Sunday marks the seventh day of the US Open, when the fourth-round action starts – and there could still be plenty of surprise results in the second week at Flushing Meadows.
We’ve picked out three value selections, the best of which looks to be a 9/4 shot who’s taken to cause a bit of an upset.
Ben Shelton to beat Tommy Paul @ 9/4
Tommy Paul won his first meeting with his fellow American Ben Shelton in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in January, but it could be a different story when the duo get it on in the US Open fourth round.
In a pretty close affair in Melbourne, Paul triumphed 7-6 6-3 5-7 6-4 in the first Grand Slam tournament of 2023. But Shelton is such a prodigious talent that it would not be a surprise to see the roles reversed when they meet in a homeland clash in New York City.
It should be noted that Paul is playing at or near the top of his game so is likely to be difficult to beat. However, while Paul is getting closer to his goal of achieving Grand Slam success, Shelton looks for all the world like a potential major winner. And it may not be long before that happens.
Following his five-set third-round scare against fellow Serb Laslo Djere, Novak Djokovic could be vulnerable against Taylor Fritz should they clash in the quarter-finals as looks likely. And a semi-final date with Fritz would be unlikely to faze the exciting Shelton, so punters can consider having each-way outright bets on the Atlanta ace, too, at generous three-figure odds.
Rinky Hijikata +2.5 sets vs Frances Tiafoe @ 4/5
Frances Tiafoe made the semi-finals of the US Open this year and the 10th seed is showing that was no fluke with another positive show at Flushing Meadows.
He’s likely to find a way to beat wild-card entry Rinky Hijikata – Tiafoe has won two of his three singles matches in NYC this year in straight sets.
However, while Tiafoe is no stranger to outclassing lesser opponents, it’s just possible that 22-year-old Australian Hijikata, who looks a proactive type on court, could give the favourite slightly more trouble than many anticipate.
So backing the outsider with a handicap start of 2.5 sets at 4/5 is worth looking at.
Dominic Stricker +2.5 sets vs Taylor Fritz @ 4/5
Taylor Fritz looks to be as comfortable as ever in the US Open and the Californian has long looked a Grand Slam singles champion in the making.
However, Fritz’s laid-back manner possibly doesn’t always lend itself to success, but there’s little doubt he has the weapons to prosper in the fast-court majors.
All nine of his singles set triumphs at Flushing Meadows this year have featured no more than eight games. And so his fourth-round opponent, qualifier Dominic Stricker, has a great deal of work to do just to make this clash competitive.
But the Swiss youngster, who is well thought of by his legendary compatriots Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, is himself playing some excellent tennis right now.
And it’s just possible that Stricker could win at least a set against an opponent who is steam-rolling many of his opponents just lately.