Tiafoe is heavily favored in Tuesday’s match. DraftKings Maryland lists “Big Foe” as a -235 favorite in what should be a memorable first official encounter on the ATP Tour.
The American duo joins fellow American Taylor Fritz as the only American males remaining in the main singles draw. Fritz meets No. 2 seed and three-time US Open champion Novak Djokovic in what could be an all-American men’s semifinal.
Tiafoe on a Roll
Tiafoe has dropped just one set during his run to the quarterfinals. While he’s never met Shelton officially, the two are good friends who’ve likely practiced together numerous times. He had this to say to reporters about the impending meeting with Shelton;
“Ben has wanted to play me at the Open for a long time,”Tiafoe said on Sunday.
“So he’s going to be super excited. He’s going to come out with a lot of energy.
“I’m just going to have to tame him down, try to be the vet, and get the win. It’s going to be good. It’s going to be a great atmosphere, I think, great representation for people of color, right? Two people of color playing in the quarterfinals, a huge match on Arthur Ashe. It’s a pretty monumental moment. I’m pretty excited to compete against him. Hopefully, it’s a great battle.”
Big Bennie Goes Boom Boom
Shelton is climbing the rankings during his first full season on tour. Shelton made US Open history by cranking a 149mph serve (twice) in his four-set upset over Tommy Paul Sunday.
Shelton reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open but then went to 18 tournaments where he failed to win two consecutive matches in a row. Shelton knows that an American male hasn’t won the US Open since Andy Roddick took the trophy in 2003. Shelton addressed reporters after defeating Paul;
“It’s a shame that two of us have to play in the quarterfinals. Maybe we could have three in the semis. I think it’s a really cool opportunity for American tennis. This is what you guys always talk to us about: ‘Who’s going to be the next Grand Slam champion? Who’s going to do it?’
“I always have the same reply: ‘American tennis is going in a great direction, and I don’t know who’s going to be the next to get a Slam, be the next Andy Roddick, but I know we’re all on our own path and we’re all doing things our own way and improving year to year.’ I can see it in these guys. Hopefully see the same kind of trend with myself. I’m not really too worried about what happens from here on, and it’s pretty cool to know that at least one American is going to be in the semifinals here.”
Tiafoe – Shelton Betting Advice
We have two of the most likable and energetic players in the men’s game competing against each other for the right to play the winner of Djokovic-Fritz. Tiafoe is a huge favorite (-235) to win the match but a shorter favorite (-116) to win the match by more than -1.5 sets.
Both players’ game revolves around their serve. Shelton is leading the tournament in aces (62), while Tiafoe is right near the top of the table with 45 aces. Each man has seen their respective serve broken eight times, but Tiafoe has 11 fewer double-faults than his rival in NYC.
Tiafoe has a slightly better return game than Shelton, but Big Bennie has won 63% of his breakpoint chances at the Open compared to just 42% for Tiafoe.
Tuesday’s match has all the makings of a serve-fest that could go five sets. I think Tiafoe will win in four sets, so -1.5 (-116) should be a good bet. I see at least four sets and probably a couple of tiebreakers. That puts the Over 39.5 games (-110) at DraftKings firmly into play, and my best bet is Shelton vs. Tiafoe Over 39.5 games (-110) at DraftKings.
For more Maryland sports betting tips, make sure you follow us regularly here at MD Betting.