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Federer is aiming for U.S. Open title

September 09, 2007|Lonnie White | Times Staff Writer

Today might mark the first full day of the NFL regular-season schedule, but it is also men's championship day at the U.S. Open. Which to oddsmakers means Roger Federer versus the field.

Because of Federer's total domination of the tennis world in events not played on clay courts, Federer was made a 2-5 favorite to win his fourth consecutive Open title.

After Federer, the consensus next choice was Rafael Nadal at 6-1, but the hot pick leading up to the start of the U.S. Open was Novak Djokovic of Serbia.

With four ATP wins to his credit this season, Djokovic has been the surprise hit of the tour, highlighted by a victory at Montreal that included wins over Federer and Nadal.

Djokovic was a 3-1 favorite to defeat David Ferrer in Saturday's semifinals, and he did so with an impressive straight-set victory. Djokovic's job today, however, will be much tougher because now he has to get it done as an underdog against Federer.

With his semifinal win over Nikolay Davydenko, Federer became the first man to reach 10 consecutive Grand Slam event finals.

Pro football

The marquee NFL game of the day will feature the Chicago Bears against the host San Diego Chargers in a matchup between two of the top teams in the league.

Although the Bears are the defending NFC champions, they are six-point underdogs against the Chargers, who have had a great deal of money bet on them to win the Super Bowl this season.

The Chargers are expected to get off to a good start against the Bears, who lost to Indianapolis in last season's Super Bowl.

Over the last 13 years, teams that lost the Super Bowl have a 3-10 record against the spread in their first game the next season.

San Francisco is another team oddsmakers like, and the 49ers are a three-point home favorite over Arizona today.

But the Cardinals start Matt Leinart at quarterback, and last season he had a 7-3 record against the spread as a starter, including a 3-1 mark when Arizona was an underdog on the road.

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lonnie.white@latimes.com

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