Us Open Tennis Betting Offers Many Options

The year's final Major, the US Open, which has its first serve Aug. 30 in Flushing Meadows, NY, will offer tennis betting fans several more viable betting options than in previous years.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are still the ones to beat on the men's singles side but Andy Murray looms as a legitimate contender. Meanwhile, in women's singles, the withdrawal of three-time champion Serena Williams has created opportunities—both on the playing court and at the windows—that haven't been available in several years.

Of the 20 international sportsbooks surveyed, Federer was favored at 11 of them with his arch rival Nadal the betting choice at just one and eight books calling it a betting dead heat. Taking a consensus, Federer, who had his streak of five straight US Open singles championships snapped when he lost in the final to Juan Martin del Potro last September, opened as a slight 5/2 favorite. Federer has won a record 17 Major singles titles overall, including this year's Australian Open.

Nadal, the 11/4 second choice, has captured eight Major singles championships, including the last two, the French Open and Wimbledon, but never has won the US Open. Should it come to a showdown with Federer, Nadal owns a 14-7 advantage in head-to-head meetings. By the way, gamblers also can bet if Federer and Nadal will meet in the final with "No" the -500 favorite (bet $500 to win $100) and "Yes" the -350 underdog (bet $100 to win $350).

Although he's never won a Major, Andy Murray is a close up third choice at odds of 3/1. In fact, Murray is a co-favorite at three books and a co-second choice at another. Murray, who lost to Federer in the 2008 US Open final, recently knocked off both Nadal (semi-finals) and Federer (finals) to win the Toronto Masters, Aug. 15.

Prices escalate to double digits after Federer, Nadal and Murray with Novak Djokovic, Robin Soderling, Andy Roddick and Tomas Berdych in the second tier. Djokovic, 14/1, was runner-up to Federer at the 2007 US Open and has a Major title win at the 2008 Australian Open. Soderling, 16/1, beat Federer on the clay at this year's French Open before dropping the final to Nadal. Roddick, 20/1, captured the US Open in 2003 and was runner-up to Federer in 2006. Berdych, 20/1, was the runner-up to Nadal at this year's Wimbledon.

Things are tighter on the ladies side with as many as five players at odds of less than 10/1. The field is headed by defending champion Kim Clijsters, the lukewarm 3/1 favorite. Clijsters also won the US Open in 2005 and can expect a warm welcome from the New York audience.

Maria Sharapova, the 2006 US Open champion--as well as a winner at Wimbledon and the Australian Open--opened as the 7/2 second choice in future book betting. Citing a foot injury, Sharapova pulled out of the Rogers Cup, Aug. 16 but made back-to-back finals before that.

Victoria Azarenko, 6/1, is looking for her first Major win but appears in solid form, especially if her straight set victory over Sharapova in the Bank of the West Classic, Aug. 1 is any indication.

A back-to-back winner of the US Open in 2000-01, Venus Williams is listed at odds of 8/1 to win a third singles title a full decade removed from her first Big Apple triumph.

Caroline Wozniacki who has quietly climbed to No. 2 in the world rankings, is offered at odds of 9/1. The dashing Dane was the runner-up to Clijsters at last year's US Open and has won twice this year, at MPS Group Championships and e-Boks Sony Ericsson Open.

Svetlana Kuznetsova, the winner here in 2004 and the runner-up in 2007, might be an overlay at odds of 14/1. Kuznetsova has a victory this year, at the Mercury Insurance Open.

The women's field also is deep with players such as Vera Zvonareva, 18/1, Elena Dementieva, 20/1, Ana Ivanovic, 22/1, Jelena Jankovic, 24/1, and Samantha Stosur, 28/1, difficult to eliminate from tennis betting consideration.

Although she performs better on clay, one more to watch is 2010 French Open and Barcelona Ladies Open champion Francesca Schiavone, an intriguing 100/1 longshot.

Unlike previous seasons where Federer was largely unchallenged, this year's US Open men's singles champion could come from a list of more than a half-dozen players. Six different women have won the last seven singles titles at the US Open and this could be an equally wide-open and unpredictable year although tennis betting fans aren't likely to complain about sacrificing a little certainty for a lot better price.