Get ready for a huge month of tennis with back to back masters series events followed by the US Open. A new champion will be crowned at Flushing Meadows with the finalists from last year sidelined for the rest of the season. It seems as though the ageing men on the tour have followed Federer’s lead. Djokovic has succumb to an elbow injury with Wawrinka ruling himself out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. With Andy Murray also struggling the door is wide open for the youngsters to step up. Alexander Zverev has put his hand up and after claiming his 4th title of the season in Washington a spot in the top 5 is not far away.
Roger and Rafa return this week with Thiem, Zverev, Nishikori, Raonic, Dimitrov and Tsonga all receiving byes in the opening round. The Wolf has been raving on about John Isner and says we will continue to back him this week despite a horrid draw. He takes on Del Potro in the opening round and is in the same quarter as Nadal and Raonic. It will be a real test but The Wolf says we are guaranteed to get a good price about him in each match. Here are Wolfy’s selections for Day 1.
Viktor Troicki v Nick KyrgiosNick Kyrgios has not retired in his last 3 matches and The Wolf simply cannot understand why he is in the draw this week. If he in fact went off due to injury last week in Washington there is no way his shoulder would have recovered in a matter of days. Things continue to spiral for Kyrgios. He has split with former girlfriend Tomljanovic and continue to heckle comments throughout his matches that he ‘doesn’t want to play’. The Wolf can see him giving it up early in this one yet again – especially if he loses the first set. The Wolf says to get right around Troicki to win the opening set and from that point on Kyrgios can do whatever he wants.
Best Bet: 1st Set Winner Troicki ($2.75)
Steve Johnson v Gael MonfilsIt has been a patchy year for both men to say the least. Monfils has failed to back up his incredible 2016 while Johnson remarkably has a better win percentage on clay than grass or hard courts. The Frenchman has lost his last three matches and against men that he should beat comfortably. There is no reason for Monfils to lost to Mannarino, Sutra Silva and Bhambri in consecutive matches. Johnson will be livid with his loss in Washington last week after he served for the match against Medvedev. Neither man is playing his best but you can be sure that Johnson will give it his all. Monfils has gone back to his defensive ways and on a fast hard court he will pay the price.
Best Bet: Johnson WIN ($2.60)
Juan Martin Del Potro v John IsnerThe Wolf is more than happy to attach him name with the following comment: “Del Potro’s best tennis is well in the rear view mirror”. That’s not to say that the Argentine will not win matches but the biggest problem in his game is his backhand. His long lasting wrist injuries have really altered his play from that wing and we constantly see him using the slice rather than hitting straight through the ball. It allows his opponents to take control of rallies and running from side to side is the last thing you want to do when you are 6 foot 5. Isner has been in stunning form and we have ridden him all the way in back to back title runs in Newport and Atlanta. His serving percentages are unbelievable! He averaged 70% of first serves in those two tournaments with his serve being broken just once! Isner should be a firm favourite for this one!
Best Bet: Isner WIN ($1.91)
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