TennisUs Open

US Open Betting: Goffin can continue good form by defeating Shapovalov in round four showdown

September 6, 2020January 5th, 2022



There were a few decent nuggets in my round one potential upsets piece, but we were a little unlucky with Jannik Sinner after Egor Gerasimov had taken down Dusan Lajovic.

Sinner was two sets up on Karen Khachanov before injury struck and Denis Kudla and Mackenzie McDonald also lost from 2-0 up, while hopefully I put a few of you off backing Diego Schwartzman at 1-3 to beat Cam Norrie, with the Brit defeating Schwartzman there.

On the outright front it’s proven tough again to try and oppose Novak Djokovic, as Sam Querrey reacted in exactly the opposite way to a lack of crowds than I had hoped (no surprise there), although I still think 500-1 was too big, while Marin Cilic still can’t find his best level and Roberto Bautista Agut came up against an on fire Vasek Pospisil.

As it did at the start, it looks Novak’s to lose, with the Serb seemingly unbothered by the physical issues that troubled him at the W&S Open.


Conditions and trends


The general consensus among the players seems to be that the outside courts are quicker than Armstrong and Ashe and those are the only courts in operation now, by and large.

It’s set to be a nice, sunny day on Sunday, so it should be fairly paced, but not as fast as we saw on the outside courts at times this past couple of weeks.  

Round four has been a very good one for betting underdogs lately, with 11 of the last 24 in the last three years winning (46%), which is a very high frequency indeed for a major and more so in the later stages of a major.

The quarter finals also tend to see a fair few dogs winning, with 38% of them successful in the last eight years.


Denis Shapovalov vs David Goffin

There were a few chokes on offer at the US Open on Friday, with Stefanos Tsitsipas taking the headlines after failing to see out his match against Borna Coric from 5-1 ahead in set four and blowing six match points, but Shapovalov got away with one, as well.

Taylor Fritz led Shapo 5-2 in the fourth set of their match, but a shaky attempt to serve it out preceded a bit of a collapse from Fritz and Shapo took the win in five.

I expected Goffin to be favourite for this one after his good form so far this week and also his better tactical ability and solidity against an opponent who can light it up, but who struggles for consistency.

On these lively courts Goffin can take Shapo’s time away and move him around effectively in what looks to be a pretty decent match-up for the Belgian, who’s always been good against left-handers anyway.

If we exclude Rafa Nadal, Goffin has won 15 of his last 20 matches against lefties, going back three years, including the one career clash with Shapovalov, which came on good-paced outdoor hard in Tokyo last season.

It was pretty tight, in two breakers, but Goffin’s tactics that day were sound: move the Canadian around, keeping him off balance and not letting his opponent take those big swings at the ball that he likes.

I’m also not so keen on Shapo without a crowd present for the Canadian to draw energy from, with Shapovalov one of those players that seems to need that adrenaline rush to play his best stuff. And this will be an evening match on Ashe, which will feel odd with no atmosphere. 

It’s set to be a warm, sunny day, so conditions should be helpful, although a tad slower in the evening, which will hopefully allow Goffin to repeat those tactics and the victory again after his impressive in (for which he was a great price) over Filip Krajinovic.

Novak Djokovic seems to be cruising again after appearing to struggle physically at times with a neck problem at the W&S Open and it’s hard to see the Serb, who’s unbeaten in 2020, losing to Pablo Carreno Busta.

PCB actually won more second serve points than Djokovic when they clashed on outdoor hard at the ‘real’ W&S Open in Cincy last year (55% to 50%), but he was 20% behind Djokovic on first serve points (61% to 81%) and perhaps the best bet here is the big-looking 10.50 about Djokovic winning set one 6-4.

Obviously with this bet we’re hoping that PCB serves first, and the layers are assuming that PCB would choose to receive if he won the toss, but at this price I don’t mind taking a chance.

Borna Coric’s two marathon five set wins in his last two matches lasted very nearly nine hours and having also suffered with coronavirus lately the Croat may well be at his physical limits for his clash with Jordan Thompson.

I’m no fan of the limited Thompson by any means and I had to take him on in the opening set with Mikhail Kukushkin last round at a generous price of 2-1, but Kuku failed from a break up (also a break up in set two).

That price on Kuku had to be to do with likely fatigue and injury after the Kazakh’s previous round five-setter, but I was happy to take Thompson on for the opening set at those odds.

The Aussie has won 4 of his last 18 matches against top-32 ranked opposition (Coric is ranked 32 now, but he’s certainly a fair comparison as a top-20 or so player) and there’s nothing in his game to worry top players unless they have an off day.

He might win this one purely on fitness, as it’s likely to be a gruelling encounter between two consistent hitters, but it doesn’t interest me as a betting proposition.

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina is an unlikely name to be in week two of a hard court major and he was another one that got a little lucky in the last round, with his opponent, Cam Norrie, faltering badly physically and saying that he “couldn’t see clearly” due to dehydration.

Davidovich Fokina has an unorthodox game and loves to hit flashy winners, which might put Alexander Zverev off for a while and make for an interesting contest.

The worry for Zverev fans is that he’s still nowhere near good enough on second serve, winning just 34% of those points against Brandon Nakashima and averaging around 45% in the past year.

It’s tough to see Zverev winning the title on this form (he again struggled versus Adrian Mannarino until Manna got injured) but his draw looks nice for a likely semi final clash with Djokovic now.

The German will probably find a way here, but as usual it's unlikely to be easy and 3-1 to him appeals at 3.70.


Best Bets


1 point win Goffin to beat Shapovalov at 1.87
0.5 points win Djokovic to win set 1 6-4 at 10.50