Glaken's Tennis Article

The Tennis Court

August 15, 2005
by Glaken Centaine

Hey everyone, welcome to The Tennis Court - EOG style. This is going to be THE place to be twice a week for tennis talk; we'll cover wagering, upcoming tournament trends, and of course the latest tennis gossip and how it will affect your wallet. Check-in right here every Monday for the week's tournament links, in-depth analysis of upcoming matchups, and potential proposition plays. Then be sure to check back Thursday to see how we're doing, we might need to make a few adjustments before the weekend. Also on Thursday we'll take a look at the best wagering options for the weekend matches, outright winners, and the set-betting scene.

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and Women's Tennis Association (WTA) events are scheduled and referred to by the week of the year in which they are played. We're going to get started with the week 34 event, the Pilot Pen Tennis in New Haven, Connecticut. This event starts on Monday, August 22, 2005 and includes both the ATP and WTA; at that time I will provide the links to the main draws, Live Score, and local weather.

In the mean time let's have a look at what we can expect at the US Open. The first question that comes to mind is "Where has Roger Federer been all summer and will he be hard court ready?" Most of the players you will find in the US Open have spent the dog days playing the US Open Series and training on hard courts. According to his website, Federer has been vacationing and hanging out at his home in Basel, Switzerland since performing the Wimbledon hat-trick. I expect Federer to be in his true championship form and look for his legendary coach Tony Roche to have him mentally prepared as usual. My only question is his fitness; the New York temps will be brutal and remember its best of five sets at the US Open. Federer is currently -136 to win the US Open.

Looking at the rest of the men's field I see a couple of impressive hard court records that stand out. Remember there are lots of books out there that offer "to win" proposition bets that exclude Roger Federer. At his writing Lleyton Hewitt is 18-3 on hard courts in 2005 with his only losses coming to Roger Federer, Marat Safin, and Taylor Dent. You can throw out the Dent loss as a meltdown in Adelaide, AU the first tournament of the year. Plus Hewitt is one of the most fit and fastest players on tour; he also has a win over Rafael Nadal on hard courts this year. Hewitt is currently +1200 to win the US Open.

Speaking of Rafael Nadal, he has had an unbelievable year, not only on clay but last week winning his first ever hard court title at the Rogers Cup in Montreal defeating Andre Agassi in three sets. Nadal has a 15-4 hard court record this season with losses to Hewitt, Federer, Ljubicic, and a retirement to Dominik Hrbaty. There is great value in Nadal at the current price of +400 to win the US Open.

Andre Agassi is always a threat to go deep into the US Open. He looks healthy again after having sciatic nerve trouble earlier in the year. He brings an impressive 24-6 hard court record to the table along with a US Open Series title from Los Angeles. His losses are three to Roger Federer, and once each to Ivan Ljubicic, Lleyton Hewitt, and Rafael Nadal. Agassi is currently +1600 to win the US Open.

Now we come to Andy Roddick, his hard court record this year is 17-6. Two of the losses are to Lleyton Hewitt, the others to Robby Ginepri, Ivan Ljubicic, Paul-Henri Mathieu, and a retirement to Verdasco. Looking at who Roddick has beaten this year I see no one even close to a top five player. He has won four titles this year but in those finals he beat Cyril Saulnier, Sebastien Grosjean, Ivo Karlovic, and James Blake, none of whom are in the top 30. That said, Roddick always seems to play well in New York and is definitely a legitimate contender for the title. I think he may run into problems with a Lleyton Hewitt, Marat Safin, or Rafael Nadal along the way. Roddick is currently +500 to win the US Open.

The last guy I see having the raw talent and potential to win the US Open is Marat Safin. The only problem with Safin is you never know what to expect from day-to-day; he won the Australian Open this year beating Hewitt and Federer along the way. Then taking a look at his 9-3 hard court record this year we see the losses are to Dominik Hrbaty, Taylor Dent, and Nicholas Kiefer none of whom are in the top 20. Marat Safin is currently +2000 to win the US Open.

Lastly I want to throw out some names along with their hard court records that have had great summers so far on the cement and have the potential to make it to the third round of the US Open. Keep in mind the draw has not yet been made but with a favorable draw these guys should be good for a win or two. Paul-Henri Mathieu (10-5), Jean-Rene Lisnard (18-9), Robby Ginepri (14-7), Ivan Ljubicic (15-6), Arnaud Clement (20-7), and Taylor Dent (18-8.)

Next week we'll take a look at the women's US Open and I will also have a link set up to "The Tennis Court" on the EOG forums where we can chat anytime.