Thursday’s action at the US Open features plenty of potential headliners.
Gael Monfils takes on Andrey Rublev, Andy Murray and Grigor Dimitrov will meet for the 12th time in their careers and young star Arthur Fils will look to make it to the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in a showdown with fellow up-and-comer Matteo Arnaldi.
While all these matches have the potential to be box office, there’s an under-the-radar contest that’s caught my eye: Yibing Wu vs. Alex de Minaur.
Yibing Wu vs. Alex de Minaur pick
It’s been a pretty steady rise for de Minaur over the past few years.
A tireless worker with the game and work ethic suited for the hard court, de Minaur comes into the 2023 US Open playing some of the best tennis of his career.
The 24-year-old has made it to three finals (ATP London, Los Cabos and the Canada Masters) since June and has won 17 of his last 23 matches overall.
With that kind of form, it’s no wonder that there are plenty of people picking de Minaur to make some serious noise in a quarter of the draw that also features Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Hubert Hurkacz, Gael Monfils and Matteo Berrettini.
There’s certainly a chance that de Minaur does go on a run in Flushing — he’s a -380 favorite over Yibing Wu in Round 2 and would be a decent favorite again in Round 3 no matter his opponent — but Thursday’s contest with Wu could be trickier than the odds imply.
Although he’s not a household name yet, Wu has been quite impressive in his first season on the ATP Tour.
The 23-year-old became the first Chinese player to win an ATP title in the Open Era when he beat John Isner in Dallas back in February.
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Wu found things a bit tougher in the middle portion of the calendar when the surface changed to clay, but now back on hard courts he could be a thorn in the side of the seeded players in his quarter.
Going five sets against Dusan Lajovic may not have been the ideal start for Wu, but it was actually a positive sign for the young Chinese.
Wu suffered a scary collapse in his last match at the end of July, so seeing that he could not only go the distance, but play his best tennis of the match in the fifth set was an encouraging sign before a match against a tireless opponent.
A play on the Wu moneyline is certainly tempting, but I think there’s a fair bit of value on this match going into deep waters and will back the over 36.5 games.
The Bet: Over 36.5 games (-110, DraftKings)
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