2021 US Open Best Bets for September 5

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Romania's Simona Halep celebrates her win. Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP

The US Open continues into its first weekend and nobody can complain about a lack of excitement at the Arthur Ashe Center. Who is today’s best bet when trying to make a solid WTA pick to beat the tennis odds?

Simona Halep vs. Elina Svitolina

Sunday, September 05, 2021 – 12:00 PM EDT at Arthur Ashe Stadium

Simona Halep came into the US Open with questions about her fitness. Through two rounds she has answered some questions, but as we know players who are just coming off an injury can regress and get re-injured at any time. But once again this provides us value as Simona Halep continues to be the most undervalued woman by the bookmakers.

Halep beat the red hot Camila Giorgi in round 1. Giorgi had won 15 of her last 19 and has a beautiful power game that allows her to blast opponents off the court despite her small stature. A win over a player in Giorgi's form must be regarded highly as she had won the Premier 1000 event in Cincinnati before heading to New York. In the second round, Simona Halep beat Kristina Kucova. Although Kucova doesn't rate that highly, the fact that Halep won 6-3, 6-1 shows how good form she is in and that she is not messing around when it comes to spending extra time on the court she doesn't need, with potential to reaggravate the injury.

In the third round, Halep was able to overcome a stern challenge in Elena Rybakina. Rybakina definitely put her to the test but once again Halep answer questions about her fitness and quality of play. It took her three sets but she finally won 7-6,4-6, 6-3. She saved 4 set points en route to the first-set victory that allowed her to take the match Halep is 15-4 in fourth-round matches in the majors.

Halep said she spent most of the time during her injury working on her serving and it has shown. Halep's serve was once a major weakness in her game and she had to work on it, becoming above-average in order to win a Grand Slam. Now her serve is looking better than ever.

Already a brilliant defensive player that knows how to take advantage of an opponent being out of position or hitting a weak short ball, Halep now has a top serving game in her arsenal and has made her even tougher. Reactivation of the injury is still a concern, especially against a grinder like Svitolina

Elina Svitolina is another defensive player with a slightly stronger serve than Simona Halep. However, Halep's elite return game won't mitigate that fact and she will not be thrown off by Svitolina's dogged consistency for two or three sets. Simona Halep is a former number one and a grand slam Champion. While Svitolina is multi-talented she is still trying to make similar achievements.

Svitolina has been taking care of her business, yet her path to the third round hasn't necessarily been that impressive. Svitolina beat qualifier Rebecca Marino 6-2, 6-3, who has neither the power nor the consistency to stay with the top-level player. She then beat the qualifier Rebeka Masarova 6-2 7-5. Masarova is ranked number 231 in the world so I don't rate this victory that highly. In the third round, she beat another defensive player in Daria Kasatkina. Kasatkina had been playing well so you have to give Svitolina credit for this win and also in the fashion that she was able to win, dispatching her fairly easy in a 6-4,6-2 romp.

Svitolina comes into the tournament in good form, boosting her ranking points by winning the WTA 250 Chicago event the week before the US Open. Although none of the wins came against top 20 players, she did look impressive running through the field and beating an in-form player, Alize Cornet, in the final. Svitolina only lost two sets during her whole week in Chicago. Svitolina made the semifinals of the US Open in 2019. Svitolina is 7-5 career in the fourth round of majors. She is 1-2 in the fourth round at the US Open.

Svitolina and Halep have similar styles relying on defense to cause their opponents to make mistakes. Although both are quite capable of punishing opponents’ mistakes, neither will get impatient during long rallies and will wait for the proper time to be effective. This match will be a grind for whoever wins. The winner will definitely be happy to have a day off after overcoming this battle.

Halep and Svitolina are 5-5 against each other. Svitolina won the most recent matchup in the 2019 WTA finals. In Grand Slam matchups, Halep has won both, first in 2017 at Roland Garros and in 2019 at Wimbledon.

Halep’s game of counterpunching won't set up perfectly against the defensive-minded Svitolina. Although Svitolina will look beautiful and brilliant at some points, Halep's strong consistency and fighting spirit will eventually win her the day. Take Simona Halep money line.

WTA Pick: Simona Halep ML (-114) at BookMaker (visit our BookMaker Review)

Simona Halep ML (-114)
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