent years.
The women’s singles famously produced Emma Raducanu as the first-ever Grand Slam champion to come through qualifying but it’s also seen the likes of Sloane Stephens and Flavia Pennetta win at tasty odds.
And in an era of dominance by a small group of players, the men’s singles favourites don’t have an outstanding record at Flushing Meadows with Marin Cilic and Stan Wawrinka having landed upsets in the past decade and, more recently, Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev winning at good prices.
In terms of match betting, the sheer number of matches provides a rich betting opportunity – each singles draw alone is due to involve 127 matches.
Coming towards the end of the season, many underdogs will fancy their chances against jaded players, motivated by both a big payday and mountain of tour ranking points.
In short, there are many reasons why tennis is so popular when it comes to sports betting and the US Open is very much part of that.
👑What are the most popular US Open betting markets?
Ahead of what is always a hugely-anticipated tennis tournament, let’s take a look at the popular tennis betting markets and find out exactly how they work.
Outright match-winner bets (match betting)
The most basic form of gambling on tennis – who will win the match? There are only two outcomes, although it is worth noting specific bookmaker rules with regard to what happens if a player retires mid-match. Some pay out as a winner, some void – there is no set industry standard.
Match score bets (set betting)
Really what we are talking about here ‘set betting’ where you predict the match score in terms of sets won. It’s best-of-five sets at the US Open so here there are six possible outcomes – 3-0, 3-1 and 3-2 to each player.
This market gives you better odds than outright match betting and can be particularly useful in getting a better price out of a heavy favourite (ie by backing them to win in straight sets).
Set score bets
You can bet on what the score (in games) will be in a specific set of a tennis match. Most bookies will offer a pre-match market on the first set and some will offer the same market on sets two and three.
When betting in this market, it pays to know a tennis player’s usual preference if they win the coin toss – will they opt to serve or return? If they break once when serving first, they would win the set 6-3, whereas a single break serving second would see the set won 6-4.
Set winner bets
Nothing difficult here – it’s simply betting on which player wins a specific set. First-set winner is a popular market, often used by punters as a way of backing the underdog, who you think may cause problems but you don’t fancy them to actually win the three sets required to claim overall victory.
A bookmaker’s way of ‘levelling up’ a match, giving each player roughly the same chance in the market. They do this by giving one a handicap to overcome, in either games or sets.
For example, Andy Murray is the outsider against Casper Ruud so the bookie gives Ruud a 3.5-game handicap. At the end of the match, the number of games each player has won is added up and then 3.5 is taken off Ruud’s figure.
The bet is then settled based on the new game totals. While game handicaps are most popular, you will often see set handicaps offered too.
Over/under markets for sets and games
The bookmaker sets a line based on how many games (or sets) they think a match will involve. The punter then bets either ‘over’ or ‘under’ that line.
As with the handicap market (see above), this is a useful way of backing a player you believe will perform better than expected – for example, it a big outsider grabs a set then they will likely deliver for ‘over’ backers. Also well used by punters expecting a serve-dominated match which could well feature tie-breaks.
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📒US Open facts and stats
- Only three of Novak Djokovic’s 23 Grand Slam titles have been won at the US Open. He has made the final on nine of his last 14 visits though.
- In the last 19 years, the men’s singles winner has come from the top three seeds on 16 occasions and from the top six on 18 occasions (the odd one out being Marin Cilic in 2014).
- The last three US Opens have seen the men’s champion win his maiden Grand Slam title.
- The ‘Big Four’ of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have won 64 of the last 73 Grand Slam titles, an 88% strike-rate. However, across the same period, they have won only 67% of the time at the US Open.
- Title favourite Iga Swiatek has won three of the last six Grand Slam titles, the first woman to do that since Serena Williams in 2015-16.
- The top seed (Swiatek this year) has won the women’s singles in New York City only five times since the turn of the Century, one of those occasions being last year when Swiatek emerged victorious.
- Swiatek is one of four former champions in this year’s women’s singles draw and the only one seeded. The others are Sloane Stephens, Bianca Andreescu and Venus Williams.
- Five of the last eight women’s singles titles have been won by a player outside of the top 14 seeds.
🏅Who are the favourites to win this year’s US Open?
So, who do the bookies expect to shine at Flushing Meadows this year? Let’s take a look at the favourites to win the US Open:
- Novak Djokovic at 6/4 with William Hill
- Carlos Alcaraz at 13/8 with Sky Bet
- Daniil Medvedev at 9/1 with Ladbrokes
- Iga Swiatek at 5/2 with BoyleSports
- Aryna Sabalenka at 9/2 with BetUK
- Elena Rybakina at 17/2 with Ladbrokes
🏆Who has won the US Open in recent years?
The US Open has arguably been the most open of the Grand Slams in recent times.
On the men’s side, Novak Djokovic hasn’t dominated this event in the way he has at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, while there have been seven different women’s champions in the last eight years.
Men’s singles US Open winners
- 2022 – Carlos Alcaraz
- 2021 – Daniil Medvedev
- 2020 – Dominic Thiem
- 2019 – Rafael Nadal
- 2018 – Novak Djokovic
- 2017 – Rafael Nadal
- 2016 – Stan Wawrinka
- 2015 – Novak Djokovic
- 2014 – Marin Cilic
- 2013 – Rafael Nadal
Women’s singles US Open winners
- 2022 – Iga Swiatek
- 2021 – Emma Raducanu
- 2020 – Naomi Osaka
- 2019 – Bianca Andreescu
- 2018 – Naomi Osaka
- 2017 – Sloane Stephens
- 2016 – Angelique Kerber
- 2015 – Flavia Pennetta
- 2014 – Serena Williams
- 2013 – Serena Williams
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🥎What were the most important US Open matchups in recent history?
The US Open has played host to some classic matches. Here’s a quick look at some of them.
Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer – 2011 semi-final
In what was Djokovic’s big breakthrough year, Federer led by two sets to love but was forced into a decider. He rallied to move 5-3 ahead and held two match points on his own serve at 40-15.
However, Djokovic then conjured up an amazing forehand return winner, won the next point too and not long after was celebrating a 7-5 final-set win. Remarkably, it was the second year in succession that the Serb had saved two match points against Federer in the semis.
Daniil Medvedev v Novak Djokovic – 2021 final
Djokovic had won all 27 Grand Slam matches he had played in 2021 and needed only one more to become only the second man in tennis’ Open Era to complete the fabled Grand Slam.
However, it was to prove beyond him. Medvedev’s defence and huge serving kept him at bay and the Serb admitted later to being wracked by nerves. He was in tears towards the end of the contest as Medvedev claimed his maiden Slam title.
Dominic Thiem v Alex Zverev – 2020 final
Not the highest quality final by any means but dramatic beyond belief. Thiem became the first man in the Open Era to win the US Open final from two sets down, while this final was also the first to be decided by a final-set tie-break.
Both men were struggling physically and wrecked mentally in the latter stages of the decider, unable to serve at anything like full pelt. Zverev came within two points of victory and Thiem blew two match points at 6-4 in the breaker before finally clinching it 8-6.
Andy Murray v Novak Djokovic – 2012 final
Remember when Murray was the nearly-man of tennis? Well, he’d already lost four Grand Slam finals by the time he reached this one and when he blew a two-set lead, many thought he destined never to win one. However, a now-famous talk in the bathroom mirror saw Murray embolden himself for the deciding set, one he dominated to finally break his – and Great Britain’s – major championship duck.
Naomi Osaka v Serena Williams – 2018 final
Osaka played some brilliant tennis but this contest will forever be remembered for what the loser did on court. Perhaps feeling the pressure of chasing a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title (one which would never arrive), Williams argued throughout the match with umpire Carlos Ramos, whose decision to issue a warning over coaching from the stands prompted the rows.
When Williams later accused him of being “a thief” for docking her a point, a further penalty followed – and this one saw Williams lose a game. Osaka completed victory shortly afterwards but as the boos rang down from the stands, the victor was left in tears at the trophy ceremony.
Roberta Vinci v Serena Williams – 2015 semi-final
Another famous Williams defeat and pressure certainly played its part in this one. The American had already won the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2015 so was two matches away from sealing the Grand Slam – and was a red-hot favourite to do so.
When she won the first set comfortably, all looked fine but Vinci’s mix-it-up brand of tennis began to frustrate a nervy-looking Williams in the second and from then on the errors began to flow from her racquet and one of the great US Open upsets occurred.
💻Do UK bookies offer live streaming for the US Open?
Yes! Several firms are expected to have live streams from the US Open, offering their usual in-play betting markets around that coverage. An exact list of which is not yet known.
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💰Which bookies offer the best US Open betting odds?
A proper household name, bet365 are one of the biggest bookmaking firms these days and regularly offer some of the most competitive tennis odds. They also produce arguably the widest range of markets on Grand Slam matches, certainly in the early rounds.
A quick look on odds comparison site Oddschecker will show you how competitive BetUK are with their prices – they use the Kambi Sportsbook for their odds which is well known for offering standout prices, particularly those lower down the outright market. Their quantity of markets is also strong.
Worth a mention simply for the fact they are often the first firm up with their markets; others often wait to see what rivals are doing. Their range of markets on Ladbrokes is also good, so there’s plenty to like about this High Street name for your tennis bets.
How many competitors are there in each US Open category?
Both the men’s and women’s singles draws at the US Open have 128 entrants – 104 gain entry via their ranking, eight receive ‘wild card’ invitations and the remaining 16 come through the qualifying competition.
The men’s and women’s doubles are each made up of 64 pairs, while the mixed doubles features 32 partnerships.
📺Where and when can I watch the US Open 2023?
In the UK, 2023 sees the return of the US Open to Sky Sports.
The tournament begins on Monday August 28 and runs until Sunday September 10. On most days, the action starts at 1600 BST.
The women’s and men’s singles finals – due to take place on September 9 and 10 respectively – are scheduled to begin at 2100 BST.
Sky UK has wrested the rights from Amazon and agreed a five-year deal with the USTA during which they will have access to live TV feeds from all match courts.
Sky Sports last broadcast the tournament in 2015.
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🔎Our US Open betting strategies and tips:
Ever bettor should have a plan and some golden rules to follow when betting. Here are some betting tips and strategies to consider.
- Compare odds – Most people wouldn’t buy a shirt in Shop A for £40 when it’s £30 in Shop B next door. Apply the same theory to betting and make sure you get the best price out there. All you’ll need to do is open an account with several bookmakers – most of whom will offer you a sign-up bonus – and then compare prices. The Oddschecker site helps so this, although isn’t at its best when it comes to tennis.
- Set betting limits – It seems obvious but only bet what you can afford to lose. Don’t ‘chase’ any losses.
- Learn player styles – Know who you are backing. For example, big servers hold serve more often and therefore have a greater chance of playing tie-breaks and/or longer matches in terms of games played. Many websites, including the official ATP and WTA ones, will give you stats to help know who is best at what.
- Learn about hardcourt tennis – While tennis court surfaces have become somewhat homogenous in recent years, there are still some differences. Traditionally, hardcourts have been the ‘middle ground’ – faster than clay but slower than grass. The latter is now up for debate but there are still many players who play well on hardcourts but no so well on the lower-bouncing grass. When it comes to hardcourts, don’t forget there are many different types – the US Open uses a Laykold surface which has played fairly fast since it was laid ahead of the 2020 tournament.
Remember to gamble responsibly
A responsible gambler is someone who:
- Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
- Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
- Never chase their losses
- Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry, or depressed
- Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
- Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org
For help with a gambling problem, call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133 or go to www.gamstop.co.uk to be excluded from all UK-regulated gambling websites.
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