We are now in week 2 of the US Open 2022 and according to the odds, the men’s side of the draw now looks like a three-horse race between Nick Kyrgios, Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal.
Kyrgios is the new betting favorite to win the tournament at +200, just ahead of Nadal (+260) and Alcaraz (+360) but those numbers should get even closer on Monday night when the two Spaniards join Australia in the quarters.
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US Open Predictions: Carlos Alcaraz vs. Marin Cilic
While Nadal takes on American Frances Tiafoe on Monday afternoon, Alcaraz meets 2014 US Open winner Marin Cilic. The 20-year-old prodigy is a -550 favorite over the Croatian, who progresses to the round of 16 after dropping just one set (in a tie-breaker against Dan Evans) in the tournament so far.
Cilic is something of an anomaly to the handicap as he seems to find a new level playing in the biggest tournaments. The 33-year-old has reached 14 quarterfinals, six semifinals and three finals in his Grand Slam career, with his only win at the event coming eight years ago. A shotmaker with a great serve, Cilic can be unplayable when things are going right, but you can’t count on that at this stage in his career – especially against a physical phenomenon like Alcaraz.
Already one of the best players in the world at 20, Alcaraz’s ability to defend and extend rallies should prove crucial against Cilic, who often relies on serve to break out of jams. With Alcaraz on, Cilic’s powerful serve won’t be a card to get out of jail like other players are.
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You don’t have to go back that far to see what a matchup between these two very different tennis players can look like. Alcaraz made relatively easy work of Cilic in the Cincinnati Masters Round of 16, winning 7-6, 6-1 in a match Alcaraz grew into over time.
A similar pattern could play out on Monday night as Alcaraz’s ability to defend off serve and keep rallies going should tire the Croatian when we get into the deep part of the game. That should allow Alcaraz to set up a dominant set or two to achieve the separation needed to cover a 6.5 game spread.
Carlos Alcaraz vs. Marin Cilic tennis pick
The bet: Carlos Alcaraz -6.5 games (+105, BetMGM)