Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro face off in the US Open final on Sunday, starting at 9pm BST. The men’s draw was not littered with the early round upsets like the women’s, but this isn’t the pair that everyone would have picked for the final.
It’s been a solid two weeks of tennis. We were treated to a couple of thrillers in the quarters, and several matches have at least had been hard to predict, which always makes for good entertainment.
Djokovic only dropped sets in the first two rounds. Since then, it has been straight sets all the way for Serbian.
Kei Nishikori was swept aside in the semi-final, as Djokovic reminds us all (if we really needed it) that he is back after a difficult couple of years with injury. He was the bookies favourite before the tournament started and there’s no doubt the comeback is complete.
This is a huge achievement from Del Potro. The Argentinian is the third seed but this is his first Grand Slam final since 2009, when he defeated Roger Federer in New York.
For all that he has been through in his career, it’s astonishing that Del Potro is still competing at the highest level, let alone that he has a chance at winning at second career Slam.
Del Potro was able to rest after his semi-final after Rafael Nadal pulled out with injury after the second set. The signs were good from the 6”6’ right-hander in the first two sets, though. His groundstrokes were almost faultless and his serve was at it’s near-unstoppable best.
He will need several sets of play like that if he is to stand a chance against Djokovic on Sunday.
Djokovic has been the Djokovic we all came accustomed to during the first half of this decade. Covering every inch of the court, he might be the only man in the world capable of returning some of Del Potro’s booming forehands.
Living with Del Potro’s groundstrokes is one thing. Being able to compete against his serve is another. The 17/10 on over 1.5 tie breaks is a solid price.
Del Potro is out at 37/20 to win the Sunday showpiece. While understandable given Djokovic’s dominance the past fortnight, it looks good value.
Injuries might have kept a lid on his incredible potential, but Del Potro is capable of outplaying anyone on his day. He did it to peak Federer in 2009 and there’s nothing to suggest he can’t do it this weekend.
Over 4.5 sets at 5/2 might just be the best price from the whole match. Many will back a comfortable Djokovic win, but the odds are just too short to make it worthwhile. Del Potro’s talent alone makes 5/2 for a five-setter worth considering.
Two different styles meet on Arthur Ashe Stadium. The track record of Djokovic, paired with his flawless record since the second round, makes him the strong favourite, but do not rule out a Del Potro upset. We all know just how good he can be.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*