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|Roberto Bautista Agut||+2500
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Daniil Medvedev won this event in Cincinnati last year and has a track record of starting well after a long break. Back win to win at +900 with DraftKings and BetRivers.
Felix Auger-Aliassime and Pablo Carreno Busta should dominate their first-round encounters. The money-line parlay is offered at -143 by DraftKings and BetRivers.
Daniil Medvedev to win (+900)
Andrey Rublev (+2500)
Felix Auger-Aliassime and Pablo Carreno Busta to win their first round matches (-143)
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|Western and Southern Open Event Information|
|What||ATP Western and Southern Open|
|Where||Flushing Meadows, New York|
|When||Saturday, August 22 to Friday, August 28|
|How to Watch||ESPN, Tennis Channel share coverage|
Plenty of leading players have had misgivings about playing in New York, a city hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak earlier this year – indeed reigning US Open champion Rafael Nadal is one who hasn’t made the trip.
But Medvedev certainly has and should be relishing a return to the North American hardcourts on which he played some superb tennis 12 months ago.
He’s the reigning Western and Southern Open champion, although the tournament was played in Cincinnati in 2019. This time around they are in New York, playing in a ‘bubble’ ahead of the US Open which will be held at the same venue the following week.
There’s been a change of court surface at Flushing Meadows since last season – while still a hardcourt, this time it will be Laykold surface, one used at the Miami Open for many years.
It’s still been pretty fast in qualifying though and if that continues it should suit Medvedev, who made the US Open final here last season.
What is particularly attractive about Medvedev in betting terms is he’s a renowned fast starter, having regularly made an ATP Tour final in the opening fortnight of the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons.
This year he began his campaign by winning four of his five matches at the ATP Cup team event.
With a decent draw, the talented Russian can put the pedal to the metal early here and make odds of +900 seem big.
The young Russian ticks plenty of the boxes ahead of tennis’s return.
He proved he can start well after a lengthy break by winning two tournaments in the first two weeks of the season – Doha and Adelaide – before a run to the round of 16 at the Australian Open.
While there was a clear danger that the tour’s suspension would halt Rublev’s rise, his efforts at some high-profile exhibition events in recent months suggest he’s stayed in the groove.
Rublev went 3-0 on Novak Djokovic’s Adria Tour in Croatia before it fell apart due to positive COVID tests (the Russian was not among them).
A few weeks later he won the Thiem’s 7 exhibition.
Those vanquished by Rublev in that period include Alex Zverev, Marin Cilic, Matteo Berrettini, and Dominic Thiem.
While those results came on clay, Rublev has seen been transitioning onto hardcourts, training with compatriot Karen Khachanov at the 4Slam academy in Spain.
The 10th seed admittedly has a tough draw – opening against Dan Evans and being in the same quarter as both Zverev and Thiem – but few players have had better results across 2020 as a whole and at +2500, there’s value in Rublev’s price.
Felix Auger-Aliassime looked in decent nick at the most recent Ultimate Tennis Showdown event in France and should have too much quality for Nikoloz Basilashvili.
The young Canadian made great strides on the tour before the pandemic struck, reaching finals in both Rotterdam and Marseille. He was also a semi-finalist in Adelaide when the tour was outdoors in January.
Long tipped for the top, FAA appears to be moving into elite territory and it’s hard to see him being troubled much by a player who lost to both Jan-Lennard Struff and Mischa Zverev at a recent exho in Germany.
Basilashvili’s lockdown period has also seen him distracted by an ongoing court case after he was hit by a domestic violence charge so there’s every chance he’s not completely dialled in mentally.
As for Carreno Busta, he’s had the advantage of training with some high-class players during the lockdown.
He hit with the likes of Roberto Bautista Agut and Alex de Minaur during the enforced shutdown and while many of his matches have been on clay, he’s shown in the past that he’s adept on the hardcourts, notably in New York in 2017 when he made the last eight.
Opponent Dusan Lajovic lost all three matches he played on the Adria Tour in June and he also failed to win at the Eastern European Championship, coming out of that with an injury issue.
He says he’s now fine but expect a repeat of their only previous clash on hard – PCB won that in straight sets.
Andy is a sports journalist of more than 20 years’ experience and is a former betting editor of the UK-based website, Sporting Life. He has specialized in tennis for many years, previewing hundreds of ATP Tour events and reporting from tournaments such as the ATP Finals and Davis Cup final. Andy has also covered numerous other sports, with a particular interest in soccer and cricket.More info on Andy Schooler
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