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World No. 6 Alexander Zverev Sees US Open Odds Worsen to 26-1 After Being Drawn in Nadal’s Quarter

Alexander Zverev hitting a backhand.
Alexander Zverev is seeking his first major title at the U.S. Open Photo by Steven Pisano from Brooklyn, NY, USA [CC License].
  • The 2019 US Open begins in New York on Monday (Aug. 26)
  • Alexander Zverev is the #6 seed and also has the sixth-best odds
  • Is there value betting on or against Zverev?

Alexander Zverev is the latest “up and comer” in men’s tennis. Players who could challenge or dethrone all time greats Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic have popped up many times over the last decade. There has been a lot more fizzle than success.

After the trio of Hall of Famers, the odds to win the 2019 US Open  indicate Zverev is viable and dangerous. However, his price has gone up after he drew into the same quarter as Nadal. Is that price adjustment justified? Let’s look at the current odds for the serious contenders and see what value we can find.

Odds to Win 2019 U.S. Open

Player Odds at BetOnline*
Novak Djokovic +110
Rafael Nadal +300
Roger Federer +700
Daniil Medvedev +1200
Stefanos Tsitsipas +1250
Alexander Zverev +2800
Dominic Thiem +2800
Marin Cilic +4000
Stan Wawrinka +4000

*Odds taken 08/23/19

The Big Three

Roger Federer took over the sport of tennis starting in 2004. He won three majors in 2004, 2006 and 2007. Federer has won a record 20 major titles.

In 2005 Rafael Nadal won the first of his 12 French Opens. From Roland Garros in 2008 to the French in 2011 he won seven of 13 majors. He currently has 18 majors to his credit.

When Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open in 2008 it was impressive. When he failed to repeat or win another major until 2011 it was unclear what was going on. When he proceeded to win two more majors in 2011, and added the Aussie crown in 2012 and 2013 he made the message clear. He won three more majors in 2015, and most recently has won four of the last five played.

In total the big three has won 54 majors. Since the start of 2004 the trio has won at least three majors in all but one year. In fact, Stan Wawrinka at the 2016 U.S. Open is the last player to upset the best of the best. Since Federer began his assault on the game, the big three has won 53 of 63 majors.

Alexander Zverev

The talented German was six years old when Federer won his first major. While incredibly gifted, he has still yet to get beyond a quarterfinal in a major championship. His fourth round appearance at the Australian Open this year was his longest run at a major on a hard court. He reached the third round in New York last year.

Being in Nadal’s quarter is not ideal, but it is better than Djokovic, and Federer is no picnic. If you liked Zverev before the draw, the challenge remains daunting, but is only marginally more difficult now. On the flip side, he needs to go several steps further than he ever has before.

Other Options

If you are going to back a youngster, nobody is playing better than Daniil Medvedev. He was tremendous winning the Western & Southern Open, the primary tuneup for the U.S. Open. In Cincinnati he came from behind to beat Djokovic in the semis, and got by David Goffin in straight sets in the finals. He reached the finals in Montreal this month losing to Nadal, and got to the last match in D.C. in his initial U.S. Open prep, losing to Nick Kyrgios in the final.

The easiest road to an upset belongs to Dominic Thiem. When there are a big three, somebody has to be seeded fourth. Thiem, a two time French Open finalist, is that guy. He lost to Nadal in each of those two matches, but if he can reach the semifinals he will get Nadal off of clay, and then potentially tackle just one of Federer or Djokovic.

His toughest likely opponents before the semis would be someone like Kei Nishikori, Stefanos Tsitsipas, or Roberto Bautista Agut. The path is there for the taking.

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