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US Open 2009 – Fernando Gonzalez and Philipp Kohlschreiber

Gonzalez and Kohlschreiber are the two dark horses for the tournament on the men’s side.

Fernando Gonzalez pulled out of his first round match hurt against Tomas Berdych in Cincinnati last month after losing the first set 4-6. His price in the futures market immediately started to drift for the US Open as he became a bit of a question mark. However, Gonzalez, a very dangerous player on the men’s tour, looked perfectly fine in the first round at Flushing Meadows the other night as he cruised past Nicolas Massu 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

What makes Gonzalez such a threat on tour is that he is all-in on virtually every shot he hits. He has career victories over Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Andy Murray, and it’s known that when he is ‘on’ that he can take out virtually anyone.

Gonzalez gets a little tight around the collar when the pressure is on sometimes but the runner-up at the 2007 Australian Open and the semifinalist at Roland Garros this year has a pretty good draw to the semifinals at the present US Open.

His next match is against Josselin Ouanna, the 103rd ranked player on tour, and you have to think Gonzalez will win that match. Down the road, should Gonzalez keep winning, he may encounter Tomas Berdych and/or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. There’s no real reason to think that Gonzalez can’t win either match as Berdych isn’t exactly a force on tour while Gonzalez vs Tsonga would be a coin toss.

If Gonzalez simply plays like he is able to he might find himself squaring off against Rafael Nadal in the quarters and the US Open isn’t exactly the Spaniard’s best Slam. With that there is reason to believe that Gonzalez can realistically make the semifinals here at the US Open and that makes his price to win at Flushing Meadows a good one at +10000 (100/1; bet365).

On the other half of the draw Philipp Kohlschreiber has exuded some strength lately. His play has been somewhat sporadic since Wimbledon where he lost to Roger Federer in the third round but he does have victories over Tommy Robredo, Fernando Verdasco, and Tomas Berdych in between Slams. He also beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on tour this year as well as Novak Djokovic at the French Open so there is no reason to believe he can’t beat some big names on tour.

Kohlschreiber has a tough draw ahead of him but both of his two opening round victories were very efficient straight sets wins. Also, he looked very sharp in those sets as his shots were often very well paced, tight to the net, deep, and most importantly – they were in. With Stepanek ahead of him and then likely Djokovic and probably Roddick, Kohlscreiber is far from a lock for the semis, but he does have the ability within himself to beat players of top 5 calibre so he can’t be written off either.

If you are only interested in longshots at this point Kohlschreiber (+20000 to win the US Open, 200/1; bet365) and Gonzalez are the two players to sprinkle a bet on.

If you don’t want to pick them to win the title outright because you don’t think the prices are worth it, then you might want to consider pounding bets on them in their individual matches as they develope.


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