With the final Major of the year quickly approaching, who will stand above the rest at the 2019 US Open?
<div><p>We´re once again back at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre for the US Open, the last of the four Major tournaments on this year´s tennis calendar, played on outdoor hard courts. Taking place in New York between August 26th and September 8th, the tournament is well known for its adverse weather conditions, with heat and humidity heavily featuring throughout these two weeks of competitive action. During last year´s heatwave, several players were forced to withdraw with heat related illnesses and the conditions on Arthur Ashe Stadium in particular came under heavy scrutiny by may of the competing athletes. The conditions are again set to be hot and humid over the upcoming fortnight, with temperatures set to exceed 30 degrees celsius.</p><h2 style="text-align:center">ATP preview</h2><p> </p><p>On the Men´s side, this particular Major is one that has been dominated by the big names, and it´s been one of the "big four" taking home the title in 12 of the last 15 years. Last year´s Champion is Novak Djokovic, who´s taken home three of the last four Majors. Let´s have a look at the favorites, the outsiders and break down the outright value picks for the tournament.</p><h2><strong>The Favourites</strong></h2><p><strong>Novak Djokovic (2.25 or 5/4, Unibet)</strong></p><p>The current world number 1 and undoubtedly the best player in the world. Few can match Djokovic´s athleticiscm, trademark defensive skills or mental fortitude, especially not over the best of five sets format. Title holder of three out of the last four Majors, and the defending Champion.</p><p><strong>Rafael Nadal (4.50 or 7/2, Unibet)</strong></p><p>Though he is most famous for his clay exploits, dubbed "The King of Clay", it would be foolish to assume that Nadal wouldn´t be as big of a factor on other surfaces. A force of nature and an unyielding competitor, the Spaniard has won the title here on three occasions, the latest coming in 2017.</p><p><strong>Roger Federer (6.0 or 5/1, Unibet)</strong></p><p>The ageless Swiss may be 38 years old, but there aren´t many players out there outside the aforementioned pair of Djokovic and Nadal that can defeat him. Oozing of elegance, the world number three has three titles to his name this year and had two match points to make it four with a Wimbledon crown.</p><p><strong>Daniil Medvedev (17.0 or 16/1, Unibet)</strong></p><p>The young Russian has been a sensation this season, already reaching five finals and taking home two titles, the latest coming last week in the Cincinnati Masters where Djokovic was defeated along the way. Employing an unorthodox style, new world number 5 Medvedev is a force to be reckoned with.</p><h2><strong>The Outsiders</strong></h2><p><strong>Alexander Zverev (23 or 22/1, Unibet)</strong></p><p>Hailed as one of the mainstay elite players on tour, with potential to win countless Majors throughout his career, Zverev has yet to succeed on the big stage. Currently slumping badly and struggling both off and on the court, the young German has dropped out of the top 5 for the first time in almost two years.</p><p><strong>Stefanos Tsitsipas (26 or 25/1, Unibet)</strong></p><p>A passionate 21-year old Greek who has been a meteoric riser in the rankings over the last few years, and is currently ranked 8th. Tsitsipas has a powerful, varied game and set a career best result in reaching the Australian Open semifinals earlier this year, ousting Roger Federer along the way.</p><p><strong>Dominic Thiem (29 or 28/1, Unibet)</strong></p><p>Hailed as "The Prince of Clay", Thiem is one of the few players on tour that can boast about owning several wins on the red dirt against Rafael Nadal, who only has 49 losses in total. The Austrian has taken steps to improve his hard court game however, and made the quarterfinal here last year, along with the 2019 Indian Wells title.</p><h2><strong>The Verdict</strong></h2><p>Novak Djokovic is truly in a class of his own right now, and when 100% focused, he is next to impossible to break down. Rafael Nadal has an incredible game, but hasn´t beaten the Serb outside of the red dirt in six whole years, and the hard courts are punishing for the Spaniards knees. Over the last two years this had lead to several withdrawals for the 33-year old. Roger Federer on the other hand needs lightning fast conditions to have a chance of penetrating the world number 1´s defenses. Holding two match points on serve in the Wimbledon final, the Swiss failed to capitalize, and if he couldn´t do it on the most suitable surface for him, it´s tough to see the 38-year old manage it here. Outside of the "Big Three" there are few that can match Djokovic over the best of five format, and he should be viewed with a much greater chance than the around 50% the books are offering to defend his title. At 2.25, the Serb is my first selection to win outright. One of the players that do stand a chance is Daniil Medvedev. Somewhat surprisingly, the Russian struggles against Nadal and Federer, but has an excellent matchup against Djokovic. All their four H2H matchups (2-2) have been close, and the 23-year old has come away with the last two victories, including the recent Cincinnati Masters semifinals. The Russian has improved by leaps and bounds and must now be considered one of the elite players on tour, and provides excellent value at the current prices. At 17.0, Medvedev is my second selection to win outright.</p><p><em><strong>Best bet: Novak Djokovic to win outright at 2.25 (5/4) with [Unibet] 2u</strong></em></p><p><em><strong>Best bet: Daniil Medvedev to win outright at 17.0 (16/1) with Unibet] 0.5u</strong></em></p><p><a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=164&a=f339dce1-88de-4994-ab6a-c24e019bdf3b&f=3" target="_blank"><img alt src="https://cmscdn.staticcache.org/assets/image/0003/1348572/WHC_27064_Updated-In-Play-Tennis-Insurance_1280x480NEW.jpg" style="width:100%" /></a></p><h2 style="text-align:center">WTA Preview</h2><div> </div><p>In stark contrast to the Men´s side, the Women´s side is much more competitive, and we´ve seen a whopping seven different players win the title here over the last seven years. Last year´s Champion is the young Japanese star Naomi Osaka, who also won this year´s Australian Open. Let´s have a look at the favorites, the outsiders and break down the outright value picks for the tournament.</p><h2>The Favourites</h2><p><strong>Serena Williams (6.0 or 5/1, Unibet)</strong></p><p>One of the greatest players to ever grace the court, the 37-year old American is chasing Margaret Court´s all time record of 24 Major titles won. After falling at the final hurdle in two of her last four attempts, including here last year, Serena will be keen to equal the record with a 24th title in her home Major at this year´s US Open.</p><p><strong>Simona Halep (8.0 or 7/1, Unibet)</strong></p><p>The Romanian has become a mainstay at the elite level, with five consecutive seasons within the WTA top five. One of the most consistent performers on tour, Halep´s supreme movement and counterpunching abilities have given her two Major titles thus far, one at the 2018 Roland Garros, the other at this year´s Wimbledon.</p><p><strong>Ashleigh Barty (10.0 or 9/1, Unibet)</strong></p><p>Notably took a year off from the sport when needing a break, and spent it playing cricket at professsional level in 2015. Barty quickly established herself on tour with her incredible variety and shrewd game, and has been the model of consistency this season, winning a maiden Major at this year´s Roland Garros.</p><p><strong>Naomi Osaka (11.0 or 10/1, Unibet)</strong></p><p>The world number 1 and reigning US Open & Australian Open champion has struggled to cope with the pressure and attention that comes with such sucess, especially after splitting with coach Sascha Bajin early this year. Osaka wrote an open letter detailing this tough period and has looked brighter since the hard court swing began.</p><h2>The Outsiders</h2><p><strong>Karolina Pliskova (14.0 or 13/1, Unibet)</strong></p><p>The world number 3 is one of the most consistent forces in the game, but shocklingly, success at the Majors has eluded the Czech for her entire career. With a Rome and Eastbourne title, along with an Australian Open & Miami semifinal/final appearance to her name this year, one cannot discount the powerful Pliskova.</p><p><strong>Bianca Vanessa Andreescu (17.0 or 16/1, Unibet)</strong></p><p>Entering this year´s Rogers Cup, Andreescu held the highest win percentage on the entire tour over the last 12 months on hard courts (85.2%). She won that tournament, despite it being the Canadian´s comeback from shoulder injury. One of the most gifted players on tour, Andreescu has all the weapons to succeed here.</p><p><strong>Madison Keys (17.0 or 16/1, Unibet)</strong></p><p>The American has had large sections of her career derailed due to injury, but has the kind of enviable, easy power to win against anyone she faces. Keys played incredibly well to take home the Cincinnati Open title last week, and usually saves her very best tennis for the Majors. The 2017 US Open finalist will be a force to be reckoned with.</p><p><a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=168&a=4417b7df-a48f-47f3-9b45-f79858bc083a&f=3" target="_blank"><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5d582dcf927b95968483da5f/original-10-bet-new-customer-welcome-bonus" style="width:100%" /></a></p><h2><strong>The Verdict</strong></h2><p>While Serena Williams is the clear favorite to take home her 24th Major title, there are concerns surrounding the Great American. Most of the season has been derailed by injury, and though Williams is playing incredibly well right now, a new injury surfacing is always a risk. We saw this happen recently, as she was forced to retire with back spasms in the Rogers Cup final, subsequently withdrawing from Cincinnati. Furthermore, as the 37-year old´s career is nearing its conclusion, nerves have become a serious issue. Since defeating her sister Venus in the 2017 Australian Open final, Serena has lost four consecutive finals, often becoming rattled and unable to execute her game. With both injury risk and nerves proving a problem lately, she is one to avoid backing as the favorite here. Simona Halep on the other hand, has been upset in the first round for two years in a row, and has never made it past the semifinals here. Barty hasn´t looked fully fit and firing since Wimbledon, and Osaka´s title defence is now in doubt after sustaining a knee injury forcing her to withdraw in Cincinnati. The WTA tour as a whole is usually wide open, as showcased by all twelwe of this year´s twelve Major semifinalists being different women. Anyone could replicate Osaka´s dream run last year, where the then 20-year old took the crown at odds of 50-1. Thus, seeing how the draw shakes out is of major importance for trying to predict a winner. However, there are two players who certainly appeal right now. One is Bianca Vanessa Andreescu, who has it all. Power, variety, and the grit and determination to play through pain, injury and exhaustion to victory, as she did to capture both the Indian Wells and Rogers Cup titles. The Canadian also has an unblemished 6-0 record against top ten players, along with the highest win percentage on hard courts over the last 12 months. She won´t be one to fear the big occasion either. At 17.0, Andreescu is my first selection to win outright. Another player who is primed for a deep run is Madison Keys. With the American now finding the competitive spirit and controlled aggression to back up her powerful game enroute to the Cincinnati title, she´ll be lethal here. Keys always saves her best tennis for the big occasions, and the 2017 finalist could well win it all this year. At 17.0, Keys is my second selection to win outright.</p><p><em><strong>Best bet: Bianca Andreescu to win outright at 17.0 with [Unibet] 0.5u</strong></em></p><p><em><strong>Best bet: Madison Keys to win outright at 17.0 with [Unibet] 0.5u</strong></em></p><p>There were many, many more things that I wanted to touch upon, including other outsiders with the ability to take the title and much more. But to prevent this article from becoming an essay, this is where we end things for now. If you have any questions regarding my selections, or anything tennis related, feel free to hit me up on Twitter [@SnizeMaster]. We´ll be back with another outright preview once the draw has come out on Friday. Until then, arrivederci!</p></div>