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Here's our picks for today's US Open action

The final Grand Slam of the year is under way and there are a number of compelling first round ties on the card for play at the US Open today. Rafael Nadal will start his campaign, with Naomi Osaka also embarking on her US Open title defence. Here are four picks for Tuesday’s matches at Flushing Meadows.

John Millman v Rafael Nadal

US Open men’s singles first round, Tuesday August 26

Rafael Nadal arrives at Flushing Meadows this year in strong form. The Spaniard was ultimately forced to retire through injury at last year’s 2018 US Open and so much of his build up to the final Grand Slam of the 2019 season has been about keeping himself fit. This explains why after winning the Montreal Masters Nadal decided to skip Cincinnati.

John Millman produced one of the shocks of the year in 2018 by beating Roger Federer to make the quarter finals of the US Open 12 months ago. However, the Australian has suffered a disappointing 2019 season so far, currently possessing a 19-22 record. On the flip side, Nadal has won three of the last five tournaments he has played in and beat Millman in straight sets in his last meeting with the Australian.

1.5u - Back Rafael Nadal 3-0 @ -263

Naomi Osaka v Anna Blinkova

US Open women’s singles first round, Tuesday August 26

It was 12 months ago that Naomi Osaka made her breakthrough as the future face of the women’s game, winning her first Grand Slam title by beating Serena Williams in the 2018 US Open final. The Japanese star started her season by winning the Australian Open, but the year after that has been more challenging.

Osaka lost in the first round at Wimbledon and has since struggled with a knee injury so severe it forced her to pull out of the Cincinnati Masters just two weeks ago. Anna Blinkova comes into the tournament at a career high ranking of 84 and pulled off an impressive win over Caroline Garcia in the first round of Roland Garros earlier this year, but the Russian doesn’t have much main draw experience to draw on. This would be an almighty upset.

0.75u - Back Under 8.5 First Set Games @ +170

Denis Shapovalov v Felix Auger Aliassime

US Open men’s singles first round, Tuesday August 26

This might be America’s Grand Slam, but it is an all-Canadian clash that offers one of the most compelling ties of the first round. Denis Shapovalov comes into the US Open on the back of a run to the semi finals of the Winston-Salem Open, so he should be in confident form when he takes on his countryman at Flushing Meadows.

Not so long ago, Shapovalov was considered Canadian tennis’ next big thing. More recently, however, he has been usurped by Felix Auger Aliassime, who has made a big breakthrough this year. Shapovalov has always found his best form at the US Open (winning 71% of his matches there), while Auger Aliassime enters the tournament in relatively poor form, losing in the first round of the Cincinnati Masters - where he only made 47% of his first serves. Serving could be key here.

0.5u - Back Denis Shapovalov 3-2 @ +525

Simona Halep v Nicole Gibbs

US Open women’s singles first round, Tuesday August 26

Simona Halep pulled off something of a surprise victory by going all the way at Wimbledon and the Romanian enters the final Grand Slam of the year with an outside chance of claiming the number one ranking. However, Halep’s first round loss at Flushing Meadows is still relatively fresh in the memory and so she cannot afford to take anything for granted.

Nicole Gibbs has been a solid tour player for a while now, but this will be a big step up in quality for the world number 135. Gibbs made the third round of the US Open in 2014, but lost in straight sets the only other time she has faced Halep. The Romanian is one of the frontrunners to win the whole tournament and it’s difficult to envisage that she will trip up at the first hurdle.

1u - Back Simone Halep 6-3 First Set Score @ +484

By Graham Ruthven

Article Author


Graham Ruthven is a soccer writer and tipster who has written for the New York Times, Guardian, Eurosport and others.


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