There are a further two singles matches on day three of the ATP World Tour Finals today, and after the two matches yesterday provided gripping drama, our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, is back to assess Tuesday's schedule...
"Indoors, Sock has a bigger edge this year, holding 84.4% and breaking 20.5% (104.9% combined) with Cilic doing so 83.3% and 18.8% respectively (102.1%), so again, it appears that this market pricing is solely based on Cilic being the bigger name player."
Nadal withdrawal with impact on the outright market
Both of yesterday's World Tour Finals matches in the Pete Sampras group went to a deciding set, continuing the trend which has seen in excess of 40% of matches go the distance since the event switched to London in 2009 - considerably more than the ATP Tour mean.
In the afternoon match, Grigor Dimitrov survived a late wobble to get the better of Dominic Thiem, who continued his woeful indoor record post-US Open, while Rafa Nadal, clearly hampered by injury, gave his all against David Goffin but succumbed in the final set, and subsequently withdrew from the event.
Nadal's withdrawal gives countryman Pablo Carreno-Busta entry into the tournament as first alternate, and has had further impact on the outright market, with Roger Federer firming into the [1.50] outright favourite on the Exchange.
The Swiss legend is back on court today in the evening match, against Alexander Zverev, but first of all, he will have to wait for the match at 14:00 UK time, between the two losing players from the opening match, Marin Cilic and Jack Sock.
Sock price drifting despite being favoured by statistics
Assessing this match is interesting, with Sock's price slightly drifting over the last day or so, currently standing at [2.48]. I priced him at [2.06], with his indoor hard data considerably improving following his triumph in Paris several weeks ago.
Across hard and indoor hard combined in 2017, Sock has won more matches (69% to 59%), holding serve more (83.0% compared to 81.2%) but breaking less (20.0% to 23.1%). Solely using these hold/break numbers made Sock the slight underdog, so I'm surprised to see his price this big.
Indoors, Sock has a bigger edge this year, holding 84.4% and breaking 20.5% (104.9% combined) with Cilic doing so 83.3% and 18.8% respectively (102.1%), so again, it appears that this market pricing is solely based on reputation, with Cilic being the bigger name player.
While Sock was comfortably defeated by Roger Federer in the opening match, it would appear that he has a considerable match-up issue - as many do - against the Swiss legend, and Cilic is a significant downgrade on that - not to mention Cilic's capitulation from a break up against Alexander Zverev in the final set on Sunday. At the prices, Sock definitely looks the play.
Zverev with tough task against imperious Federer
At 20:00 UK time, Federer takes to the court against Zverev, with the Exchange market currently pricing him as the strong [1.26] favourite. Interestingly, Zverev certainly doesn't have these match-up issues, taking two of the four head to head matches on the main tour, including the Masters Final in Montreal in August, and my model priced this almost identically to the market.
Federer is imperious indoors, unbeaten on the surface this year, and having a 12-2 record on it in the last two years, with an elite level 117.9% combined hold/break percentage. Adding his 13-1 record against top ten opponents this year into the mix, it's clear to see why he's favoured by the market to win this event. Indoors, Federer has won 35 of his last 50 matches against top 10 opponents, which is an incredible achievement as well.
With market prices correct, it's difficult to find an angle for this match, so it looks to be one best watched, and without doubt, almost certainly one that can be enjoyed from a neutral perspective.
Back Jack Sock at [2.48] to beat Marin Cilic
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