2020 US Open Tennis Picks: Men’s Semifinals

September 10, 2020

The US Open semifinals feature two matchups featuring players that had very different matches in the quarterfinal round. One semifinal features players who breezed through the quarters in straight sets, while the other semifinal features two players who needed to grind out wins over their opponents to get here. Both matches are incredibly intriguing, though, and we should come out of them with two worthy US Open finalists. Here are today’s US Open betting picks for the semifinal round.

Pablo Carreno Busta vs. Alexander Zverev

While many will argue that Novak Djokovic should be playing today instead of Pablo Carreno-Busta, the Spanish player has more than earned his spot in the semifinals. He was up a break on the world number one before Djokovic was ousted from the tournament, and followed that bizarre victory up with a five-set win over the hard-hitting Denis Shapovalov. 

Carreno-Busta broke the Shapovalov serve five times in that match, and overcame an apparent injury in the fourth set in order to gut out a win that went well past midnight in New York. The Spaniard will need to be careful not to be broken too often on his serve, though, as he was broken eight times against Shapovalov in five sets.

Sascha Zverev had a slightly easier match to qualify for the semifinal round, though it was not easy by any means either. He defeated Borna Coric in four sets, winning the final three sets after dropping the first one to his Croatian counterpart on the court. The German had 18 aces and 12 double faults in the match, with his inability to get second serves in lurking as a potential problem as he approaches the final rounds of this tournament.

Zverev has dominated the head to head against Carreno-Busta, as he has won both of the matches that they have played against one another. Those matches came in 2018, including one hard court result in Miami. But with this being their first encounter in a major, it is possible that Carreno-Busta’s calm demeanor can help him in a setting where tensions are higher than in their previous matchups.

This match is going to come down to whether or not Sascha Zverev can keep his nerve well enough to hold off the tenacious Carreno-Busta. I would expect the German to do enough to win the match, but his propensity to throw in double faults in important service games and the Spaniard’s grit to this point in the tournament lead me to believe that this match is going at least four sets and that the over is the best bet in the match.

Pick: Over 39.5 service games (-105)

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Daniil Medvedev vs. Dominic Thiem

Both Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem won their quarterfinal matches in straight sets, though only one was expected to do so. Medvedev got through his match with fellow Russian Andrey Rublev in three sets, though some expected Rublev to put up more of a fight against the third seed in the tournament. Medvedev won two tiebreaks and fought through some late cramping to get off the court in straights, allowing him to get as much rest as possible for this battle of top-five players in the world.

In the match against Rublev, Medvedev did not face a break point over the course of three sets. He also only earned one break point against the Rublev serve during the match, and converted it in the second set. He will need to be better at creating break chances against Thiem, as Thiem is likely to give him more trouble than Rublev did should the two go to multiple tiebreaks.

Dominic Thiem also won in straight sets against Australian Alex De Minaur, which was a more expected result given De Minaur’s lack of experience at this level in Grand Slam events. The Austrian was off the court in just over two hours, as he broke De Minaur seven times over the course of three sets to make things as easy as possible heading into what will surely be a tougher match.

Thiem won the first two matchups in the head to head against Medvedev, but Medvedev won the most recent match between these two players. That came at the Montreal Masters 1000 event in 2019, with Medvedev winning in straight sets in that match. While Thiem leads the head to head by two matches to one, the Russian has won three of the five sets these players have played on hard courts.

It is rare to get either of these players at such a low price on the moneyline in a tournament, unless they are underdogs against one of the big three. In this match, expect more than three sets, but expect the Russian to come out on top as he reaches his second consecutive US Open final.

Pick: Daniil Medvedev over Dominic Thiem (-125)

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