The 2021 US Open is finally here and SportsTips.com are previewing the best six games of each round. Read below to check out our picks for the three best men’s and women’s games for Round 1 of the 2021 US Open!
It is opening day of the US Open and boy are there some interesting matchups for the first round. We’ve got 20 Americans in the men’s draw and 23 Americans in the women’s draw, so lots of chances for players to move into the second round!
Who will take out the championship game in the men’s and women’s draw? Well, at the moment in the men’s it is (unsurprisingly) Novak Djokovic who is the favorite, at -150, and Daniil Medvedev who is the second favorite, at +430. On the women’s side of the draw, it is Ashleigh Barty who is the favorite, at +360, and Naomi Osaka, at +600.
Enjoy our free tennis picks and predictions for each round of the 2021 US Open tournament.
Round 1 Tennis Picks For The US Open: Men’s
Andy Murray vs Stefanos Tsitsipas (3)
Former champion Andy Murray is back again for another crack at a Grand Slam, but he faces off against a tough opponent in the number three seed, in Stefanos Tsitsipas. Murray has been working to return to his best, after having hip surgery in 2019.While there has certainly been glimmers of hope throughout his recent performances, he hasn’t really been able to return to his best.
Murray’s best result so far this year was making the third round at Wimbledon, and we think he will be hard pressed to repeat that at the US Open. if Murray can return to some of his previous form, then he may make Tsitsipas really work for it in this opening round clash. Tsitsipas will be pushing Murray all around the court, so match fitness will be crucial.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 26, 2021
The young Greek has never made it past the third round here at the US Open, and this first round match has the potential to be a difficult one, if Tsitsipas isn’t careful. While he hasn’t made it deep into the US Open previously, he will be coming into this match with a lot of confidence. He has been successful in his past two Masters 1000 tournaments, making it to the semi finals of both.
When looking at the head to head, the pair have never played before, so it currently sits at 0-0. The Greek has some very powerful groundstrokes and his ability to push Murray all around the court will work in his favor, as he can put more pressure on the former champion’s fitness. We don’t simply think this will be a walk over for the Greek, so expect this match to go over 3.5 sets.
Tennis Pick: Total Sets – Over 3.5 (+100)
Richard Gasquet vs Daniil Medvedev (2)
With Nadal out of the US Open, Daniil Medvedev moves up to the second seed for this tournament. This season so far as certainly not produced the level of results Richard Gasquet would have hoped for. His win-loss record for this season so far sits at 12-11. When it comes to the big events, and being up against the quality players, he seems to crumble.
Last time out, however, at the Winston-Salem, he did make the quarter finals, so this is something to take into the US Open. It will be a tough opening round for Gasquet, as he doesn’t have a powerful game and without many strong weapons. This means the style of play will most likely mean Medvedev will get a foot hold in this game from the get-go.
Medvedev currently is the second favorite to take out the US Open, behind Djokovic, and he is the clear favorite to win this match and progress to the second round. The form of the Russian has been on point so far this season, winning three titles so far, including most recently, the Toronto Masters. He also is a massive fan of playing on hard courts, he has been good enough to get to the final of two of his previous four hardcourt Majors.
This will be the third time the pair will face off against each other, and the head-to-head currently sits at 1-1. The last time the pair played each other was in 2020, where the Russian won in three sets. Going off the form of the two players and the fact that Medvedev is expected to go deep into the tournament, we think this will be an easy victory for the Russian.
Tennis Pick: Set Betting – Daniil Medvedev 3-0 (-210)
Novak Djokovic (1) vs Holger Rune
The Serb begins his quest for sole ownership of the record for the most Grand Slams ever when he takes on Holger Rune in the first round. Novak Djokovic is already a three-time US Open champion and hasn’t played since his bronze medal match at the Tokyo Olympics. The lack of practice isn’t expected to be an issue for the Serb, who is currently the favorite to take out the US Open.
Djokovic will not have to be at his best to best Rune in this opening round clash. The Dane struggles when it comes to returning serve, and the amount of power on Djokovic’s serve will mean that the Serb will get a lot of pretty easy points. The pair have also never played competitively against each other, so the head-to-head stands at 0-0, but the pair have trained together before, so they will be aware of each others games.
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) August 28, 2021
Rune has made it through three rounds of qualifying to make it to the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time. The Dane is currently ranked 145th in the world, but is considered by many to be one of the most promising young competitors on the men’s side, but this Grand Slam is probably not going to provide the result he would want – although it will provide a great learning experience for the teenager.
Rune will certainly be feeling the nerves for this one, not only is he in a Grand Slam for the first time, but he is coming up against one of, if not, the best male player of all time. This should be a walk in the park for the Serb and we expect this first round clash to be a straight sets victory.
Tennis Pick: Set Betting – Novak Djokovic 3-0 (-600)
Round 1 Tennis Picks For The US Open: Women’s
Magda Linette vs Cori Gauff (21)
Anyone who has been following our tennis picks over the past three Grand Slams will know that we have a soft spot for Coco! Gauff is only 17 years old, but has the experience and maturity of someone much, much older. She will take on the world number 51, in Magda Linette in the opening round. Linette has been as high as world number 33, but is having a pretty lackluster season so far this year.
The Pole has reached the quarter finals or better in only three of the 15 tournaments she has entered this year. But if she can play at her best, she does have the game to cause an upset against the home grown favorite. The pair have never played each other before either, making this first round clash even more intriguing.
The American has had a great season so far, making it to her maiden quarter final in a Grand Slam at Roland Garros, and then backing it up in Wimbledon, making it to the fourth round. She was meant to go on and represent USA at the Olympics but had to pull out, due to testing positive to COVID-19.
Since then, she has been able to bounce back well, reaching the quarter finals in Montreal. The thing that we think will set the pair apart is Gauff’s firepower. She has much more explosive ability compared to Linette. Gauff’s ability to turn defence into offence has also improved dramatically over the past year or so. We think that Gauff can get the job done in straight sets.
Tennis Pick: Set Betting – Cori Gauff 2-0 (-125)
Nina Stojanović vs Aryna Sabalenka (2)
The second seed, Aryna Sabalenka will take on the number 94 in the world in Nina Stojanović in the first round at the US Open. Stojanović has been as high as world number 81, which she reached last year. But this season she hasn’t been able to make the inroad that she would have hoped for, and has a win-loss record this season of 16-16.
The Serb teamed up with Djokovic in the mixed doubles at the Tokyo Olympics, but had to pull out of their bronze medal match due to injury to Djokovic. Stojanović hasn’t played since the Olympics and it will be a tough task coming up against the number two seed. The pair have played each other five times before and Sabalenka comfortably leads that tally 5-0. They last played on a hardcourt in 2017, where Sabalenka won in straight sets.
🇧🇾 ARYNA SABALENKA 🇧🇾
#4 doubles pic.twitter.com/1azkt8wnCc
— Connor (@slay_suwei) August 23, 2021
Sabalenka is currently experiencing some career best form, and is the well deserved second seed in the US Open. She made it to her first Grand Slam semi final at Wimbledon, and will be looking to back that up with another great performance at the US Open. She has been very consistent over the past year or so, and at just 23 years of age, it is likely that we will be seeing a lot of Sabalenka for many years to come.
Sabalenka is a very aggressive player, but then again so is Stojanović. Considering Sabalenka has the form and all the confidence in the world, and Stojanović is struggling to find form, we have to go with Sabalenka on this one. The pace and power on Sabalenka’s shots will make it difficult for the Serb to even get the shot back across the net. Sabalenka to win in straight sets.
Tennis Pick: Set Betting – Aryna Sabalenka 2-0 (-460)
Ashleigh Barty (1) vs Vera Zvonareva
The match of the round, for us, the world number one in Ashleigh Barty takes on the world number 101 in Vera Zvonareva. The form of the Australian is quite extraordinary to say the least. She is the reigning Wimbledon champion, and has collected four other titles so far this season. She did have a little drop in form with her surprising first round exit at the Tokyo Olympics, but made up for that when she won at Cincinnati.
She has got all the form in the world, and is currently the favorite to win the US Open. However, she has actually never made it past the fourth round here. The thing to look for here is Barty’s serve, if it is on point, it will be very hard for Zvonareva to contain. The pair have never played each other before, so the head-to-head currently sits at 0-0.
On the other side of the net will be Zvonareva, who is actually a former US Open runner up, so she knows what it takes to go deep into this Grand Slam. She returned to the tour in 2016 after having a child, and hasn’t been able to find the same level of form. Zvonareva also pulled out of her Round of 16 match at Cleveland, due to injury concerns. So, it looks like Zvonareva isn’t going to be 100% going into this match.
If the Russian was at full health, we think she could have certain given the world number one a run for her money, but as she is not 100%, we think this is going to be a fairly easy match for the Australian to start her US Open campaign. It will be Barty’s speed and variety that will disrupt the rhythm of Zvonareva and will help Barty get a straight sets victory.
Tennis Pick: Set Betting – Ashleigh Barty 2-0 (-470)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.