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Australian Open Men's Singles Day Seven: Seppi value as a heavy underdog against wilting Edmund

Will Grigor Dimitrov be celebrating against Nick Kyrgios?
Will Grigor Dimitrov be celebrating against Nick Kyrgios?
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The men's singles fourth round begins on day seven of the Australian Open, and with Rafa Nadal and Nick Kyrgios among those in action, our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, is back to check out the value...

"From a fitness perspective, of the two players, I'd rather side with the veteran, Seppi, who has enjoyed an excellent start to the year, including taking the title in the Canberra Challenger a week before this tournament, as opposed to Edmund, who hasn't got the best record in hot conditions."

Federer and Djokovic ease past opponents on day six


There were straightforward victories for both Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer as the two main favourites in Saturday's matches progressed without losing a single set, while Tomas Berdych also won in straight sets, shocking Juan Martin Del Potro.

Among the other matches, Hyeon Chung confirmed his improvement with the scalp of Alexander Zverev in five sets, with Julien Benneteau succumbing in a fifth to Fabio Fognini.


Carreno-Busta and Schwartzman unlikely to find an extra gear


Moving on to Sunday's four matches in the fourth round, two feature particularly heavy favourites.

Firstly, Marin Cilic, our outright hope, looks a little short for his clash with Pablo Carreno-Busta, at a current [1.25], but there isn't enough value on the Spaniard to consider him for a recommendation. My worry also for Carreno-Busta is his shocking 2-20 record against top 10 opposition, suggesting that he doesn't have a high enough peak level to compete against the best.

Such an issue is likely to also beset Diego Schwartzman against Rafa Nadal, with the King of Clay priced at [ ] to dispose of the Argentine. As David Ferrer will be the first to verify, it's incredibly difficult to match-up against a player of a similar style who is better at everything, and Schwartzman is almost certain to be the latest return-orientated player to be heavily defeated by Nadal.


Seppi value at prices against Edmund


It's the third match on the schedule where I feel that there is some value, with Kyle Edmund taking on Andreas Seppi. It's the Brit, Edmund, who is the [1.42] favourite to progress, and I make this quite short, pricing him at [1.59] instead.

Edmund had the worst of conditions on Friday, requiring five sets to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili in 40 degree heat, and while Seppi also needed to go the distance against Ivo Karlovic, it's much easier facing a big server in frequently shorter points in longer matches.

From a fitness perspective, of the two players, I'd rather side with the veteran, Seppi, who has enjoyed an excellent start to the year, including taking the title in the Canberra Challenger a week before this tournament, as opposed to Edmund, who hasn't got the best record in hot conditions.

Even without factoring in fitness assessments, the numbers stack up for backing Seppi at prices in any case - there really isn't too much to split the pair from a hold/break perspective - so I'm more than happy to recommend the Italian as a heavy underdog here.


Dimitrov and Kyrgios in tough to call match-up


Finally, arguably the best match of the day for the neutral sees Grigor Dimitrov face Nick Kyrgios, in what is quite a tough match to call. The market has Kyrgios a slight [1.69] favourite on home soil, and my model didn't hugely disagree in what is a match where both players have the potential to play to variable levels.

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Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings


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