- Once again, it’s “possibly” the final match of Serena Williams’s career at the US Open
- Two Canadians, Bianca Andreescu and Rebecca Marino, look to make the round of 16
- With all eyes on Serena, who is a slight favorite vs Ajla Tomljanovic, we break it down
Another night at the US Open, another Serena Williams match.
And no one is complaining especially because, on paper at least, Friday’s third-round opponent should be an easier challenge.
US Open Women’s Second-Round Odds
| Ons Jabeur (TUN) vs  Shelby Rogers (USA)||-200 / +160|
|Rebecca Marino (CAN) vs Zhang Shuai (CHN)||+150 / -190|
| Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) vs Dalma Galfi (HUN)||-425 / +290|
| Madison Keys (USA) vs  Coco Gauff (USA)||+120 / -150|
| Alison Riske (USA) vs Wang Xiyu (CHN)||-165 /+127|
|Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) vs Aleksandra Krunic (SRB)||-600 / +400|
|Bianca Andreescu (CAN) vs  Caroline Garcia (FRA)||+120 / -150|
|Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) vs Serena Williams (USA)||+130 / -170|
Meanwhile, No. 1 Iga Swiatek remains the bookies’ favorite to win, even though she probably doesn’t feel like the favorite.
US Open Day 5 Matches to Watch
Serena vs Tomljanovic Pick
After beating the No. 2 player in the world in the second round of the US Open Wednesday night, Williams’ confidence will surely have gotten a boost.
Not only did she play pretty well, but she also moved a lot better than she had in her opener. And although Anett Kontaveit is hardly playing like a world No. 2 these days (or even a top-20 or a top-50 player, after coming back too soon after a tough bout with COVID), Williams will keep it simple and just look at that scoreboard.
Her opponent, Ajla Tomljanovic, is a Tour veteran whose most marked characteristic, beyond being one of the rare women who has come back from shoulder surgery and been better than before she had it – is failing to take advantage of so many opportunities in her career.
— Reuters (@Reuters) September 1, 2022
So often, the Aussie has had a top players on the ropes – only to get a case of the nerves and allow them to come back and win. Here and there, she has finished the job. But for the most part, it’s been a pattern.
Can Tomljanovic change that against Williams Friday?
The 29-year-old has played over 800 professional matches. And she turns 30 in February; she’s been around. And yet somehow she and Williams have never met.
That’s a big factor. The well-lubricated New York crowd, which was pretty nasty to Kontaveit, will also be a factor.
Another factor? Williams played doubles for more than two hours, in a losing cause, Thursday night with her sister Venus. That’s three straight match days; it’s been a while.
Prediction: Tomljanovic in Three Sets (+400)
Andreescu vs Garcia Pick
Caroline Garcia is one of the in-form players of the hard-court summer. But so was Beatriz Haddad Maia – and Bianca Andreescu dusted her in straight sets on Wednesday.
This time, the 22-year-old Canadian is the underdog. Not a huge underdog, but there’s a lot of respect for Garcia’s recent play vs Andreescu’s career resumé.
Garcia won’t bring as much pure power as Haddad Maia. And of course she’s a righthander. But her recent tactical revamp has turned her into a far more aggressive player.
The two met once, just before Wimbledon in the final at Bad Homburg. It went three long sets and resulted in a comeback win for Garcia.
And Andreescu will have to be as aggressive – or more so– to beat her. It could be a rare match on the women’s side that might actually be won at the net.
It’salso the kind of match that might be worth a long-shot prop bet. One suggestion: Andreescu loses the first set, but wins in three (+750).
Prediction: A Three-Set Match (+140)
Jabeur vs Rogers Pick
Despite being the No. 5 seed, Ons Jabeur isn’t really expected to be a contender at this year’s US Open.
And her opponent, American Shelby Rogers, actually has a better resumé in Flushing Meadows. She made the round of 16 a year ago, and the quarterfinals back in 2020.
We asked @OnsJabeur her dream Ashe session:
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 23, 2022
Jabeur holds a 2-0 record, both wins coming on hard court. But both were so long ago they’re pretty irrelevant to this matchup, which comes with high stakes.
More than half the seeded players didn’t make it through the first two rounds on the women’s side. And this feels like an upset waiting to happen.
Prediction: Rogers Outright at +160