Edmund and Cilic triumph on day nine
Two out of two underdogs went through to the semi-finals on Tuesday, in rather different circumstances. First up, Kyle Edmund didn't just put up some plucky resistance, as we thought he'd at least do against Grigor Dimitrov, but he won the match by three sets to one, giving us a winner at 4/6 on over 3.5 sets.
Following this, Rafa Nadal succumbed to retirement against Marin Cilic, meaning that our outright trading pick on Cilic at 40.039/1 is now trading at 4.67/2, and anyone looking to hedge will be able to cash out from their original position for excellent profits.
Sandgren overperformance merely down to positive variance
Men's action from Melbourne Park starts at 2am UK time, with Tennys Sandgren taking on Hyeon Chung in what could be described as an unlikely Grand Slam quarter-final. At least Chung had immense potential and negative key point variance from last year to explain his performances in the last fortnight, but this run from Sandgren has come from nowhere.
When a player has sudden overperformance like this, it's logical to try and question why this has occurred, and in Sandgren's case, the reason is obvious. The average men's player will save 2.8% fewer break points than service points won, and convert 2.8% more break point chances than return points won, but at the Australian Open so far, Sandgren has saved 10.2% more break points on serve than service points (13.0% above expectation) and converted 9.7% more break points than return points (6.9% above expectation).
Value still on Sandgren despite break point overperformance
Overperforming by 19.9% combined across break points will give any player a superb chance to win matches, but is utterly unsustainable in the long run, as mean reversion kicks in. That's not to say Sandgren can't win, though, and my model priced Chung as a 1.392/5 favourite, meaning that the 1.271/4 about the South Korean on the Exchange looks a little on the short side.
How can we take advantage of this? I like the idea of handicap options, with Sandgren +2.5 sets (just to win a set) available at 8/13 with the Sportsbook, and this seems a pretty logical line to take in what is the biggest match of either player's career.
Berdych with historical issues against elite players
In the second men's quarter-final of the day, and the final one of the round, Tomas Berdych faces the unenviable task of defeating Roger Federer, with the Swiss legend having won their last eight head to head matches.
Federer is a 1.192/11 favourite, and without such a head to head record - or indeed Berdych's woeful head to head record against elite players historically - this would be a short price, but it's difficult to make a case for Berdych considering he's been so lacking against top players so many times in the past.
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