We wouldn’t be at Flushing Meadows if there weren’t some monster Day 1 upsets, with second-favourite Simona Halep already out of contention, and we’re predicting another top-15 player to follow her in the women’s draw. See our outright US Open betting previews here.
Aussie Rinky Hijikata faces a huge initiation into Grand Slam tennis when he meets Rafael Nadal in the first round.
Hijikata got a taste of playing the best in the business in the lead-up when he faced Daniil Medvedev in Los Cabos, going down in a somewhat competitive 6-4 6-3, but there’s no doubt the Russian didn’t get out of first gear.
Although Nadal will be taking it one match at a time, he’ll be aware that a tricky draw awaits him over the next two weeks. With the Spaniard still under an injury cloud, he will mean business in this opening round and attempt to spend as little time on court as possible in some fairly hot New York conditions.
Chinese teen Qinwen Zheng is huge chance of upsetting Jelena Ostapenko here.
The hot conditions will not suit the Latvian, who will attempt hit every ball for a winner and keep the rallies as short as possible. However, the lead-up by Zheng will put her in good stead as she reached the Quarter Final in Toronto, defeating Bianca Andreescu along the way, who plays a similar style of tennis to Ostapenko.
Ostapenko hasn’t been overly successful on hard courts across her Grand Slam career, with a 2-6 record against top-50 opposition in the Australian Open and 1-4 at the US Open. We saw what Emma Raducanu did last year so don’t rule out a deep run by Qinwen Zheng at Flushing Meadows.
Frances Tiafoe has had a long hard-court lead-up, and as per usual has produced a mixed bag of results, but his best has been at a high level. The American had match points against Nick Kyrgios in their Quarter Final in Washington, had Taylor Fritz on toast in the third set in Montreal and defeated Matteo Berrettini in the first round at Cincinnati.
The match-hardened Tiafoe will face fellow American Marcos Giron in the first-round, an opponent he beat earlier in the year in Houston. Giron has also had mixed lead-up to the US Open with a 5-4 record off the back of an impressive grass-court season, but all five victories were against opposition outside the top 60.
Although unpredictable, Tiafoe should get this done in four sets and cover the -4 game handicap.
Two veterans will face off when American Steve Johnson faces Grigor Dimitrov, with the latter entering the US Open with serious question marks.
The Bulgarian has had a horror grass and hard court run so far, with a 3-6 record, and his retirement at Winston Salem after a first set demolition of Dominic Thiem has raised alarm bells, with Dimitrov appearing extremely unwell and struggling in the conditions.
Johnson isn’t the same player he was a few years back, but in front of his home crowd he can challenge an underdone, out-of-form Dimitrov.
The 33-year-old German has been a journeyman across his career, but he enters the US Open in decent enough form to trouble young clay-courter Holger Rune.
The Dane produced some stellar tennis on the red dirt this year, reaching the French Open Quarter Final, but since Roland Garros the 19-year-old has a 2-9 record.
Even if Rune manages to get past the veteran German, by no means will it be a regulation win and Gojowczyk shouldn’t have any trouble covering the +5.5 game handicap.
The Frenchwoman is a flat-out giant killer and thrives facing quality opposition at Grand Slam level. Alize Cornet enters the US Open with the scalps of Iga Swiatek at Wimbledon, Jelena Ostapenko at the French and both Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza at the Australian Open this year. She’ll relish the chance to knock out the 2021 champion in Emma Raducanu here.
Now ranked 11 in the world, the 19-year-old Brit has had a tough 2022 off the back of her breakout Grand Slam win, with a 13-15 record including a 4-7 record against top 50 opposition.
Cornet has a 4-2 record against top 15 opposition this year with all four wins at majors and the Frenchwoman is great value to claim another scalp.
Daily H2H Multi
Evans / Tiafoe / Nakashima / Cirstea / Potapova = $4.34