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US Open Bet of the Day: Bettingpro’s best tennis bet for Saturday, September 7

Hannah Wilks 6 Sep 2019
Serena Williams (credit:Antoine Couvercelle / Panoramic via www.imago-images.de/Imago/PA Images)

The 2019 US Open is here and every day our resident tennis experts will be picking out their favourite bet from the final Grand Slam of the year, free of charge!

Today’s best bet: Saturday 7 September

Hannah Wilks: Back Serena Williams to beat Bianca Andreescu 2-1 @ 16/5 @ Ladbrokes
Serena Williams hasn’t won a set in her last three Grand Slam finals and faces a phenomenal young opponent with nothing to lose in the form of Bianca Andreescu. But I think for the first time since giving birth to her daughter, she’s actually prepared to bring her best to the court in a major final – and ready to erase the memories of last year’s controversial defeat by becoming the greatest US Open champion of the Open Era.
Currently tied with Chris Evert for both most US Open titles in the Open Era (six) and US Open match wins (101), Williams is also one win away from tying Margaret Court’s all-time Grand Slam record of 24 titles. This is not the first time she’s been in this position: She was when she faced Angelique Kerber in the Wimbledon final in 2018, when she faced Naomi Osaka on this very court 12 months ago and when she faced Simona Halep at Wimbledon in July. All three matches she lost in straight sets.
What’s changed this time? Simply, Williams is prepared for this tournament in a way that she hasn’t been prepared for a Grand Slam – with the exception of the 2019 Australian Open, when her campaign was hamstrung by a rolled ankle in the quarterfinals against Karolina Pliskova – since returning from maternity leave. She made the Wimbledon and US Open finals last year on more or less muscle memory and residual brilliance alone, but she wasn’t really in condition to play. This year, the first six months were more or less wiped out by a knee injury, and although she was fit at Wimbledon, she wasn’t match fit – and hadn’t been able to properly train all year.
That’s not the case at the US Open. Williams was able both to undergo a proper post-Wimbledon intense training bloc, and to play a tournament between Wimbledon and the US Open, the Rogers Cup, where she made the final (but had to retire in it, trailing Andreescu 1-3). The difference was been so clear in her movement. These days, Williams builds her game around wanting to move as little as possible – that’s what being 37 with bum knees will get you – but when she’s had to, she’s been like lightning out there. Knowing that she can run if she needs to makes all the difference to the nerves.
So if Williams is looking so good, why am I saying three sets? Because I think Bianca Andreescu is really going to make Williams work for it. The 19-year-old Canadian has bags of confidence and has never yet met a big stage she didn’t love to dominate on, so I don’t think she’ll be crippled by any first-time finalist nerves, and she’s got a game that Williams is not going to enjoy: Power, yes, but also so much variety, and she moves wide to her backhand beautifully, something that’s always going to be important in countering Williams’s favoured three-quarter forehand cross-court.
The likes of Roberta Vinci and, at this tournament, Caty McNally – the only player to take a set from Williams so far – have had success because they’ve been able to throw Williams off, giving her an unusual look, an unusual ball. Andreescu can absolutely do that and I think it, and her attitude, will get her a set.
Over the best of three, though, Andreescu is going to find herself forced back off the baseline too often, and her serve is going to be pummeled too relentlessly by the Williams return. She may be a perfect 7-0 record vs top-10 players, but she’s never properly played Serena Williams. That’s a whole different ball game.


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US Open Bet of the Day: Bettingpro’s best tennis bet for Saturday, September 7

The 2019 US Open is here and every day our resident tennis experts will be picking out their favourite bet from the final Grand Slam of the year, free of charge!

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