U.S. Open Day 6 preview and best bets: Andrey Rublev has the edge over Denis Shapovalov
Labor Day weekend in New York is upon us. The lights get even brighter at the U.S. Open as the business end of the tournament approaches, with spots in the prestigious second week of the tournament available as third-round competition continues on Saturday. Rafael Nadal will be back in action, but a different Spaniard — Garbine Muguruza — is among the best bets to be made as the weekend gets underway. There also appears to be value on an intriguing showdown between Andrey Rublev and Denis Shapovalov.
I am 8-4 so far, having gone 2-1 on each of the first four days prior to Friday’s U.S. Open best bets. Let’s keep the momentum going with my Saturday picks!
Andrey Rublev ML over Denis Shapovalov (-170)
With neither player in great form, this is more a fade of Shapovalov than a tail of Rublev. Shapovalov just barely has a winning record in 2022 (21-18) and his two U.S. Open wins have been unspectacular at best. The Canadian needed five sets to beat Marc-Andrea Huesler and then double-faulted 13 times during a four-set defeat of Roberto Carballes Baena. To say that is unspectacular competition would be a gross understatement, too.
Rublev also required five in his opener, but that was against Laslo Djere — who just reached the Winston-Salem final. The ninth-seeded Russian proceeded to destroy Soonwoo Kwon 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 on Thursday. Rublev is playing better and also won their most recent meeting at the 2020 St. Petersburg event. Count on him extending Shapovalov’s woes.
Ilya Ivashka -2.5 games over Lorenzo Musetti (-125)
I nailed Ivashka on the +276 money line against Hubert Hurkacz on Thursday, so I’m staying on the bandwagon. This isn’t the first time the Belarusian has thrived on American hard courts. He won the Winston-Salem title last summer and then advanced to the third round of the U.S. Open, losing to Matteo Berrettini in a five-setter. Now he looks set to go at least one step farther at Flushing Meadows, as Musetti would much rather play this particular matchup on a clay court. Ivashka should win and it may not even be close.
Petra Kvitova vs Garbine Muguruza Over 21.5 games (-105)
I generally avoid over/under plays in the early rounds unless they are blatantly obvious choices, as they are more of a dice-roll than sides. But with fewer matches to work with at this point in the tournament and with the seeded players starting to go head-to-head — which generally leads to some awesome encounters — I am happy to target some overs.
The best one on Saturday is Kvitova versus Muguruza, a battle of two-time Grand Slam champions. Both are big hitters whose serves are not easily broken, so even if this lasts only two sets it would still have a good chance of going over. Of course, considering it’s a relatively even matchup, three sets is a real possibility. Kvitova and Muguruza have faced each other six times and have exceeded this number on four occasions.
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