6 Men’s Players To Avoid at US Open

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(AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Gary Pearson @newagejourno Jul 25, 2022, 10:24 AM

When choosing your US Open 2022 picks on the men’s side of the draw, you’ll want to steer clear of the following six players for various reasons. 

US Open betting odds are set for the fourth major of the year, which is taking place at Flushing Meadows from Aug. 29 to Sept. 11. The field is bursting with talent, and several players can win it all, especially if Novak Djokovic isn’t permitted to play

While several contenders are in the running for futures consideration, these six are not worth taking a shot on and should be avoided at all costs. 

6. Casper Ruud +6600

The world No. 5 is an exceptional talent who will enjoy untold success at the elite level of men’s tennis. The 23-year-old has already won eight titles and made it to the French Open final in May, his first Grand Slam showcase match. However, Casper Ruud has not found common ground with his nemesis, the hard court.

Even more so than Rafael Nadal when he was 23, Ruud is a clay-court specialist through and through. Seven of his eight titles since turning pro have come on the muddy-like surface.

Until he acclimates and finds a way to showcase his elite playmaking ability on the tour’s most prominent surface, he won’t ascend to the apex of men’s tennis. 

Ruud is 9-4 on hard courts this season but has a significantly inferior all-time 52-41 mark on his least-favorite surface. That equates to a winning rate of 56 percent, clearly not good enough for a player with a top-10 world ranking. 

5. Cameron Norrie +6600

Cameron Norrie, who has won three of his four titles on hard court, doesn’t have the same tormenting aversion to Ruud’s surface. Norrie has won two titles in 2022, one on hard court and the other on clay. He also advanced to the Wimbledon semifinal, where he was outclassed by the master of grass, Novak Djokovic. 

Norrie, for the most part, is making all the right strides but for his inability to beat elite opponents. 

The world No. 11 is a woeful 1-6 against top-10 opponents in 2022 and has a gruesomely abhorrent 4-24 all-time mark in contests versus the world’s best, an overall record that is overwhelmingly incongruous with winning a major title.  

4. Hubert Hurkacz +5000

Like Norrie, Hubert Hurkacz is a proficient hard-court player. He has won 58% of his career matches on the surface and is more than capable of pulling off some surprise upsets. 

Unlike Norrie, the giant Pole isn’t fearful of playing the world’s best. 

He is 4-4 this season against top-10 opponents and 13-19 all-time. While by no means glimmering statistics, they at least show that Hurkacz can upend the best players on his day. 

Unfortunately, Hurkacz, the world No. 12, has shown a definite inability to rise to the occasion at the Australian Open and US Open, the two majors played on hard court. 

With three second-round exits and a first-round defeat, Hurkacz hasn’t advanced past the second round in four previous US Open appearances. The same is true of his record Down Under, where he suffered two first-round defeats and two second-round losses. 

That’s five victories in eight hard-court major appearances, not exactly a record that leads one to believe he can pull off seven successive victories in the same tournament.  

3. Denis Shapovalov +3300

Denis Shapovalov has a game suited for the hard courts of Flushing Meadows. Statistically speaking, the Canadian has an all-time 57% winning record on hard courts and has the most joy on his preferred surface. The Canadian has run into dire stretches of inconsistent, subpar play, particularly recently. 

He can’t seem to find his top form and succumbs too quickly to frustration. His own worst enemy, the world No. 21 gets irked at one missed serve, one errant backhand, which he cannot recover from. Don’t expect him to win a major title until he improves his mental strength, patience, resilience, and self-belief, especially in pivotal moments. 

Ousted in the first round of five successive tournaments, Shapovalov entered Wimbledon on a six-game losing streak. He snapped his extended losing streak at the All England Club but only won a single match before being knocked out by the lower-ranked Brandon Nakashima in the second round. Unfortunately, all is not right with Shapovalov, who probably won’t advance into the second week at Flushing Meadows. 

2. Dominic Thiem +1100

Currently the +1100 seventh favorite, you would think the 2020 US Open winner is a solid futures pick to secure his second Grand Slam trophy. Thiem has been a shadow of his former self since seriously injuring his wrist in June 2021. 

The Austrian’s world ranking has been in freefall ever since, dropping from No. 3 to, according to his current Wimbledon profile, 339. 

Thiem endured a bout of Covid-19 sickness and has never fully recovered from the discernibly debilitating wrist injury. As a result, he has played just nine matches in 2022, seven of which ended in defeat.  

Even if you believe in the possibility of the most whimsical, fantastical fairy-tale ending, don’t put your faith in Thiem at Flushing Meadows. If you do, your US Open tennis betting hopes will quickly become a recurring nightmare scary enough to feature in a haunting horror. 

1. Alexander Zverev +800

Ordinarily, Alexander Zverev’s +800 fifth-favorite status would offer exquisite value you’d want to jump all over. However, the world No. 2 is brilliant on hard courts and has won almost 70% of his matches on the surface. That’s one of the best winning percentages on any surface from the men’s side of the draw. 

The German looked poised to make Nadal go the distance in their French Open semifinal before the unthinkable transpired. Zverev rolled his ankle and suffered torn ligaments, which required corrective surgery in the first week of June. He is on the road to recovery and faces a race against time to be ready for the US Open. 

Even if he plays and his ankle has fully healed, there is no way he’ll be at the fitness level required to win seven grueling matches on an unforgiving surface in the dead heat of a New York summer. While an exceedingly impressive talent, Zverev won’t be able to overcome the collection of Mount Everest-size impediments that stand imperviously in his way.   

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About the Author

Gary Pearson

Read More @newagejourno

Gary Pearson is a freelance sports writer who contributes regularly to BetMGM, specializing in hockey, tennis and soccer coverage.

Gary Pearson is a freelance sports writer who contributes regularly to BetMGM, specializing in hockey, tennis and soccer coverage.