U.S. Open Day 13 tennis predictions, picks and best bets: Iga Swiatek, Ons Jabeur in title tilt
And then there were two… Whereas it has been borderline chaos on the men’s side, the two women left standing at the end of the U.S. Open are the players you would have expected to see when it began. Nobody on the WTA Tour has racked up more ranking points than Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur.
Swiatek is deservedly ranked No. 1 in the world for her efforts and Jabeur will be ranked No. 2 next week regardless of Saturday’s outcome. In fact, Jabeur would already be No. 2 (she is currently 5th) if Wimbledon had awarded ranking points earlier this summer.
These players have been the best on tour pretty much all year long. It’s only fitting that they are now going head-to-head for the season’s final Grand Slam title. It’s time to take a look at the best bets to be made on Saturday’s championship match.
My best bets record stands at 18-12-1 through 11 days heading into the U.S. Open men’s semifinals.
Ons Jabeur ML over Iga Swiatek (+160)
Since Iga Swiatek won the French Open in early June, Ons Jabeur has been the WTA’s best player. She finished runner-up at Wimbledon and now finds herself in yet another Grand Slam final. The 28-year-old has said all the right things about what she will learn from her loss at the All-England Club and how it will make her better in her second slam title match. Obviously that is easier said than done, but it really sounds like she means it.
More importantly, her play clearly indicates that she is ready to win a major. Jabeur has dropped only one set this fortnight and she is coming off a 6-1, 6-3 semifinal rout of Caroline Garcia, who was the hottest player on tour going into that match. Swiatek is great, but this is an even matchup. The value on Jabeur at +160 is too good to pass up.
Iga Swiatek vs Ons Jabeur over 21 games (-120)
Of course, there is no reason to think that Swiatek is going to bow out without a fight. The 21-year-old is a two-time major champion (2020 and 2022 French Opens) and even though she is at her best on clay, she proved her worth on hard courts with back-to-back titles in Indian Wells and Miami this spring.
The head-to-head series is all even 2-2. Two of their first four meetings required three sets and the two that ended in straight sets were split — one in Swiatek’s favor and one for Jabeur. It’s not like either woman has come close to having a clear upper hand in this matchup. This match has all the makings of a blockbuster battle between the best players in the world. Hammer the over on what is a relatively modest number of 21.
Iga Swiatek to hit the most double-faults (+100)
Neither woman double faults a lot — which is what you would expect considering they are the best players on tour and find themselves in the U.S. Open final. I’m intrigued by the value on a tie at +450 given that the double-fault tally will almost certainly be low and could finish at something like 1-1 or 2-2. However, I will roll with Swiatek at +100 to hit the most. The Pole’s DF numbers through 6 matches in New York are 0, 2, 3, 2, 3 and 3. Jabeur’s totals are 1, 3, 3, 0, 2 and 2. Those are very similar, but Swiatek is trending slightly in the wrong direction whereas Jabeur is averaging just 1.33 doubles over her last 3 rounds.
It should also be noted that in the biggest match of her career (the Wimbledon final), the Tunisian double-faulted only once — and that was in three sets! Finally, Jabeur is so tricky to play against from the baseline that her opponents feel like they have to go for bigger serves than they would normally hit. That naturally leads to more mistakes. A case in point: 5 of Jabeur’s 6 opponents this fortnight have doubled at least 4 times, including Ajla Tomljanovic with 9 and two others with 5 each.