In a thrilling turn of events, Chris Eubanks, an underdog in the tennis world, captured the hearts of fans at Wimbledon with his remarkable run to the quarterfinals. The 27-year-old American, who had never advanced beyond the second round of any Grand Slam before, displayed an exceptional performance that left everyone in awe. However, Eubanks' journey since that unforgettable moment has been far from smooth sailing, with recent losses and a dip in form. Despite this, he enters the US Open as a seeded player, carrying the hopes of the crowd on his shoulders.
Eubanks is set to face Soon-Woo Kwon in the first round on Monday, and he is favored to win with odds of -390. This match presents an intriguing challenge for Eubanks, as he must navigate the pressure of being a popular American player in front of a home crowd. His recent form has been inconsistent, having lost three out of his last five matches. Nevertheless, the fans remain eager to witness another chapter of his captivating story unfold on the court.
On the other hand, Kwon's situation poses a different set of uncertainties. The South Korean player endured a six-month-long injury, which forced him out of the game just weeks after winning a title in Adelaide. Returning to action at the US Open after such a lengthy absence is undoubtedly a daunting task. Nonetheless, Eubanks is considered a straightforward opponent in this matchup, primarily relying on his powerful serve to dictate the tempo of the game. Kwon, despite the rust factor, should find himself in a favorable position due to Eubanks' style of play.
Interestingly, Tennis Abstract calculates Kwon as a 55.6% favorite in this match, although this estimation may be skewed due to the South Korean's extended hiatus. Nevertheless, it highlights the fact that these players are relatively evenly matched. However, taking into account Eubanks' remarkable Wimbledon run, it is likely that the betting line would have been different had he not experienced that breakthrough. FanDuel currently offers odds of +300 for a victory by Kwon.
In a separate match, former World No. 6 Felix Auger-Aliassime aims to regain his momentum after a disappointing stretch. Despite starting the year strong with a trip to the round of 16 at the Australian Open, the Canadian player encountered a series of injuries and inconsistent performances that resulted in five consecutive defeats, including early exits at the French Open and Wimbledon. Auger-Aliassime did manage to end his slump with an impressive win over Matteo Berrettini at the Cincinnati Masters, only to be eliminated in the following match against Adrian Mannarino.
If Auger-Aliassime were in better form, he would undoubtedly be the clear favorite against Mackenzie McDonald in the first round of the US Open. The 23-year-old Canadian, known for his powerful serve, has shown promise on hard courts, particularly at the US Open where he reached the semifinals two years ago. McDonald, ranked as the No. 39 player in the world, is no pushover, but his recent retirement in a match raises concerns about his fitness. Auger-Aliassime's potential far exceeds McDonald's, making him the expected favorite in this matchup.
Ultimately, the outcome of this match will hinge on which version of Auger-Aliassime shows up on Monday evening. With his history of performing well on hard courts at Grand Slam events, it is more likely than not that the Canadian will deliver a strong performance. FanDuel offers odds of -112 for Auger-Aliassime to win by a margin of 1.5 sets.