The first two weeks of this year’s edition of the U.S. Open are among the best in recent memory. Perhaps the lack of names that have dominant high-level tennis for the past 20 years has given the rest of the field confidence that they can truly win a major. With that said, this column will look at the best tennis betting odds and picks for the 2021 U.S. Open quarterfinals.
Tennis Betting Odds & Picks: 2021 U.S. Open Quarterfinals
Lloyd Harris – Alexander Zverev
Zverev is on a career-best 14-match win streak since the start of the Tokyo Olympics. He is going to get a lot of hype here as one of the two men who could beat Novak Djokovic in a five-set match. The one thing left for him is a success at a grand slam after he choked away the U.S. Open final to Dominic Thiem last year. There will be a lot of attention towards his next match against Djokovic, and it will be impossible for him not to look ahead to it. Harris is a good young player that has improved every year he has been on tour. He has also bagged some big wins already in his career, including beating Rafael Nadal two weeks ago in Washington.
Felix Auger-Aliassime – Carlos Alcaraz
For all the talk and concern of Auger-Aliassime’s record in ATP Finals (0-8, for the record), he has quietly been very consistent in majors. Throwing out his two first round losses at Roland Garros on a surface he clearly struggles at, he has made the Round of 16 or better in the last four majors, which is an impressive accomplishment for his age. The losses are impressive too; at Wimbledon he lost to finalist Matteo Berrettini, at the Australian Open he lost to a redlining Aslan Karatsev, and at last year’s U.S. Open he lost to eventual champion Thiem. Now he faces a fellow young prodigy in Alcaraz.
Aryna Sabalenka – Barbora Krejcikova
Sabalenka is another player that has put together an impressive resume at a young age. When she is on her game there are few players who can compete with her power. Unfortunately, this matchup against Krejcikova spells trouble. Krejcikova, once almost purely a doubles specialist, has put together by far the best year of her career, including winning the French Open. With her doubles experience giving her the full repertoire of volleys, drop shots and tricky spins, her game will make this a must-watch.
Emma Raducanu – Belinda Bencic
Raducanu came out of nowhere, receiving a wild card, to reach the Round of 16 at Wimbledon before nerves clearly got to her in her match against Ajla Tomljanovic, causing her to retire in the second set. She seemed to learn from her experience there, as she followed that run up with a finals run at a 125-level tournament in Chicago and a quarterfinals appearance at this tournament. She is facing Bencic, who has had an incredible summer for herself, winning the Olympic Gold Medal and looking like a serious contender here. Bencic has always been a hard player for models to peg because her level of play can vary so wildly. Depending on the day, Bencic can look like the best player in the world, or she can get swept by Kaja Juvan in the first round of Wimbledon.
Round 3 Tennis Betting Picks
Lloyd Harris (+460)
The model has this match lined a touch too high for Zverev. Harris’ serve should be able to keep him in sets, and he has already proven he can hang with and beat the best. He also has been competitive in both matches against Zverev in his career, losing a tight three-setter in one match and forcing a first-set tiebreak in the other.
Barbora Krejcikova (+155)
The big caveat with this pick is that, if Sabalenka is on, Krejcikova has no chance. That said, +155 is simply too high because, if Sabalenka is not on form, this match is much closer to 50/50. It is easy to picture scenarios where Krejcikova keeps Sabalenka off balance with her arsenal of shots and forces a lot of errors, much like Ons Jabeur did to Sabalenka at the French Open. The model gives Krejcikova a 50.51% chance to win and Sabalenka 49.49%.
Felix Auger-Aliassime -3.5 Games
The court time and pressure will get to Alcaraz. Auger-Aliassime has been here before and knows what it takes to win this type of match. Alcaraz has made deep runs in tournaments before and even won one on clay in Umag earlier this year. This is different, though, and after a deep run in Winston-Salem the week before this major, he will not be able to hang in for five sets against someone with the power and athleticism that of Auger-Aliassime.
Leylah Fernandez (+208)
Elina Svitolina will probably never get the respect that she deserves due to her lack of results at the highest levels of tennis. It seems like every major she is in contention, yet she never seems to be able to get over the hump, mostly just due to facing more talented players. In a lot of ways she has done a great job of maximizing her talents, yet in most majors that is not good enough. Osaka struggled with Fernandez’s left-handed serve and spin, and expect to see more of the same from Svitolina here; she has lost her last three matches to left-handed players in Marketa Vondrousova, Angelique Kerber and Jil Teichmann.
Belinda Bencic -2.5 Games
Raducanu is a great story and continues to defy the odds despite lacking the same level of junior-level pedigree that other phenoms her age have. Unfortunately, Bencic is probably playing the best tennis of her life. Raducanu is a great story, but her opponents to get to this point have been Stefanie Voegele, Shuai Zhang, Sara Sorribes Tormo and Shelby Rogers; none of those players are ranked in the top 40. There is something to be said for taking advantage of fortuitous draws (Svitolina is a good example of this), but this version of Bencic is an entirely different level of player than what Raducanu has faced so far.
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