Australian Open

Australian Open Day 7 tips: Round three serving duel

Polish star Hurkacz to use serving ability in match v Humbert

Tennis columnist Gavin Mair is eyeing up a match between two reliable servers on day 7 of the Australian Open.

  • Value bettors out of luck

  • Serve dominated clash has potential

  • 90% service holds a recipe for tiebreaks

Those looking for value in the match markets at the Australian Open have been left frustrated. The tournament is historically low on upsets with only a dismal 13% of matches going against the odds reported after the first round of play in this year's event.

That is why I think adapting bets to different markets is where we can find the value. Markets where players are reasonably priced to win but there is an added value in the sets played or conceded is one logical consideration, as is casting a gaze towards statistical markets that are typically reliant on a player's serving trends. That is my thinking behind today's column.

Hurkacz v Humbert betting tips

A match that caught my eye, but certainly won't be easy on eye, is the encounter between big serving duo Hubert Hurkacz and Ugo Humbert. The players are similar in that they both possess booming serves, but are rather less capable at finding ways to break opponents.

Both will likely find it difficult to crack the others reliable first ball. That is good news for us bettors as there is value in specialist markets that are keenly focused on serving quality.

In Humbert's three completed matches this season he has held in 10/10 games versus Alex Michelsen, 19/21 versus David Goffin and 18/20 versus Zhizhen Zhang.

For Hurkacz who has played considerably more matches his numbers are similarly dominant - 13/14 holds versus Seyboth Wild, 11/14 versus Davidovich Fokina, 10/10 vs Zhizhen Zhang, 11/11 vs Adrian Mannarino, 16/17 versus Alex Zverev, 15/15 vs Omar Jasika and 22/24 versus Jakub Mensik.

Clearly when holding at more than 90% both of these players are in good serving form. Hopefully I am not boring you to tears by listing even more numbers at you, but they share the same break point conversion rate of 0.26 per game in 2024.

It is reasonable to expect that it will take them both some time to adapt to each others playing style enhancing the probability of fewer break chances and conversions. All the ingredients are present for a tight first set to be played out, and over 12.5 games in set one is backable at a value price of 9/43.25.

Back over 12.5 games in set one at 9/43.25

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A second wind

Provided the reading of this match-up is accurate there is also value in the players contesting more than one tiebreak over the course of five sets. Hurkacz in particular is reputed as a player that takes circuitous routes to victory - and against all manner of opponents.

With Humbert's serving hold percentage running at 90.2% and Hurkacz's at 94.9% the prospect of tiebreaks is a reasonable expectation. Over 1.5 tiebreaks can be backed at 3/14.00.

Back over 1.5 tiebreaks @ 3/14.00

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