Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: 2020 ATP Tour: US Open Tennis

2020 ATP Tour: US Open Tennis

ATP Tour 2020: Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships

We take a look at the selected Quarterfinals matches from the US Open Tennis Series taking place at Flushing Meadows, New York (Outdoor Hardcourt).

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2020 ATP Tour | Flushing Meadows, New York (Outdoor Hardcourt)
US Open Tennis
Selected First Round Matches- 1st September

Andy Murray (7/20)
vs Yoshihito Nishioka (2/1)

2012 US Open Champion Andy Murray has perhaps been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Covid break. His return to action following invasive hip surgery was always likely to require a certain finesse. Victory in October’s European Open offered us all a tantalizing glimpse of Murray’s undoubted quality. But a further pelvic injury prevented him from participating in the season opening Aussie Open. But the Pandemic has completely shifted the goalposts, giving the taciturn Scot the room to fully recover.  His return to action at last week’s Western and Southern Open showed some amazing signs of progress. He beat both Frances Tiafoe and Alex Zverev in three-set seesaw affairs. His movement looked excellent: much more like the irritable Energizer Bunny that we love. Murray says that he does feel a tad slower, which will make the unique five-set pressure of Grand Slam tennis tough to bear. But there’s something strangely reassuring in having the truculent Scot back in action.  

He will need to loosen those hips when he comes up against the talented Yoshihito Nishioka.  The World Number 48 is very much in the mould of compatriot Kei Nishikori: he is energy personified, relentlessly chasing balls at the back of the court.  This will actually be his first event since the Covid stipulations ended. He had his best career Grand Slam performance with a 3rd round run at this year’s Aussie Open. The Japanese player also made it to the final of the Delray Beach Open in February, going on to lose to man mountain Reilly Opelka in the final.  He may feel slightly undercooked going into this encounter, despite his obvious age advantage over Murray. His last competitive match came on the 25th of February, making his form as hard to gauge as Murrays.  

This will unsurprisingly be their first competitive meeting.  Nishioka could be something of a nightmare competitor for Murray, as he will relentlessly ask questions of Murray’s conditioning. But Murray hasn’t been at the pinnacle of the sport this long for no reason.  I think that this know-how will help propel him to victory. Murray to win in four sets at 28/10 looks a good bet to me.  

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Roberto Bautista Agut (8) (1/4)
vs Tennys Sandgren (28/10)

World Number 12 Roberto Bautista Agut will know just how tricky this draw could prove. The Spaniard began the year in fine form, winning his first eight matches before falling to Marin Cilic at the Aussie Open.  He then pushed Novak Djokovic all the way in a pulsating three-set semi-final at last week’s Western and Southern Open. He actually served for the match, only for the Serb to call upon his mythic reserves of energy. Djokovic has actually recently commented on the Spaniard, calling him perhaps the most underrated player of this generation: he did beat the Serb twice in 2019 (both on hard surfaces). He has always underwhelmed in Grand Slam tennis, with a best result being a completely unexpected semi-final appearance at Wimbledon.  But now you feel that this could be his time. The workaholic Spaniard probably used the Covid crisis more adroitly than most, appearing at both the Bett1 Aces Open and Thiem’s 7 Exhibition.  

But in Tennys Sandgren, Bautista Agut faces a maverick (which is something to say in an age of tennis automatons). The brash, outspoken American is the complete antithesis to Agut’s rugged stoicism. But like Bautista Agut, Sandgren has the ability to push his body beyond the threshold. He obviously rose to prominence with that quarterfinal run at the 2018 Aussie Open.  He once again showed off his Grand Slam chops with a 4th round run at Wimbledon last year (he also won his debut title in Auckland in 2019). But it was his quarterfinal run at this year’s Aussie Open that really made people take notice. He actually wasted seven match points in that titanic quarterfinal defeat against Roger Federer. He enters this week in decent form, having dispatched of both Auger Aliassime and Sonego last week. Sandgren is a nightmare opening round opponent for anyone: watch him look to stretch this match out as long as possible.  

This will be the first meeting between these two war-horses. Clearly Bautista-Agut will be the heavy favourite.  He made Djokovic look as uncomfortable as I can remember seeing him last week (yes, and that includes those idiotic Covid dance moves). But Sandgren has the capacity to completely destabilize expectations in Grand Slam matches. Perhaps Bautista Agut to win in four sets at 51/20 looks the sensible bet.  

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