Tennis bettors, get ready to serve it up! The best tennis players in the world are set to engage in a two-week duel at the fourth and final major of the year, the US Open. Everything gets started on Monday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre in Flushing, NY. Television coverage will be on the Tennis Channel, CBS, and ESPN2.
We'll start with the ladies, where the bracket is going to be incredibly open. In fact, the bona fide favorite on the Don Best odds screen is Serena Williams, who is ranked No. 28 in the tournament.
Williams (+160) has won this event three times, most recently in 2008. She's one of a few former champions in this year's draw.
Last year's champ, Kim Clijsters who also won in 2009 and 2005, isn't involved in Flushing this year, nor is the 2007 winner, Justine Henin. In fact, the only other past winners in US Open betting action are Maria Sharapova (2006), Svetlana Kuznetsova (2004) and Venus Williams (2000-01).
No one is expecting Kuznetsova (+5000) or Venus Williams (+2400) to be in the latter stages of this tournament. However, Sharapova is the +500 second favorite.
Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova (11/1) is running neck-&-neck on the odds with Victoria Azarenka (10/1), while French Open victor Na Li is +1800. Caroline Wozniacki, the No. 1 seed of the tournament, is also +1800.
Whereas there are clearly a slew of players on the women's side that can take down the fourth major of the year, there are probably only a handful of men that have a chance. Over the course of the last seven years, the only three players who have won this event are Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin Del Potro.
Nadal is the defending champion, but he is nowhere near the favorite. The Spaniard is +375, making him the second choice on the board to win his 11th Grand Slam event.
The man of the hour is Novak Djokovic . The Serb has already won the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and is +125 for a third Slam. He has only been beaten twice this year – once by Federer and once by Andy Murray. Djokovic has been to the finale at the US Open twice before, losing to Nadal last year and Federer in 2007.
Speaking of Federer, it seems like a shock that he hasn't won a Grand Slam event this year. Should he not win this tournament, it would be the first time that he didn't win a major in a year since 2002. The Swiss native is only the fourth choice on the US Open lines at +600.
The third favorite is Murray (+495), who is hoping this is the tournament he finally gets his elusive first major title. The Brit has been a finalist in majors three times, including once here at the US Open in '08.
He has also been a semifinalist on seven occasions and a quarterfinalist on two other occurrences.
Del Potro is the next choice on the board at +1800, with only Mardy Fish and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga the only other players lower than +4000.