Cloudbet’s tennis experts assess the latest moves in the betting market after the world number one’s bizarre exit from Flushing Meadows

7th September 2020 – In the end, it wasn’t the pandemic that upended the US Open men’s singles tournament. Instead, it was a poorly directed heave at the back fence, which left a line judge reeling, that 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.

Above all, that comment applies to four talented Next Gen players, each desperate for their breakthrough Grand Slam victory. Now that the Djoker has joined the other members of the “Big Three” – Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer – on the sidelines as mere spectators, Cloudbet takes a look at the best of the rest.

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 time is called on the Big Three, and has drawn comparisons to Djokovic for his ability to dominate and win long, tiring stand-offs. The Russian is in ominous form, having not dropped more than four games in any set in his three matches so far, including a casual straight-sets victory over JJ Wolf in the third round.

Dominic Thiem (No. 2 seed) 

Title odds 4.24/+324

Thiem is chasing his breakout Grand Slam 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 imperious 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 a commanding service game featuring the 18 aces he deployed against an injury-slowed Alexandro Davidovich Fokina in the round of 16. Zverev will be keen to improve on his last Grand Slam appearance, a semifinal loss at this year’s Australian Open to his good friend Thiem.

Denis Shapovalov (No. 12 seed)

Title odds: 9.38/+838

Shapovalov, who was himself disqualified for rifling a ball into an umpire’s face in the 2017 Davis Cup, has matured a lot since. He 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 also be Shapovalov’s first career appearance in any Grand Slam quarterfinal when he faces Pablo Carreno Busta. Carreno Busta, the 20th seed and welcome beneficiary of Djokovic’s misdirected moment of misfortune, holds a 3-1 head-to-head record against Shapovalov.

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