US Open Round 3: Mentally-Frail Kyrgios Could Struggle Against Federer4 min read
Match of the round
Roger Federer v Nick Kyrgios (Saturday)
You never know what you are going to get with Kyrgios and we got a new dimension on Thursday when he managed to get the umpire to become his coach mid-match. It occurred due to all-too-familiar lack of effort from the Australian but I doubt that will be an issue here. Kyrgios gets himself up for these matches, as shown by the fact that eight of the nine sets these two have played have gone to tie-breaks. However, the pro-Federer crowd will be on him, especially after Thursday’s incident, and could well affect the mentally-frail Kyrgios. I can see him fading away which brings Federer into play on the game handicap if the line is set at 3.5 – it’s not up at time of writing. Of the prices currently available, 3-1 to Federer in sets at 5/2 looks best.
Best of the rest
Denis Shapovalov v Kevin Anderson (Friday)
Shapovalov is one for the future but staying in the present, I think he’s met his match here. The Canadian has double-faulted a lot, dropped serve 10 times in seven and a half sets this tournament and needed almost four hours to beat Andreas Seppi in Wednesday’s heat. At the same time, Anderson was blitzing Jeremy Chardy in under two hours, not facing break point. With Shapovalov yet to face the Anderson delivery it could be a tough day at the office. Anderson isn’t the greatest returner but I still fancy the experienced, fresher man. 3-0 is worth considering at 15/8 but under 40.5 games is my selection with Shapovalov capable of grabbing a set if he plays well.
Under 40.5 games at
John Isner v Dusan Lajovic (Friday)
These two have played 16 previous sets and nine have gone to a tie-break, including two of three on hardcourt. Isner has already played an opening-set breaker in the first two rounds and sticking with such a bet looks worth considering at 6/5. However, a better bet is for Lajovic to win the opener at 2/1, something he has done in three of their five previous meetings. Cameron Norrie was impressed by the Lajovic forehand in the previous round and he’ll look to use that shot to the full, as Nicolas Jarry did in round two v Isner. The American hasn’t been at his best recently and could be vulnerable.
Lajovic to win the first set at
Milos Raonic v Stan Wawrinka (Friday)
Wawrinka has been firing on the North American hardcourts, finally resembling the player who won the title here in 2016. He rolled Grigor Dimitrov in round one and I’m surprised he’s the outsider here, particularly given his 4-1 head-to-head lead over the big-serving Canadian. Wawrinka has won all five tie-breaks they’ve played which could give him an extra edge in any such key moments.
Wawrinka to win at