U.S. Open Day 14 tennis predictions, picks and best bets: Carlos Alcaraz, Casper Ruud collide for title and top ranking

Carlos Alcaraz
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Ricky Dimon


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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me. For Ricky Dimon media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.
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Well, it doesn’t get much bigger than this.

In fact, it doesn’t get any bigger than this.

The U.S. Open men’s singles final on Sunday will not only be for a first-ever Grand Slam title for either Carlos Alcaraz or Casper Ruud, but it will also be for the No. 1 ranking. That’s right; whichever man triumphs will become the No. 1 player in the world for the first time in his career.

Who will achieve two lifetime goals in one fell swoop this weekend? Here are my best bets for the grand finale.

Under 41.5 games (-120)

Alcaraz has played three marathon five-setters in a row. I see Sunday’s contest going one of two ways: either the 19-year-old finally hits the wall physically and doesn’t have much left to offer, or he is 100 percent and wipes Ruud off the court. After all, Alcaraz is the far superior player. Unless he is compromised from a health standpoint, he should win big. That is exactly what he has done in his previous two meetings with Ruud, cruising 6-2, 6-4 on a clay court last season and 7-5, 6-4 on a hard court (in the Miami final) this spring. This is a rather sizable number, too, as even a four-set match has a good chance of staying under the total. Service breaks should be prevalent in this matchup, as the two competitors have combined 13 total breaks in just four sets against each other. An inability to hold serve often leads to short sets, reducing the likelihood of tiebreakers.

Casper Ruud Under 6.5 aces (-110)

Ruud has stayed under this number in 3 of his last 4 matches. He struck only 4 aces in the fourth round against Tommy Paul even though that battle went to five sets. In the quarterfinals against Matteo Berrettini, Ruud did not hit a single ace. Alcaraz has been aced no more than twice in three of his 6 matches. The 3 in which his opponents went over this number were all 5-setters. In the 5-set struggle against Sinner, the Italian finished with a modest 8 aces — and Sinner has a bigger serve than Ruud. This correlates nicely with an under play on the total games, as it’s hard to see Ruud exceeding a 6.5 quota if the match doesn’t require a fifth set.

Casper Ruud Under 3.5 double-faults (+110)

Similarly, an under bet on the number of games played also works well with this prop. Obviously the shorter the match, the fewer number of double-faults (and any other statistic) will take place. In his first three rounds Ruud averaged 5 double-faults. In his last three matches he has averaged fewer than two doubles. This is a matchup that is unlikely to be decided by serving, as neither one is among the biggest servers on tour and both are spectacular from the baseline. It’s not like Ruud has any reason to go for huge serves. If he plays low-risk tennis with both his first and second deliveries, his DFs should be kept to a minimum.

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