2020 US Open Tennis Picks: Men’s Quarterfinal Day 2
September 8, 2020
Half of the semifinalists have already been determined at the 2020 US Open, with Alexander Zverev and Pablo Carreno-Busta punching their tickets to the final four on Tuesday. Today, the remaining two semifinal berths will be earned. With two Russians taking the court in one semifinal, and a young star taking on a tournament favorite in the other, there is no shortage of intrigue in the second day of US Open quarterfinal play. And of course, no shortage of US Open betting picks to be made.
Daniil Medvedev vs. Andrey Rublev
Daniil Medvedev has yet to drop a set in this year’s US Open, as he looks to reach the final in this event for the second straight year. The Russian has yet to be challenged in this tournament, with his first four victories all coming in straight sets against players ranked outside of the top-75 in the world. Against countryman Andrey Rublev, Medvedev will have his first real test in a US Open match since his five-set loss to Rafael Nadal in the 2019 final.
Even against inferior competition, the third-seeded Medvedev has been nothing short of impressive during this US Open. He has broken the serve of his opponents 24 times in four matches, for an average of six breaks per match. On his serve, he has held in all but three service games. Against a player like Rublev, expect Medvedev to have more of a challenge both breaking and holding serve, though his average match time of an hour and 53 minutes in this tournament should mean that he is fresh for his toughest challenge yet.
Andrey Rublev scored one of the most impressive wins by a remaining player in the draw when he knocked off Matteo Berrettini in the round of 16. After falling behind by a set, Rublev won the final three sets to turn a deficit into a comfortable four-set victory. The Russian broke Berrettini’s serve four times over the final three sets, which is impressive given that the Italian has held serve 87.7% of the time over the last year, a number that is good for seventh on tour. The tenth seed in this year’s US Open, Rublev has dropped just the one set in this year’s tournament, so fatigue should not be a factor for him either.
Despite these two players being from the same country, they have only played three times in their careers, all on hard courts. Medvedev has won all three of those meetings in straight sets, having won all six sets they have played against one another. None of those sets have even reached a tiebreak, with Medvedev being the clearly superior player in all three matches. Expect the same here, as Medvedev’s dominance in Queens – and over Rublev – will continue in straights, which comes at a nice plus price.
Pick: Daniil Medvedev -2.5 sets over Andrey Rublev (+143)
Alex De Minaur vs. Dominic Thiem
The most surprising remaining entrant in the 2020 US Open is easily Alex De Minaur. The 21 year old Australian has reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal in impressive fashion in this tournament. His reward for doing so is a date with the second seeded Dominic Thiem, who could be the favorite of the remaining players in the tournament. With both players known for giving opposing servers headaches, this match could be a real grinder.
De Minaur got a much-needed straight set win over Vasek Pospisil in his round of 16 match, after needing five sets to defeat Karen Khachanov in the third round of the tournament. The Demon needed a tiebreak to take the first set against the Canadian, before breaking Pospisil two times in each of the final two sets to coast to victory. De Minaur has earned breaks in 23% of his service games over the last year, putting him in the top-30 on tour in that department. But he faces a difficult player to break in Dominic Thiem here.
Thiem is coming off of one of the most impressive performances by a favorite in the US Open thus far, defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime in straight sets in the round of 16. After a tiebreak was needed to settle the first set, Thiem won the final two sets by a combined 12 games to two. The Austrian has dropped one set to Marin Cilic in this tournament, winning each of the other 11 sets he has played. A top-15 server over the last year with a hold rate of 85.1%, Thiem has a clear advantage over De Minaur with his ability to avoid being broken compared to his opponent here.
These two combatants have played twice in their careers, once in the 2018 Davis Cup and once in the 2017 US Open. In those matches, both coming before De Minaur had turned 20, Thiem held a six sets to one advantage over the Australian De Minaur. These players are similar statistically, but Thiem has way more big match experience and should be able to get the better of the De Minaur serve. At a plus price, a straight sets win is too enticing to pass up, as one of the favorites winning in straight sets today would net a profit on today’s picks.