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Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

John Isner can edge tight US Open battle with Raonic

Serena should continue to make serene progress

John Isner will have the home crowd on his side
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Isner v Raonic
Milos Raonic has been in impressive form in New York, losing just one set on his way to this last-16 clash.

The Canadian reached the Wimbledon final in 2016, and after a period struggling with injuries he looks well on his way back to his best.

His opponent John Isner has not made such smooth progress. The big-serving American twice came from behind to beat Nicolas Jarry on Wednesday, and dropped a set against world number 62 Dusan Lajovic in the last round.

Isner is having a fine year, though, reaching the fourth round of the French Open and the semi-finals at Wimbledon.

He has won four of his meetings with Raonic, including this summer at Wimbledon and the Texas resident could be worth supporting as the outsider in this clash.

Of the 13 sets these two have contested, nine have been decided in tiebreaks and there should be little to choose between them again. Home support could help Isner dig that bit deeper.

Recommendation
J Isner
1pt 5-4 Betfair 

Kanepi v S Williams
Serena Williams has lost just 11 games in her first three matches at Flushing Meadows this year and while Kaia Kanepi could prove a tougher challenge than she has faced so far Williams should continue to make serene progress.

This fourth-round match was slated to feature the top two in the outright market, but number-one seed Simona Halep was upset by Kanepi in the first round.

The powerful Estonian hasn't dropped a set in New York either and she reached the quarter-finals there last year.

However, Kanepi will need to cut out the unforced errors if she is to stand any chance against Williams, who has been serving beautifully.

Serena turned her ankle during her third-round demolition of her sister Venus, but told reporters afterwards it is something she does often.

Williams has not lost a set to Kanepi in four previous meetings. Only One of those was in the last nine years - a 6-3 6-3 win at the same stage of the 2014 US Open.

A lot has happened in Williams's life since then, and while she can't be said to be back to her best it still looks likely to take a strong performance to derail her bid for a seventh New York crown.

Recommendation
S Williams to win 2-0
3pts 8-13 Betway, Coral, Ladbrokes

Other matches
Last year's runner-up Kevin Anderson has a 6-0 record on hard courts against Dominic Thiem and will have his supporters to keep that run going.

Sloane Stephens is second favourite to win the tournament but she will have to serve better than she did in Cincinnati to get revenge on Elise Mertens, who won in straight sets in Ohio in their only previous meeting.

Ashleigh Barty has kept up her record of personal-best performances in each Grand Slam this season and is favourite to eliminate former world number one Karolina Pliskova.


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Of the 13 sets these two have contested, nine have been decided in a tiebreak
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