CAN Roger Federer finish the year unbeaten in the grand slams?
Punters are backing the Swiss superstar to do just that, even after he withdrew from the recent Cincinnati Masters with a back injury.
Online bookmaker Sportsbet.com.au has Federer slated at +150 odds to win the 2017 US Open, which kicks off with qualifying from Tuesday, August 22.
The veteran is yet to lose a single match in the majors this season, winning both the Australian Open and the Wimbledon Championships.
— Roger Federer (@FedererLive) August 17, 2017
He skipped the French Open, where Rafael Nadal became the first man in the pro era to win a grand slam event 10 times.
The Spaniard, who lost to Federer in a memorable final at Melbourne Park in January, is a close second in the outright market at +250.
With Novak Djokovic out of the tournament due to injury, there is daylight between the two favourites and the rest of the men’s draw.
The emerging Alexander Zverev joins Andy Murray on the third line of betting at +800, with Wimbledon finalist Marin Cilic rated next best at +1600.
Although Nick Kyrgios is battling his way back from injury, he shares a +2000 quote with Juan Martin del Potro and Milos Raonic.
Dominic Thiem (+2500) and Grigor Dimitrov (+4000) round out the top 10.
US Open men’s singles betting
+150 – Roger Federer
+250 – Rafa Nadal
+800 – Andy Murray, Alexander Zverev
+1600 – Marin Cilic
+2000 – Juan Martin del Potro, Nick Kyrgios, Milos Raonic
+2500 – Dominic Thiem
+4000 – Grigor Dimitrov
+6600 – Tomas Berdych, John Isner, Gael Monfils
+8000 – Jack Sock
+10000 – Kevin Anderson, Roberto Bautista-Agut, David Goffin, Gilles Muller, Lucas Pouille, Sam Querrey
More quoted at Sportsbet
Muguruza heads women’s draw as Azarenka withdraws
Garbine Muguruza is well liked to back up her Wimbledon triumph with a maiden US Open title.
The Spanish star has never passed the second round at Flushing Meadows, but that has not stopped WilliamHill.com.au from installing her as the +600 favourite.
If she does salute, Muguruza will have ticked three of four boxes en route to the coveted career slam.
The 23-year-old has close company, however, with Karolina Pliskova hot on her heels at +650 outright odds.
— Garbiñe Muguruza (@GarbiMuguruza) August 16, 2017
The Czech reached the final in New York last year, where she lost to Germany’s Angelique Kerber – a +800 chance alongside Johanna Konta.
Also quoted at that mark is Victoria Azarenka, although she is expected to withdraw from the tournament due to an acrimonious custody battle.
Having only returned to the WTA Tour this year after the birth of her son, Leo, the two-time US Open finalist could put her career on hold once more for the sake of her eight-month-old child.
“Shortly after Wimbledon, Leo’s father and I separated and as we work to resolve some of the legal processes, the way things stand now is that the only way I can play in the US Open this year is if I leave Leo behind in California, which I’m not willing to do,” Azarenka said in a statement this week.
Her absence could be a boost for the returning Maria Sharapova, who has been granted a wild card into the main draw after serving a doping ban.
The Russian currently shares a +900 quote with Simona Halep, but those odds could firm if Azarenka does not compete.
Venus Williams and Madison Keys (both +1400) are the best of the American hopes, with Wimbledon quarter-finalist Coco Vandeweghe a little further back at +2000.
Former champion Sam Stosur (+12500) and Daria Gavrilova (+15000) will lead the Australian charge.
US Open women’s singles odds
+650 – Karolina Pliskova
+800 – (Victoria Azarenka), Angelique Kerber, Johanna Konta
+900 – Simona Halep, Maria Sharapova
+1000 – Elina Svitolina
+1400 – Madison Keys, Petra Kvitova, Venus Williams
+1600 – Jelena Ostapenko, Caroline Wozniacki
+2000 – Coco Vandeweghe
+2800 – Agnieszka Radwanska
+3300 – Kristina Mladenovic
+4000 – Belinda Bencic, Eugenie Bouchard
+5000 – Timea Bacsinszky, Dominika Cibulkova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Lucia Safarova, Sloane Stephens
+6600 – Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
+8000 – Ana Konjuh
+10000 – Caroline Garcia, Ekaterina Makarova, Carla Suarez Navarro, Roberta Vinci
More quoted at William Hill
Players to watch at US Open 2017
The bookies cannot frame any other futures markets until the draw is released, but that doesn’t mean we cannot single out a few stars and make some predictions.
Roger Federer – How can you go against a man who is yet to drop a match in grand slam play this year? He was majestic at Wimbledon, literally bringing his opponent to tears with a clinical ball-striking display in the final. Here’s hoping for another Federer vs. Nadal epic in the decider.
Alexander Zverev – Not many people can say they have conquered Federer this year, but ‘Sascha’ is one of them. Having sealed back-to-back titles with an impressive straight-sets win over the great man in the Canadian Open final earlier this month, the young German could hardly have enjoyed a better prep.
Karolina Pliskova – We are still waiting for Pliskova to deliver on her obvious promise. Even with Serena Williams out of action, the 25-year-old Czech has failed to reach a single major final this year. This, the scene of her best-ever grand slam effort to date, is her last chance in 2017.
Maria Sharapova – As far as wild cards go, this is a massive one. The 2006 US Open champ has had a light preparation, beating Jennifer Brady at Stanford before pulling out of her second-round clash with Lesia Tsurenko. The title might be a bridge too far, but who knows how deep Sharapova could go in such an open draw?
Best team bets and smokeys for the 2018 Brownlow Medal
Second Preliminary final preview – Roosters vs Rabbitohs
NRL first preliminary final preview & tips – Storm vs Sharks
Max Gawn AFL prelim final goal-scoring odds – West Coast vs. Melbourne
Jordan de Goey goal-scoring tips – Tigers vs. Magpies prelim odds
Melbourne favoured to topple three remaining Sydney teams
2018 AFL premiership race down to four as Victorian giants face off
NRL second semi final preview – Souths vs St George