Where will all the eyes be?
This year, there is a clear anticipation for the final match-up, centering around Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz. With the absence of Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal from the scene, a fresh rivalry has blossomed between these two players, resulting in a series of remarkable matches.
Novak Djokovic was looking unstoppable with easy wins and dominant tennis but he needed to come from 2 sets down to win in 5 against Djere, Carlos Alcaraz on the other hand has had an easy time so far but dropped a set to Dan Evans and its starting to get tougher and tougher. Seeds have started to fall with Khachanov, Ruud, Rune, Tsitsipas and Musetti all out of the tournament already.
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US Open Day 8 Best Bets and Tennis Predictions
Here are our US Open Day 8 Tennis Predictions:
Jack Draper has demonstrated his capability to perform at a top-20 level in tennis, provided that fitness issues do not disrupt his rhythm. This has been evident not only in past instances but also in his current US Open campaign. In the second round, he swiftly secured a commanding straight-set victory against the 17th-ranked player in the world, Hubert Hurkacz. Furthermore, in the third round, he overcame a very capable Michael Mmoh in four sets.
The talented British youngster has been highly successful in ensuring that his matches are as brief as possible, which significantly influences the results, as he is not equipped to excel in long, grueling matches. This year, he has already withdrawn from three matches, and his most recent setback at the US Open occurred a year ago in the third round when he had to retire against Russian opponent Karen Khachanov.
The 2018 Boys’ Wimbledon runner-up has a track record of facing physical challenges when playing in North American conditions. It’s crucial for him to focus on his physical conditioning between matches and capitalize efficiently on his opportunities during games. Even during his days in the ITF circuit, he struggled to compete at his peak physical level in tournaments held in Mexico. On the main tour, he experienced a notable incident when he collapsed at the Miami Masters a couple of years ago. Moreover, he was forced to retire from matches at the Indian Wells Masters earlier this year and more recently at Winston-Salem due to physical issues.
He possesses the quality to defeat top-10 players especially at the US Open, with his matches against them typically hinging on his level of fitness. There have been instances where he won a set against players like Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon, Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open, Carlos Alcaraz, and Andrey Rublev. Additionally, he secured victories against Stefanos Tsitsipas and Felix Auger Aliassime in North America last year.
Andrey Rublev has progressed to the second week of the US Open by virtue of facing opponents exclusively from France. He secured a straight-set victory against the lucky loser Arthur Cazaux and dropped just one set in each of his matches against Gael Monfils and Arthur Rinderknech in the subsequent rounds. This relatively favorable draw has enabled him to rebound from a three-match losing streak and enter the second week at the US Open with a sense of freshness and confidence.
The Russian #2 can have mixed feelings about his recent performances in Grand Slam events. On the positive side, he has consistently triumphed over players he is expected to defeat at this level. However, he has struggled when he reaches the quarterfinals and faces title contenders, with a win-loss record of 0-8 in such matchups. He shines in the round of 16 with an 8-3 record and a four-match winning streak, including wins against notable players like Jannik Sinner, Cameron Norrie, and Holger Rune.
The US Open has been the setting for most of his Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances. He reached this stage for the first time in 2017 and then again in 2020. In the most recent edition in 2022, he secured a convincing victory over the British left-handed player, Cameron Norrie, in the round of 16.
Head-to-head: Andrey Rublev leads 2-0. Jack Draper can go toe-to-toe with Rublev when his body allows him to perform at his peak. The duration of this peak performance will play a crucial role in determining the outcome.
Prediction: Draper to beat Rublev @ 3.00 (US Open Day 8)
Carlos Alcaraz faced his first set loss of this campaign in the third round against the 2023 ATP Washington champion, Dan Evans. However, he swiftly regained control and secured a routine 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 victory, never truly appearing to be in jeopardy. A recurring issue in recent tournaments has been his breakpoint conversion rate, which resurfaced as a problem in the match against Evans, as he failed to convert 11 out of the 17 chances he created in the four sets.
The Spaniard has not reached his peak and performed with complete confidence since the conclusion of the clay season. While he did achieve a significant accomplishment at Wimbledon, it came with its share of challenges. He dropped sets against players like Nicolas Jarry and Matteo Berrettini and was somewhat fortunate that Novak Djokovic displayed uncharacteristic efforts in the final. His level of play further declined during the US Open warm-up events, where seven out of his eight matches went the distance, including matchups against underdogs like Jordan Thompson and Max Purcell. Additionally, he suffered a morale-damaging loss to Novak Djokovic.
He should strive to regroup and reach his peak performance in the upcoming days, given the intensifying competition he will face. This is especially true when contrasted with the relatively smoother path his rival, Novak Djokovic, has to the final. Assuming he clears the hurdle against Matteo Arnaldi, he will face a challenging journey with potential matchups against either Alexander Zverev or Jannik Sinner in the quarterfinals and the former champion Daniil Medvedev in the semifinals. These are formidable opponents that can prove to be quite challenging when you’re not performing at your best.
Since the start of the 2022 season, the reigning Wimbledon champion has participated in seven tournaments in the United States. Impressively, he reached at least the quarterfinals in each of them. His standout achievements include winning titles at the Miami Masters 2022, Indian Wells 2023, and the US Open 2022, where he has yet to lose a completed match.
Matteo Arnaldi seemed to have experienced some fatigue in recent weeks, given the number of matches he has played at the top level for the first time in his career. However, remarkably, this hasn’t affected his performance in his debut appearance in the main draw of the US Open. He displayed resilience by edging out the reigning ATP Lyon champion, Arthur Fils, in a five-set battle during the second round. Following that, he put on a dominant display, defeating Cameron Norrie in straight sets, thus reaching the second week of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in his career.
He is the third unseeded Italian to make it to the second week of Grand Slam tournaments this year. The two Italians who accomplished this feat earlier in the year were Lorenzo Sonego, who reached the round of 16 at the French Open but was defeated by Karen Khachanov, and Matteo Berrettini, who faced none other than Carlos Alcaraz in the round of 16 at Wimbledon.
At the start of the 2022 season, the Italian was ranked around #400. However, his rapid adaptation and consistently impressive performances across all levels of play, especially on the main tour in recent months, have ensured that he will make his debut in the top 50 when the rankings are updated next Monday.
In his previous three encounters against top-10 players, he faced US Open finalists from recent years. He emerged victorious in one of these battles, defeating last year’s runner-up Casper Ruud at the Madrid Masters in April.
Head-to-head: 0-0. Matteo Arnaldi is experiencing a rapid ascent, carrying considerable momentum and playing with a sense of freedom in this encounter. Such a combination can pose a threat to players labeled as favorites. However, Carlos Alcaraz is simply too strong for the Italian, and it’s unlikely that he will encounter many problems in winning this one.
Prediction: Alcaraz 3-0 v Arnaldi @ 1.30 (US Open Day 8)
Daniil Medvedev has shown signs of uncertainty in his recent matches against Christopher O’Connell and Sebastian Baez, indicating a need for a confidence-boosting win to improve his momentum. This quest for confidence has been challenging due to his less-than-ideal preparation in the warm-up events leading up to the US Open tournament.
The former world #1’s unexpected achievements on his less preferred clay surface earlier this year seem to have come with certain drawbacks. Usually, he takes advantage of ample rest during the clay season to rejuvenate for the North American swing. However, in 2023, he remained active throughout both the clay and grass phases, leading to a lack of freshness during the North American swing. This resulted in lackluster performances and visible frustration.
Apart from the disrupted year of 2020 due to the pandemic, the last time the Russian didn’t reach a semifinal during the North American swing before the US Open was in 2017. Since then, he has solidified his position as arguably the best player in this region, making four consecutive finals in 2019 and securing his first Grand Slam title in New York in 2021.
Despite a couple of disappointing losses to Alex de Minaur and Alexander Zverev in the warm-up events last month, his performance in North America this year remains noteworthy. He reached consecutive championship matches at the Indian Wells Masters and the Miami Masters earlier this year, losing one to Carlos Alcaraz and winning the other against Jannik Sinner.
His impressive streak of reaching at least the semifinals in three consecutive editions of the US Open, spanning from 2019 to 2021, came to an end in the previous edition in 2022. He faced an Australian opponent, Nick Kyrgios, in the round of 16, marking his only defeat at this stage at the US Open.
Alex de Minaur’s exceptional performance continued in the third round as he allowed only six games against the powerful server Nicolas Jarry, who has been in excellent form this year. Prior to this, he secured commanding victories over Timofey Skatov and the reigning ATP Dallas champion, Yibing Wu.
The Australian #1 has faced persistent criticism for his inability to perform well in high-profile events. His stumbling block, consistently preventing him from achieving significant results in Grand Slam tournaments, has been the round of 16. He holds a 1-4 record at this stage, with his lone success coming against the then-world #94 Vasek Pospisil here at the US Open in 2020.
That being said, the world #13 has made significant strides in high-profile tournaments this year and has maintained a strong performance in the current US Open campaign. Notably, he clinched the most significant title of his career in Acapulco (500) and was the runner-up to Carlos Alcaraz at Queen’s Club (500). Furthermore, he secured a rare victory over Daniil Medvedev en route to the final at the Toronto Masters, marking his career-best result at the Masters level.
Head-to-head: Daniil Medvedev leads 4-2. Medvedev hasn’t quite reached his peak form in New York this fortnight, but there’s still an expectation that he’ll find a way to overcome Alex de Minaur. However, it’s worth noting that the Aussie has managed to frustrate the Russian and secure victories in their last two meetings in Paris 2022 and Toronto 2023. Medvedev should exercise caution, stay focused, and aim to avoid repeating those previous setbacks.
Prediction: Medvedev -4.5 Games v De Minaur @ 1.85 (US Open Day 8)
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