Dan Weston previews two men's singles quarter-finals at the Australian Open on Wednesday and makes Rafael Nadal his bet of the day...
"Tsitsipas is on an upward curve but I find him a little over-rated by the market - both things can be possible at the same time - and my model hardly ever finds him value."
Karatsev continues amazing journey with Dimitrov win
The tournament sensation, Aslan Karatsev, continued his stunning journey with a quarter-final win over Grigor Dimitrov in four sets, and now faces the winner of the match between Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev. The duo are, at the time of writing, locked in a close battle so it's difficult to call.
Medvedev justified favourite for all-Russian clash
We have an all-Russian clash to start off tomorrow's men's quarter-final schedule, featuring two players who are already making huge progress on the ATP Tour and could conceivably be featuring at or towards the top of the rankings for some time to come.
For this, Daniil Medvedev is a 1.4740/85 favourite to defeat countryman Andrey Rublev, and Medvedev's status as a pre-match favourite looks pretty justified.
Since the tour resumed, he has a slight edge on both service and return points won, and comes into the match now 18 unbeaten in a run which includes beating top 10 opposition on nine occasions out of those 18 - so not only is he winning, but he's beating quality players too.
Rublev is also unbeaten in nine and comes off the back of a breakthrough 2020 where he won five tournaments in a shortened season, which was a fantastic achievement.
He has lost all four previous meetings with Medvedev, failing to win even a set in any of them, although it should be noted that Rublev wasn't even a top 30 player in three of the matches and Medvedev was a strong pre-match favourite in all of them. Such caveats illustrate the frequent dangers of reading too much into many head-to-head records.
Nadal bigger-priced than previous meetings between the duo
The last men's quarter-final on the schedule is between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Rafa Nadal.
For this, again we see a one-sided head-to-head record between the duo, with Nadal leading the series 6-1 in main tour matches, but again it lacks context. Nadal was a sub 1.251/4 favourite in the first five meetings and isn't tomorrow - he's priced bigger at 1.558/15 to make the semi-finals. Plus, Tsitsipas was ranked outside the top 10 in their first three clashes as well.
It's interesting to note that in these previous meetings, Tsitsipas has had real issues on serve, winning less than 60% of service points. While the average player might have such numbers against Nadal - the best returner on tour - it should concern Tsitsipas supporters that a player with very strong serve numbers in general has those issues.
My numbers like Rafa for this, with my model pricing him at 1.351/3 to get the win. Tsitsipas is on an upward curve but I find him a little over-rated by the market - both things can be possible at the same time - and my model hardly ever finds him value.
With this in mind, Nadal at the current market price of 1.558/15 is my recommendation for Wednesday.
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