Novak Djokovic vs Denis Kudla US Open Picks 8/30/2019
Novak Djokovic vs Denis Kudla
10 am EST, 30th August 2019
New York, NY (USA)
Wednesday schedule at US Open got almost entirely washed out by the rain. There were a couple of matches played under the closed roof of the two biggest stadiums, Arthur Ashe Stadium, and Louis Armstrong stadium. One of those was Djokovic's second-round match vs Juna Ignacio Londero. Even though he managed to get a win in straight sets, the match was far from being easy for world No.1. Not only that Londero played well and made Novak work for everything. Some problems with injuries reappeared and caused Nole's fans to hold their breath for a while, hoping that everything is ok with their favorite tennis player. We mentioned problems with his foot and elbow earlier, but the issue with his left shoulder is a new one. He received medical treatment during the match to ease up the pain a little bit, but it was still quite obvious that it's affecting his game. Usually a solid server, Djokovic had more double faults than aces. Won only 60% of points behind his serve and was broken 5 times in this match! Fortunately, his return was on the usual level, holding Londero to 48% of service points won and breaking his serve 9 times out of 18 tries.
An All-Serbian duel was expected in the third round, but Denis Kudla didn't allow that to happen. First, he eliminated Janko Tipsarevic in the first round and then did the same to Dusan Lajovic. That was one of the matches that got rescheduled to Thursday. Lajovic proved once again that he simply isn't very good on any surface other than clay. Kudla took advantage of this "cupcake" draw and got himself into the third round, even though he was not in the best of form lately.
Statistically, there was not much separating them. They both won around 60% of the points behind their serve, got broken 5 times and had more unforced errors then winners. Focus in the key moments of the match determined the winner in this one. Kudla managed to display his best tennis when it mattered the most. Lajovic broke under pressure in the 12th game of both the 1st and 2nd set, when he was trying to stay alive.
Djokovic and Kudla played their first official match (and only so far) just a couple of months ago in 2nd round of Wimbledon. Although Kudla considers grass his favorite surface, he had no chance vs the world No.1 in that match, losing it 3-6, 2-6, 2-6. Stylistically, he simply doesn't have anything that he can throw at Djokovic and make him sweat. Kudla has a pretty limited game. He is a decent ball striker. He will try to power through his opponent, but when it doesn't work, he usually has no plan B.
Betting odds & prediction
And in this match, he will definitely hit a wall in the form of Djokovic's impregnable defense. Once he falls behind on the scoreboard, he will be less focused and more impatient, trying to go for bigger shots and playing closer to the lines. It's a gameplan that very rare can pull off and he is not one of them. Despite Novak's injury concerns, I think he rolls through this one comfortably. It's simply a very good matchup for him.
Spread opened at -9, with the total sitting at 29. To me, this makes no sense whatsoever. Londero was a far bigger underdog, even though he is a better player then Kudla.
Pick: under 29 games (-110)
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