Tennis Best Bets for August 31

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Tennis Best Bets for August 31
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After a long, winding season, we've arrived at the final Grand Slam on the calendar. The U.S. Open kicks off Monday in Flushing Meadows, bringing together almost every one of the best names this sport has to offer. We'll miss Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal this year, but the void should be filled by plenty of talented young stars.

Without further ado, let me run through the two bets I like the most on Tuesday's card.

Tallon Griekspoor (+255) vs. Jan-Lennard Struff (-350)

The breakthrough for young Tallon Griekspoor has to be coming any moment now. The 25-year-old finally burst onto the main draw scene this year, taking home some impressive wins in Montpellier and Acapulco and losing in impressive fashion as well. He had match points against Ugo Humbert and went three with the likes of Casper Ruud and Jeremy Chardy at hardcourt tournaments this year.

Griekspoor has a lot of talent and a lot of power in his game, directing his big forehand right where it needs to go to move his opponents around the court. Against an opponent like Struff, this should be lethal, considering the German doesn't move all that well and isn't going to have an upper hand in the extended rallies.

On surfaces like these quick ones in Queens, I don't see many breaks between the two. That's why I love the game spread here. Struff might have a tough time against Griekspoor even at the height of his powers, but the German isn't in form at the moment. He's lost four out of his last five matches and hasn't seemed to be right since earlier in the year when he had that impressive run at Roland Garros.

Griekspoor isn't in the best of form, either, but in a match like this he probably shouldn't be such a steep underdog.

Edge: Griekspoor +5.5 Games

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Taylor Fritz (+136) vs. Alex De Minaur (-175)

One of our night matches features somewhat of a rivalry renewed. Australian Alex De Minaur has won all four matches he's played against Taylor Fritz, but this one should go differently.

First, it's important to note that one of those matches came back on the Challenger circuit, and another was at the NextGen Finals, which uses different scoring and rules than a normal match. It's also worth discussing the fact that these two last met in 2019, and much has changed since then.

De Minaur isn't that same imposing player that he was back then, when he was making deep runs left and right. He has lost four out of his last five, with the only win coming as a result of fatigue on the other end of the net, and stands at just 9-9 on hardcourts this year. You'd expect better from the World No. 17.

Fritz hasn't won his last four matches, but at least he went to the semis in Atlanta earlier this month. He's also grown a good bit over the last two years, winning plenty of Grand Slam matches and suffering some heartbreaking losses. He's pushed Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic in Australia the last two years and blew a 2-1 lead to Denis Shapovalov deep in the US Open last year. He has plenty of valuable experience at these events and is a tough out.

This won't be easy for De Minaur, and I will continue to fade him with the way he's played all year. Fritz has been the better player over the last two seasons and should earn this win.

Edge: Fritz +135

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