Staff writer argues that multiple other players are better bets for the 2010 US Open than Roger Federer.
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The 2010 US Open will start on August 30th this year from Flushing Meadows, New York and that makes it less than 4 weeks away from starting. Before that Slam, the final one of the year begins, we will have results from ATP Washington, the Canadian Masters, and the Cincinnati Masters.
When the US Open does roll around at the end of the month Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will surely be all the talk in New York as Nadal can complete a career Slam with a win while Federer can prove his doubters wrong by winning it all once again.
Nadal is best priced at +275 (11/4) with Paddy Power and the odds have slight value as his form has been scary in recent months. Federer is priced at +300 (3/1; BoyleSports) as the second favorite and the argument could be made that he should be priced much, much longer.
Federer has been mounting up losses for quite some time as he has just two active titles, one of which will contested and probably lost before the start of Flushing Meadows (Cincinnati). The other one is a bigger as it comes from the 2010 Australian Open, the other hard court Slam - a fact that may be giving Federer fans and backers a bit of confidence (although it probably should not be).
Nadal, quite correctly, is already considered a heavier favorite than Federer but 4 other key players are not and 3 of them probably should be: Novak Djokovic, Robin Soderling, and Tomas Berdych. Andy Murray is basically on par with Federer at this point.
Here's what the favorites look like right now for the 7 serious contenders (the percentage is the implied probability based on the odds):
1. Rafael Nadal +275, 26.7% chance of winning (Paddy Power)
2. Roger Federer +300, 25% (BoyleSports)
3. Andy Murray +550, 15.4% (Bodog)
4. Novak Djokovic +1600, 5.88% (SportingBet)
5. Robin Soderling +1600, 5.88% (SportingBet)
6. Tomas Berdych +2000, 4.76% (SportingBet)
7. Juan Martin Del Potro, +2800, 3.45% (SportingBet)
Andy Roddick is generally considered the 7th favorite with most sportsbooks but you might drop him down the list based on Wimbledon and ATP Atlanta as he did not lose to Slam contenders in those tournaments. Sam Querrey is a better bet at +8000 (80/1) with Boylesports than Roddick is at +2000 with SportingBet.
Here's what my true odds and true favorites are:
1. Rafael Nadal +212, 32%
2. Novak Djokovic +800, 11.1%
4. Robin Soderling +1200, 7.7%
4. Tomas Berdych +1200, 7.7%
6. Roger Federer +2000, 4.8%
6. Andy Murray +2000, 4.8%
Sam Querrey has made a small case for himself to be considered a US Open threat with the ATP Los Angeles title and an argument could be made that he is poised to breakout. He has hardly any points to defend from ATP Washington, the Canadian Masters, or the Cincinnati Masters and there is no reason why he shouldn't be in the top 12 by the end of the US Open.
His true odds could be put at +3000 (30/1; 3.23%) which is about where I put Roddick as well.
Nadal, Djokovic, Soderling, and Berdych are all major threats to Federer at the US Open. If any of those players drew Federer, the Swiss Maestro should be the underdog.
I would put Nadal at -600 to win straight up against Fed, Djokovic at -350, and Soderling and Berdych both as -225 favorites vs Federer.
Murray is a tough read at this point with the coaching changes, the title drought, and the choke in the Aussie final to Fed but even he, Murray, could be in a coin toss against Federer should they meet.
From the quarterfinals on, Federer could be fighting as an underdog and +300 are the worst odds in the US Open's outright winner's market. To really have a good shot at the title, Federer would need upsets or withdrawals to thin the talent out as there's no real way he can be called a likely survivor of this kind of draw:
Round of 16: Sam Querrey
QF: Robin Soderling
SF: Novak Djokovic
Finals: Rafael Nadal
Australian Open aside, Federer 2010 is not Federer 2003-2008 and no one is going to be scared of the Swiss Maestro anymore. Fed will be ranked 4th or 5th after the post-US Open rankings come out and he'll keep descending from there.
Recommendations: pound Nadal at +275 (Paddy Power), sprinkle Djokovic at +1600 (SportingBet), and sprinkle Del Potro at +2800 (SportingBet).
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