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US Open Bet of the Day: Bettingpro’s best tennis bet for Thursday, September 5

Hannah Wilks 4 Sep 2019
Serena Williams (credit:Paul Zimmer 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: Thursday 5 September

Hannah Wilks: Back Serena Williams to beat Elina Svitolina 2-1 @ 16/5 Ladbrokes
Serena Williams just produced one of the most dominant performances imaginable against Wang Qiang in the US Open quarterfinals to beat the Chinese player 6-1, 6-0 in just 44 minutes, losing only three points behind her first serve the entire match and preventing Wang from hitting a single winner. So why am I backing her to have a tougher time of it against a similarly less powerful player in Elina Svitolina?
While Wang had never played Williams before and appeared completely stunned by the pace of the ball coming at her, late on almost every shot and unable to generate any pace on it as a result, Svitolina is much more familiar with the challenge before her. The seventh seed, whose WTA Finals win at the end of last year has clearly done worlds for her confidence coming into the big events if having made back-to-back semifinals at Wimbledon and the US Open is anything to go by, has played Williams four times before – and because their four matches all came in 2015-16, Svitolina has arguably faced a superior version of Williams, confident and stronger than the current version.
Svitolina took a set from Williams in their first encounter at the 2015 Australian Open and actually beat her 6-4, 6-3 at the Rio Olympics in 2016, although I don’t think too much should be read into that result as Williams was clearly just not really ready and fit to play that tournament. Still, though, it boosts Svitolina’s confidence coming into this match-up.
The Ukrainian got a bit lucky to make her first Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon and it showed as she turned in a poor performance against Simona Halep in that semifinal, but she has come through a slew of tough, big-serving, powerful first-strike players to reach the final four in New York: Venus Williams, Dayana Yastremska, Cincinnati champion Madison Keys and Johanna Konta – Svitolina has beaten them all without dropping a set. She’s been taking care of business on her own serve efficiently, getting the absolute most out of that shot with smart placement, and it’s looked rock solid; and the experience of playing those players has sharpened up her footwork and reactions to lightning speed, which is excellent preparation against Williams.
Williams’s rolled ankle against Petra Martic did not seem to bother her in the slightest against Wang, but the American does carry several chronic injuries, and there’s also a lot of emotional baggage there – not just the quest for her 24th major and first as a mother, but a history of painful and controversial incidents at the US Open, the Grand Slam which seems to play on Williams’s nerves where they are the rawest. Svitolina, on this form, is so good that she will absolutely exploit and expose any vulnerability and although she doesn’t have the outright weapons, in terms of generating power and explosiveness, she can pose a very particular challenge to Williams: Making her hit a lot of balls to win a point. There have been times in her career when Williams was totally up to that challenge and there have been times in her career when that has been enough to undo her. I don’t think the latter is the case, but I think this is Svitolina’s moment to really show what she can do even against the very best, and against Williams, that should be enough to get her a set.


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US Open Bet of the Day: Bettingpro’s best tennis bet for Thursday, September 5

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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