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Matteo Berrettini
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Odds and Ends

An Early Look at US Open Futures

by Kenny Ducey
Updated On: July 29, 2022, 4:41 pm ET

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The US Open will be here before you know it, and with that it's time to look at some futures markets. There are plenty of threats to win the tournament that are far too long at the moment, and whose odds I expect to shift dramatically.

With that, let's get into who those players are.

Matteo Berrettini (+2800)

I'll start with the biggest misprice on the board to me, and that is Berrettini. If you don't recall, it was here at the US Open that the Italian first broke out, reaching the semifinals in 2019 with wins over Andrey Rublev and Gael Monfils before he'd eventually lost to that year's champion, Rafael Nadal.

Berrettini may be turning into the king of grass with his insane 31-3 record there in the last few years, but his huge serve and forehand certainly play up on hardcourts as well.  Though he's yet to win a hardcourt tournament, he did push Nadal in the semifinals of the Australian Open earlier this year and last season reached the US Open quarters for a second time.

So, why's he such a longshot according to oddsmakers? Well, he had a hand injury which forced him to miss three months of the season, which scared most people off.

Those fears were quickly erased when Berrettini won back to back tournaments in Stuttgart and Queen's Club in his first action after the injury, but oddsmakers quickly became skeptical again when he paused his season once more due to COVID, which kept him out of Wimbledon.

At any rate, Berrettini appears to be completely healthy and as dominant as ever. He reached the final on the clay in Gstaad in late July and should be a hard man to beat on the North American hardcourt swing. With a quarterfinal or two, his odds should plummet.

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Taylor Fritz (+2500)

It's insane that Fritz is being given a better chance than a multi-time Grand Slam semifinalist and the man who went to the Wimbledon final last summer, but here we are. The fact of the matter is that Fritz has a better chance to win the US Open than these odds would indicate.

In winning a Masters 1000 this season and going to the Indian Wells semifinals last year, Fritz proved that he can win big matches over the best in the world. He's beaten Rafael Nadal and taken Novak Djokovic the distance at a Grand Slam (albeit an injured Djokovic). He'd not going to be short on confidence, and his tennis has grown considerably in 2022 to a level no one thought possible.

There are some slight concerns about Fritz's foot, which gave him issues at Indian Wells this year and which was protected by a boot in a recent workout video, but the youngster has plenty of time to heal up before the US Open. Even with the injury concerns, World No. 12 should be +1500 at worst.

Nick Kyrgios (+3300)

Finally, we need to talk about this year's Wimbledon finalist. Sure, Kyrgios hasn't been too active since that run, but every time he's popped up this season he's played excellent tennis. His runs in Miami and Indian Wells were stopped by top-10 competition, his grass court season was sublime and even his Australian Open wasn't too disappointing considering he was a shank away from likely pushing Daniil Medvedev five sets.

Wimbledon was all the proof one needed that Kyrgios is taking his tennis seriously, and that he has the fitness to last two weeks in a best-of-five format. We already know his ability is there.

Considering there will likely be no Novak Djokovic to stop him, and probably no Alex Zverev as well, Kyrgios has to be considered one of the favorites. 

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Kenny Ducey

Kenny Ducey is a former member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, writing and editing for Sports Illustrated and Baseball Prospectus. His work also appears at DraftKings and The Action Network. Follow him on Twitter @KennyDucey.