Rory Jiwani picks out his best bets from the opening round at Flushing Meadows.
As previously discussed, Novak Djokovic is no price to retain his US Open title and I think it's worth taking him on. First up is Jerzy Janowicz who has suffered with a knee injury of late but is capable of troubling anyone with his big serve. Three years ago he reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon before falling to eventual champion Andy Murray.
I'm not saying the Pole will win but we may only get one chance to get Djokovic - who has been suffering with a wrist injury - beat. If Janowicz is serving well and the Serb is tentative about his returns, then tiebreaks could be on the cards. So I'm backing Janowicz to win, both players to win the first set on a tiebreak, and Janowicz to win in straight sets which is a huge price but it would not be the greatest shock to see him win three tiebreaks. At the prices, it's certainly worth having a go.
Grigor Dimitrov is returning to something like his best and he faces Inigo Cervantes who has played on clay all summer apart from one brief run-out on grass. I expect the Bulgarian to ease through and will play him to win the first set 6-0 and 6-1.
In the women's, I'll start by applying Djokovic logic to Serena Williams who has admitted to being underdone ahead of Flushing Meadows. Ekaterina Makarova's serve is a serious weapon and she can certainly give the world number one plenty to think about.
Petra Kvitova has been extremely inconsistent of late and she was humbled by Agnieszka Radwanska in New Haven on Friday night. She faces Jelena Ostapenko who has beaten her in both their meetings this year. Given we have no idea which Kvitova will turn up, the Latvian has to be a play and I am very keen on her to win a set. The Czech is not dubbed “#P3tra” for nothing.
Andrea Petkovic has been in dreadful form recently and she faces a tough opener against Kristina Kucova who enjoyed a superb run to the Rogers Cup semi-finals in Montreal. At 2-1, Kucova looks a big price.
Another player in the doldrums is Teliana Pereira and she comes up against Carla Suarez Navarro. The Spaniard has dealt with Pereira easily in the past and I expect her to do so again here.