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Frances Tiafoe’s value as underdog in U.S. Open semifinal alluring to bettors

The Spaniard is a -205 favorite over the American on Friday night

USA's Frances Tiafoe celebrates after defeating Russia's Andrey Rublev during their 2022 US Open Tennis tournament men's singles quarter-final match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, on Sept. 7, 2022. (Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)
USA's Frances Tiafoe celebrates after defeating Russia's Andrey Rublev during their 2022 US Open Tennis tournament men's singles quarter-final match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, on Sept. 7, 2022. (Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)Read moreKena Betancur/AFP / MCT

The 2022 Men’s U.S. Open has been absolutely scintillating. As expected, the absence of Novak Djokovic, Sascha Zverev and questions about the health and form of Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas completely opened up the draw and allowed for a surprising quartet of semi-finalists.

While Carlos Alcaraz was one of the tournament favorites, nobody expected him to be joined by Casper Ruud, Karen Khachanov and Frances Tiafoe in the final four.

Alcaraz is the odds-on favorite at -110 to win the trophy entering the final weekend, but he’s got a tricky opponent awaiting him in the headliner on Friday night.

Rank Betting Site Bonus States Claim
1
BetMGM Logo
INQUIRERMGM$1,000 Risk-Free Bet
  • AZ, NJ, IN, CO, DC, IA, MI, TN, VA, WV, WY only.
  • New customers only. Must be 21+. Welcome offer not available in NY & PA. Full T&C apply.
2
Caesars Sportsbook
$1,250Risk-Free Bet + 1000 Tier Credits + 1000 Reward Credits®
  • NY, NJ, WV, IA, CO, IN, MI, VA, TN, AZ, LA, IL Only.
  • New users only, 21 or older. Full T&Cs apply.
3
Caesars Sportsbook
$150 in Free Bets
  • AZ, CT, IA, IL, LA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, TN, WV, WY Only.
  • New users only, 21 or older. Full T&Cs apply.
4
WynnBet
$4002nd chance bet with code SPORTS
  • AZ, CO, IA, IL, IN, MI, NY, PA, VA only.
  • 21+. New customers only. T&C apply

Frances Tiafoe entered the US Open as the the No. 22 seed and was placed in a quarter that was headlined by Rafael Nadal, but still looked relatively manageable. Andrey Rublev, Diego Schwartzman and Denis Shapovalov are all solid, dangerous players, but if Nadal — who tore his abdomen at Wimbledon in late June — struggled, the door would open up for a dark horse. That’s exactly what happened, as Tiafoe upset Nadal in the Round of 16 to earn a spot in the quarterfinals.

And earn it he did.

While the quarter as a whole looked beatable, Tiafoe’s path was no cakewalk. After sweeping aside Marcos Giron and Jason Kubler in the first two rounds, the 24-year-old American had to take down top-20 mainstay Diego Schwartzman, Nadal and then World No. 11 Andrey Rublev to earn his spot opposite Alcaraz on Friday night.

Tiafoe’s been brilliant throughout the entire tournament. He’s showing confidence in his forehand, serving the lights out and his ability around the net has been on full display. It’s clear that Tiafoe’s as fit as he’s ever been, too, as going toe-to-toe with Nadal at Arthur Ashe Stadium requires every bit of energy in a player’s tank. Not only did he pass that test, but he backed up with another win two days later.

It won’t get any easier for Tiafoe on Friday, though, as Alcaraz is a -210 favorite to end the American’s run and break into his first Grand Slam Final. The 19-year-old Alcaraz is coming off a match-of-the-year performance against Jannik Sinner, needing to come back down 2-1 to beat the Italian in five sets.

Like his compatriot Nadal, Alcaraz is an elite competitor who can seemingly play at an all-world level for hours and hours. Even though he’s at a rest disadvantage, there’s no reason to doubt Alcaraz’s tank for this match.

But there’s also no reason to doubt Tiafoe’s anymore, either. Just by being able to weather the Alcaraz storm, Tiafoe shortens the gap between these two players considerably. Alcaraz is still on a different level, but the odds should be a bit tighter considering Tiafoe’s form — he’s only dropped one set (to Nadal) this entire tournament — and the fact that the crowd will be fully behind the American on Friday night.

And as stunning as Alcaraz’s performance against Sinner was on Wednesday night, he did show a couple of cracks in his armor. As unbelievable as he is, Alcaraz is still just 19 years old and tightened up in big spots, allowing Sinner to steal a couple of sets thanks to some unforced errors on easy points. If Tiafoe can take advantage of those spots, he has a chance here.

The Bet: Frances Tiafoe +160

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