2022 US Open Semifinals Betting Picks, Odds, Predictions and Tennis Best Bets: Ruud vs. Khachanov, Alcaraz vs. Tiafoe

2022 US Open Semifinals Betting Picks, Odds, Predictions and Tennis Best Bets: Ruud vs. Khachanov, Alcaraz vs. Tiafoe

This article is part of our Tennis Picks series.

The US Open continues Friday with men's semifinals from the hard courts of the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York. Both favorites are just two matches away from taking over the world No. 1 ranking, but both underdogs have already pulled off multiple notable upsets. None of the four remaining players have won a Grand Slam, as this is the rare major tournament where the men's draw is actually more wide open than the women's down the stretch.

All Tennis Odds & Lines are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, but occasionally you can find more favorable odds by searching other mobile sportsbooks such as FanDuel Sportsbook, BetMGM Sportsbook, Caesars Sportsbook, or any of the best sports betting sites. Men's matches at Grand Slams are best of five sets, testing their physical fitness and mental resolve to a greater extent than the best-of-three format used throughout the remainder of the ATP Tour schedule. All of the players in action Friday have shown they're capable of notching quality wins to get to this point, but a mix of their previous hard court results, recent form and stylistic matchups can help predict how the upcoming matches will unfold.

Casper Ruud (-215) vs. Karen Khachanov (+165)

Ruud's abilities on hard courts have clearly been underestimated up to this point, as the Norwegian is showing to be an all-court player and is two matches away from taking over the No. 1 ranking. All of his matches have been reasonably straightforward outside of a five-set battle with Tommy Paul in which Ruud pulled away with a 6-0 fifth set after they split four tight, grueling sets. Ruud's the only one of the four remaining players who has been to the semifinals of a Grand Slam before, as he reached the French Open final earlier this year on his favorite clay surface.

Khachanov has worked much harder to get to this point, needing five sets in each of his last two matches against Pablo Carreno Busta and Nick Kyrgios. The Russian has had some luck on his side, as Carreno Busta, Kyrgios and third-round opponent Jack Draper were all hampered by injuries against him, though Draper was the only one whose level was noticeably impacted. Khachanov trails the head-to-head against Ruud 1-0, but that match came on clay in 2020, so it has limited relevance to this rematch, which also comes with far higher stakes.

Prediction: Ruud in four sets.

Carlos Alcaraz (-205) vs. Frances Tiafoe (+160)

After coming back from a break down in the fifth set to beat Marin Cilic in the fourth round, Alcaraz upped the ante in the quarterfinals against Jannik Sinner, saving a match point in a thrilling 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-7 (0), 7-5, 6-3 win. That win over Sinner was probably the greatest match in recent memory that didn't involve Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer, and it's hard to see Alcaraz losing if he can replicate his level of play from that match. Doing so won't be easy, though, as even Alcaraz's 19-year-old legs have to be tired after spending over nine combined hours on court in his last two matches and finishing both after 2:30 a.m. 

Tiafoe's playing the best tennis of his career, and his serve's leading the charge, as he's consistently cranking it into the mid-130 mph range when necessary and just defeated Andrey Rublev in straight sets without being broken on the heels of his four-set win over Rafael Nadal. The first American in a Grand Slam semifinal since John Isner at Wimbledon in 2018 has his sights set even higher, and Tiafoe can swing more freely as the underdog in this match. Both of these players like to take charge of rallies with massive forehands, but Alcaraz has the far superior backhand and defensive capabilities, which is why the Spaniard could be No. 1 in the world by the time this tournament's done. Tiafoe can close the gap by serving well, but the American's realistic paths to victory involve either fatigue or pressure getting to Alcaraz. Tiafoe beat Alcaraz on clay in Barcelona last year, but both players have improved substantially since then, with Alcaraz making the larger leap forward in the interim.

Prediction: Alcaraz in four sets.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
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