In Thursday's action at the US Open, there are several high-profile matches to look forward to. Gael Monfils will face Andrey Rublev, Andy Murray will meet Grigor Dimitrov for the 12th time in their careers, and rising star Arthur Fils will take on Matteo Arnaldi in a bid to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time. However, there is one under-the-radar contest that has caught the attention of many, the match between Yibing Wu and Alex de Minaur.
De Minaur, 24, has been steadily rising in the tennis world over the past few years. Known for his tireless work ethic and well-suited game for hard courts, he enters the 2023 US Open in top form. Since June, he has reached three finals, including the ATP London, Los Cabos, and Canada Masters, winning 17 out of his last 23 matches. With such impressive form, it comes as no surprise that many are picking de Minaur to make a significant impact in his quarter of the draw, which also features top players such as Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Hubert Hurkacz, Gael Monfils, and Matteo Berrettini.
However, despite being the favorite at -380 against Yibing Wu in the second round, de Minaur may face a tougher challenge than expected. Wu, although not yet a household name, has made a strong impression in his debut season on the ATP Tour. He became the first Chinese player to win an ATP title in the Open Era when he defeated John Isner in Dallas earlier this year. While Wu faced some difficulties on clay courts, he has returned to his comfort zone on hard courts, making him a potential threat to the seeded players in his quarter.
Wu's opening match against Dusan Lajovic went the distance, lasting five sets. While it may not have been an ideal start for Wu, it showcased his resilience and ability to play his best tennis in the decisive moments. This is an encouraging sign for the young Chinese player, especially before facing a tenacious opponent like de Minaur. While betting on Wu's moneyline is tempting, it's more likely that this match will go into deep waters, which is why the over 36.5 games bet seems like a valuable option.
In another match, Ben Shelton and Dominic Thiem will face off. Shelton, a big-serving American, represents the next generation of potential stars, while Thiem was a star in a previous generation but has struggled with injuries since his 2020 US Open victory. Both players had relatively smooth victories in the first round, and with Holger Rune out of the tournament, the winner of this match has a real opportunity to make a deep run.
Shelton, at -140 odds, is favored over Thiem, but there are strengths and weaknesses in both players' games. Shelton possesses athleticism, energy, and a powerful serve that can be a game-changer. However, he can be inconsistent and overly reliant on his serve to bail him out of difficult situations. On the other hand, Thiem, known for his baseline prowess, has the ability to absorb pace and strategize his way through long rallies. His experience and adaptability will be crucial in this matchup against Shelton, who prefers shorter points.
While the market favors Shelton due to Thiem's consistency issues after returning from injury and his limited play on hard courts recently, this match is seen as a coin flip by some. Thiem's experience and versatility give him various paths to success, making him a valuable underdog in this contest. The bet of choice in this match would be to back Dominic Thiem at +115 odds.
Overall, Thursday's action at the US Open promises an exciting day of tennis, with both high-profile matches and under-the-radar contests captivating fans and bettors alike.