US Open Final Previews
Tennis fans are in for a treat today and tomorrow with the world’s top-ranked players fighting it out in both the Men’s and Women’s US Open finals.
First up, Serene Williams goes for her 17th Grand Slam title and fifth US Open victory when taking on Victoria Azarenka. This is a repeat of last year’s thrilling final, in which Williams finally came through in three sets and Coral rate the American a 1/4 chance (Azarenka 3/1) to triumph again in front of her home crowd.
Then Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal clash in the men’s final, their 19th meeting in a Grand Slam. This one’s harder to call, but Coral make the Spaniard 4/7 favourite (Djokovic 11/8) to record his 13th major title.
Williams was staring defeat in the face at Flushing Meadows 12 months ago – down 3-5 in the final set – but, like all champions, she never gives it up and was able to raise her game to turn it around.
Azarenka doesn’t have a great overall record against Williams in head-to-heads (who does?), but did come into the US Open on the back of a victory over the world’s number one in Cincinnati and will have entertained high hopes of gaining her revenge on the big stage.
But while the Belarusian has not appeared at her best this past fortnight – her serve decidedly below par – Williams has been imperious, breezing through each round. She’s looking good for yet another Grand Slam title as she edges closer to Steffi Graff’s record of 22 and this time may need only two sets to finish off her rival (4/6 with Coral).
Nadal was the 5/2 pick here at the start of the tournament and there seems no reason to change horses at the last fence after the Spaniard’s majestic run to the final. Quite simply, he is playing as well now as he has ever been – and that’s saying something.
Djokovic hasn’t been quite at the top of his own game, but you can just never write him off. Nobody was at all surprised when he turned it around from 2-1 down against Stanislas Wawrinka in the semi-final; the tougher the task, the better he responds.
Perhaps it would be asking too much for Nadal and Djokovic to reproduce their famous 2012 Australian Open Final epic – won eventually by the Serb – but we are pretty much guaranteed a high-calibre, pulsating, gruelling contest with maybe Nadal taken all the way before coming out on top this time. Coral go 9/2 a 3-2 win for the man from Majorca and that looks a decent call.
Written by Jon Freeman