US Open tennis: Djokovic default throws Flushing Meadow wide open

Novak Djokovic's unfortunate match default and subsequent disqualification has blown the men's singles competition wide open. The Cloudbet Blog looks at what this means for the main contenders.

In our tournament preview of the US Open we talked about Unprecedented service returning to the tennis world.

In the end, it wasn’t the pandemic that up-ended the US Open men’s singles tournament. Instead, it was a poorly directed flick in frustration that left a line judge reeling, which put paid to Novak Djokovic’s quest for an 18th Grand Slam title and blew the race wide open for the rest of the field.

Or at least for four individuals in particular. Now that the Djoker has joined the other members of the “Big Three” - Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer - on the sidelines as twitchy (virtual) spectators, Cloudbet takes a quick look at the best of the rest.

Prices are current as of 8am UCT on 7 September.

The main contenders

Daniil Medvedev (No. 3 seed)

Title odds: 2.78/+178

Medvedev is hungry for his first Grand Slam title after coming close in an epic five-setter against Nadal here last year. He’s one of the youngsters touted as a champion-in-waiting, as soon as the Big Three deem it necessary to retire, and has drawn comparisons to Djokovic for his ability to dominate and win long, tiring stand-offs. The Russian is in ominous form this year, having not dropped more than four games in any set in his three matches so far, including a cruisey three-set victory over JJ Wolf in the third round.

Dominic Thiem (No. 2 seed)

Title odds 4.24/+324

Thiem is chasing his first Grand Slam title after three finals appearances, the last of which was a five-set loss in this year's Australian Open to Djokovic - before Covid-19 put a temporary halt on most of the sporting world. Thiem put in an ominous service performance on Sunday by dropping only eight points on his first serve in a four-set victory over Marin Cilic to advance to the quarterfinals.

Alexander Zverev (No. 5 seed)

Title odds: 4.47/+347

Zverev is in the quarterfinals of the US Open for the first time, thanks to the commanding service game and 18 aces he deployed against an injury-slowed Alexandro Davidovich Fokina in the round of 16. Zverev will be keen to get further than his last Grand Slam appearance, which was a semifinal loss in this year’s Australian Open to eventual runner-up Dominic Thiem.

Denis Shapovalov (No. 12 seed)

Title odds: 9.38/+838

Shapovalov made history Sunday night by becoming the first Canadian to advance to a US Open men's quarterfinals after beating David Goffin in four sets. It will be Shapovalov’s first career appearance in a Grand Slam quarterfinal where he faces Pablo Carreno Busta. Carreno Busta, the 20th seed, was the beneficiary of Djokovic’s misdirected moment of misfortune and has a 3-1 record against Shapovalov.

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