US Open Picks 09/05: Serena To Drop The 1st & Win

Our picks for today's US Open action
Graham Ruthven
Thu, September 5, 9:01 AM EDT

It’s for real now. Just two wins separate each of these four players from US Open glory, with two compelling semi finals on the cards. The clash between Elina Svitolina and Serena Williams is one between the two tournament frontrunners, while the other semi final gives two up-and-comers a chance of making their first Grand Slam final. Here are four picks.

Elina Svitolina v Serena Williams

US Open women’s singles semi final, Thursday September 5

Many will see this as a showdown between the two players most likely to get their hands on the US Open trophy by the close of Saturday evening. Indeed, this tie sees the highest ranked player left in the women’s draw pitted against arguably the greatest female player of all time. This is the definition of a heavyweight clash under the lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Elina Svitolina has enjoyed a good season, making the quarter finals of the Australian Open earlier in the year. The Ukrainian has been in exceptional form over the past two weeks and beat Serena Williams the last time she played her at the 2016 Olympics. However, the American has an 80% success rate in matches against Svitolina.

Williams seems to have developed something of a mental block in the latter rounds of the Grand Slams over the past year, losing in the final of Wimbledon twice and last year’s US Open. This looks like being her toughest test of the tournament, so will those psychological problems bubble to the surface once again?

Both these players have had two days rest which should help Williams, although her quarter final match against Wang Qiang was so comfortable she won’t have exerted herself much. Despite this dominance, Williams produced just one ace in the straight sets victory. She will need to improve on that against Svitolina.

0.5u - Back Serena Williams To Lose First Set And Win @ +535

0.5u - Back Tie Break In The Match @ +240

Belinda Bencic v Bianca Andreescu

US Open women’s singles semi final, Thursday September 5

In terms of entertainment, this could be the best of the two US Open semi finals on the women’s side. This match-up pits two feisty competitions against each other with both players coming into this match with real momentum behind them. Indeed, Belinda Bencic and Bianca Andreescu are looking to make their first Grand Slam final and so there could be some nerves.

This is Andreescu’s first appearance in the main draw at Flushing Meadows and now she will have her sights set on going all the way. The Canadian has begun to fulfil her undeniable potential over the past two weeks, battling back from a set down to see off Elise Mertens in the quarter finals. This looks destined to be another tight match that goes the distance.

Andreescu is fearless in the big moments and that bullishness could be key. The teenager made the final of the Rogers Cup just a few weeks ago, giving her the grounding for a run at the final Grand Slam of the year. Andreescu faced Williams in that match, with the American retiring in the first set. We could be set for a rematch.

Bencic is adept at taking time away from her opponents and at redirecting pace. This is the first time that these two players will have faced each other, but the Swiss’ returning game could give Andreescu some problems. We should probably expect quite a few exchanges of serve over the course of this match.

1u - Back Bianca Andreescu To Win @ -136

1u - Back Three Sets @ +130

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