Will Medvedev get his revenge against Nadal to land his first slam title?
<div><h2>Daniil Medvedev (5) vs Rafael Nadal (2)</h2><p><strong>Sunday, September 8, Cincinnati</strong></p><p>After Snize tipped a 2.7 winner on Medvedev -5.5 games against Dimitrov last round we’re back to preview the final in Flushing Meadows. Since the start of 2006 there have been 55 major-finals and a member of the big 4 – Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray - has been involved in 54. Last year Novak lifted the US Open title and this year it is Nadal’s turn to contend.</p><p>Of the slams the US Open is the most underdog friendly and surprisingly 3 of its last 7 winners were the underdog. Most notably Wawrinka defeated Djokovic here in 2016 though it’s hard to quantify the relevance of tournament stats. Conditions are generally medium slow at the event though the final is set for 4pm local time and the weather is predicted to be cloudy, relatively hot (25C) and medium humidity (43%) with no rain and little wind. In other words, it should be nice playing conditions and it may play a little quicker than usual which I would expect to favour Medvedev and more generally to increase the likelihood of a high-quality match.</p><p>Nadal’s run this week has been fairly easy with a 15-1 record in sets and the Spaniard has looked increasingly impressive as each round progress. He has won 47 of his last 50 priced sub 1.5 on hard courts including 34 of his last 35 at that price range in hard court majors and on any basic statistical front such as one year hold/break data or surface stats you would have to say Nadal has a clear edge.</p><p>However, he has not really been tested having yet to face a top 20 player and away from the clay Nadal’s game has several clear vulnerabilities that the top players can and do exploit. Most notably, Nadal’s forehand requires time and he struggles against powerful, flat hitting players when they can execute well. To use an example from the last round, Berrettini was able to hold his own with a powerful, big hitting style early in the match making it to a tiebreak and very nearly won the opening set (2 set points, 1 on serve). More broadly, though the raw stats are on Nadal’s side it’s worth noting that priced as favourite against the top 10 on hard courts Nadal has won 59% of matches lifetime for a -14.1% ROI so he’s been good to bet against in these situations historically.</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><p>Medvedev is on the rise, now up to 5 in the world from 35 a year ago and he is clearly playing some of the best tennis on tour at the minute. On route to his first Masters title in Cincinnati this year he defeated Djokovic, world number 1 in 3 sets playing some of the most aggressive, all out tennis you will ever see. The Russian has won the most matches on a hard court of any player in 2019 at 29 and he reached 3 finals back to back before the US Open. Priced over 3 against the top 10 he’s won 4 of 13 for a 28.1% ROI and he’s won a set in 5 of his 9 against the big 3. His big serving, power orientated game came can hurt anyone and he has surprisingly good defensive capabilities.</p><p>Lots of reasons to think the Russian has his chances here and while I was a little surprised to see him at 5.5, I’m going to take a chance on the first set at 4 instead. There are two reasons I’m opting for this market.</p><p>Firstly, and mainly, there are clear concerns about Medvedev’s fitness coming into this final. He’s played 22 matches since Wimbledon reaching 3 consecutive finals and 4 of his last 5 matches at the US Open have been 4 setters. Nadal by contrast has played 9 matches since Wimbledon and, as mentioned, has dropped just 1 set to Medvedev’s 4 this week. Earlier in the week Medvedev openly made the point that he thought he would have to retire in the first set against Wawrinka before taking an MTO and it’s anyone guess if he’ll manage to recover enough for this match. If he’s smart, I think he’ll throw everything at Nadal early in the match knowing that taking the opening set is even more crucial than usual in this context.</p><p>Secondly, Nadal has a habit of working players out and while Medvedev may be able to maintain a hyper aggressive approach for a set or two it would be very impressive to see him play like that for a whole match. As mentioned, Berrettini managed to push Nadal in the opening set and notably he then faded 6-4 6-1. In fact, if we look at the difference between Nadal’s first two sets and the last sets in each of his matches this fortnight there is a clear trend. The first two sets read as follows: 6-3 6-2 6-3 6-4 6-3 3-6 6-4 7-5 7-6 6-4. The last sets read: 6-2 6-2 6-1 6-2 6-2 6-1. Just 1 of the 10 sets in the first group went under 9 games while in the second group all 6 were under 9 games. Players lose their confidence, motivation and fight as Nadal dials in his lethal forehand and his dominance increases as matches go on.</p><p>Not a match where value jumps out and there are clear questions over fitness, not to mention the nerves of a first major final, but those kinds of factors can go both ways and maybe Medvedev will feel less pressure and play with freedom given the difficult context. It doesn’t seem hugely likely, but I would have said Medvedev is one of the few players on tour who can compete with the elite and he has all the tool to give Nadal a competitive match at least early on. I was expecting more like 4 to 4.5 on the match and 3 to 3.25 on the first set. At anything 3.75+ I feel you have value.</p><div><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="US Open Betting Odds"><em><strong>Best Bet: Medvedev to win the first set at 4 with William Hill</strong></em></a></div></div>